Troy Roberts, Days Like These Review
Troy Roberts has been amassing a discography that seems to be throttling forward with each release outdoing the next. Roberts is a versatile player that bounces from straight-ahead releases to funk-jazz based releases with his group Nu-Jive. Unmistakable is Roberts’ robust and technically monstrous sound. Hailing originally from Perth Australia, Roberts has quickly established himself as a primed leader and sideman. Roberts is a regular member of Joey DeFrancesco and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts groups. He can also be heard as a sideman on most notably, Van Morrison’s recordings and Orrin Evans & The Captain Black Big Band, where his composition “Trams,” appeared on the Grammy-nominated album Presence. On Roberts’ latest endeavor, he is joined by two bandmates, De Francesco, on organ, Watts on drums, and select tracks his former student Emmet Cohen also on organ. As you can guess, this is an organ trio album titled Days Like These, and my friends is an exhilarating listen throughout!
Positives: Roberts is a player of his generation like no other. His tone is immediately recognizable, and his ability to sound masterful at any style is what sets him apart immediately in this next generation of players.
Bottom Line:: Roberts is the “E” ticket ride, and for those of you that understand that statement, you will immediately get it. His playing is filled with excitement; it’s not just a set of blowing riffs; he builds his solos with interest and vigor. At every turn, there are nuances to enjoy. It’s not enough to be technically fluent these days. Roberts has a melodicism to his playing that is only unmatched by his added technical prowess, which is undeniably evident in every note. On Days Like These, the line up of DeFrancesco, Watts, and Cohen add a depth of support that fills in every corner, adding up to a wondrous listen of amazing musicianship. This combination is what you hope for in a jazz recording, a depth of the jazz language with unrelenting masterful performances. Days Like These is the Matterhorn of releases for 2019. That’s the short of it!