2 LPs on 1 CD: COLOR HIM FUNKY/H.R. IS A DIRTY GUITAR PLAYER (1963).
Two Capitol LPs are reissued in full on this CD. Howard Roberts, a talented jazz guitarist from the 1950s who chose to become a studio musician, is in fine form on these selections, playing soul-jazz and swinging hard bop with a pair of quartets that have either Paul Bryant or Burkley Kendrix on organ. At the time these albums were released (they were both recorded in 1963), one could be excused for shying away from them because they both clocked in at barely a half-hour apiece and the individual selections were all quite concise, almost always less than three minutes apiece. The latter was on purpose so the numbers could be played on AM radio. But as it turned out, Roberts and his group did an excellent job of making every moment count, playing concise but self-sufficient arrangements and taking short but meaningful solos. So although most of the songs seem to end when they are just starting to get going, a lot of music takes place in a short period of time. Roberts recorded a long series of albums for Capitol, and the two combined on this CD are arguably his best for the label. ~ Scott Yanow