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Mel Bay Jazz Guitar Styling of Howard Roberts Sheet music – January 12, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Sheet music: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (January 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786674091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786674091
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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~ This 112-page book has obviously been put together by Mitch Holder as a labour of love - a dedication to the artistry and personality of Howard Roberts.
~ The transcriptions, all in standard musical notation, are accurate and include suggested fingering. There is no tab notation, but the fingering notations that accompany the standard musical notation may be sufficient for those who rely on tabs.
~ Since the book does not come with a CD, you are on your own to obtain the original recordings. To help with that I have listed the titles and sources of the transcribed tunes. Prior to the transcripts section of the book, there is a brief but informative description of the transcription and the music.
* 'Serenata Burlesca' from "My Roberts Plays Guitar" / "The Velvet Groove"
* 'Will You Still Be Mine' from "Good Pickin's"
* 'Easy Living' from "Good Pickin's" offers a fine example of H.R.'s chord-melody style and parallel voicing.
* 'TV Theme from Route 66' from guitarist Laurinda Almeida's album "Viva Bossa Nova" with H.R. soloing.
* 'When Lights Are Low' from "Color Him Funky" another fine example of H.R.'s chord-melody playing.
* 'Hoe Down' from "Color Him Funky"
* 'Shiny Stockings' from "Color Him Funky" offers a fine example of H.R.'s unison playing with his organist.
* 'Down Under' from "Color Him Funky"
* 'Li'l Darlin' ' from "H.R. Is A Dirty Guitar Player". H.R. demonstrates his mastery of tight-voiced chords.
* 'Bluesette' from "Something's Cooking"
* 'Cute' from "Something's Cooking" includes some finger-picking by H.R. before switching to the pick.
* 'Chim Chim Cher-ee' from "Goodies"
* 'Autumn Leaves' from "All-Time Great Instrumental Hits" features an unaccompanied guitar intro cadenza.
* 'Mr.
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Mitch has really done a fantastic job on both the transcriptions and on documenting the huge production of Howard. His career was not just a few great efforts, but one after the other. Howard did so much that it may seem like that was the standard for the time, but if you listen much of what was being done then and being done now, you realize how special he was.

If there is any criticism of Howard, it is from jazz purists (bebop purists, Chuck) that Howard was not far enough from the mainstream, but if you want to hear the melody at least once in song, Howard made sure you get that. Howard also had huge technique, but he used it to add to the melody, not as a display of technique unrelated to the song. As much as any of us, Howard was fan of a wide variety of music, from bebop to pop.

Mitch's transcriptions are not only note for note perfect, but also have much of the fingering where there is question of how Howard did it. My own hands are not big enough to copy Howard's grips, but Mitch gives you plenty to work with if you want to try.

Mitch's own career is huge and varied, from making music with Howard, to making the Benson amps Howard and others used, to teaching.

Even if you don't play a song out of this collection, the book has a great collection of stories about a guy that loved music to an amazing degree, and showed us where that can take you. In his early years, when he was struggling to find a place, it took Howard to repairing his pants with a stapler, but he got well past that.
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By Jim on August 2, 2011
Mitch Holder's comprehensively researched book on Howard Roberts should be in every jazz guitar enthusiast's library. The background information on H.R. and his guitars is fascinating but the transcriptions are on-the-money perfect. Howard Roberts had an incalculable influence on jazz guitar and Mitch Holder has captured the essence and importance of that influence. This book is first rate in every way and invaluable for any jazz guitar student or pro. Mitch Holder spent decades as a first-call studio guitarist and was H.R.'s most notable protege. No one else is better suited to have written this book. It's a treasure.
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