Marcus Roberts

Genres: Jazz
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Decades: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Marcus Marthaniel Roberts, 7 August 1963, Jacksonville, Florida, USA. If Thelonious Monk frequently pursued improvisation through harmonic as well as (or sometimes instead of) melodic routes, pianist Roberts is an appropriate inheritor of the method. Like Wynton Marsalis (later to be his employer) Roberts is a dedicated and outspoken respecter of earlier jazz traditions, and his technique comfortably encompasses stride, many variations of blues, and bebop. Blind since childhood, Roberts took up the instrument early after exposure to a mixture of classical and gospel music, and studied piano at Florida State, winning competitions on the instrument by the mid-80s. Roberts’ vitality, knowledge, technique and admiration for his keyboard predecessors brought him a place in the Wynton Marsalis group by 1985 and - as with Marsalis - a series of albums as leader took him further back into the archives, albeit with a continuing grace and swing.

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