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Entrada Archtop Guitar
Fred Kofler - Boynton Beach, Florida
Sounds as beautiful as it looks

I purchased an Entrada archtop jazz guitar from Robert Conti and it sounds as beautiful as it looks. I have been attempting to play jazz guitar for many years. I had excellent teachers, learned theory and chord melody. I would practice all the time and never feel comfortable playing or learning how to improvise. Then I found Robert on the internet and in just a couple of months I am shocked at how much I improved. His simple, straight forward method has helped open a whole new world of guitar playing for me. Just like many of his other students, I regret not studying with him years ago, but I’m here now and I’m getting better every day

Off to a good start!

I'm Brazilian, I play as a hobby and I would like to play jazz. This lesson got me off to a good start!

One Little YouTube Clip Got Me Hooked

Back in 2017, I stumbled across Robert through one of his YouTube promos. One particular line that really grabbed my brain and threw it on the floor was a fast bebop-style enclosure over D9#11. I was able to figure it out what he was doing and have used it ever since; mostly as a speed exercise. Getting it up to speed btw is not as easy as RC makes it look but, practice makes perfect. And I still think it's one of the most fantastic jazz lines I ever heard.

More recently, I was reviewing enclosures and remembered the RC clip. Perhaps it was time to find out what came in the bars preceding and following the YT clip (I had no idea it was part of a solo for "Ipanema"). I wasn't looking for lessons as much as lines to steal. :)

On the RC.com web site I found what seemed to be the same title that appeared on the YT video. But was it? And was the transcription PDF really included with the DVD? Was it any good? And was all this really available for just $15? It almost looked too good to be true.

That's where the online Chat sessions with Steve came in. Steve is not a bot. :) He was extremely helpful and thoroughly addressed all my questions (including a later follow-up). He's a big part of what makes the RC web site work.

Having been involved with video productions myself, I know how much work has gone into the lesson structure, the video recording, the music transcription, the mp3 files, etc. It's beautifully done: especially for $15!!! Simply put, this instruction video is a very
high-quality product that is exceptional value for money.

My only regret is not having had RC as a teacher, early on, when I was desperate to get some fast-ish jazz solo lines under my fingers without being constantly frustrated by teachers insisting on doing every but.

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Vol. 4 All Blues (Miles Davis)
User: ldrayrainey on TrueFire
A real master!

JazzMaster Product Review:
I have quite a few Conti courses and I think he is a great nuts-and-bolts teacher, especially be-bop soloing. I haven't found anyone who offers so many chord substitutions. He shows how to play a tune that has maybe 6 - 8 chords and use maybe 40 - 50 choices. Mind boggling at first but when you figure him out, he's WOW!

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Vol. 4 Wave
User: gear1152 on TrueFire
A little gem

JazzMaster Product Review:
This course is a little gem among the many Truefire course. At first, you might be thrown by the old-timey production, but actually there's a ton of great information. Conti, a real master of jazz, take you measure by measure of solos for three different types of jazz tunes. However, it's not a just a play-this-note, play-that-note course. Conti tells you the substitutions he's thinking of when playing the line and there are some great comping ideas too. By the end of the course, you'll have a lot of great moves to add to your vocabulary. Definitely worth the time and money for this course.

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Vol. 4 Signature Chord Melody Arrangements
User: thierrypaul on TrueFire
Nice surprise

JazzMaster Product Review:
Good course, I particularly appreciate the second part which is devoted to accompaniment of standards, rich and complete it will take me time to learn everything!

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Vol. 3 One Note Samba
User: Samori on TrueFire
Fascinating and Different

Review on Jazz Master product:
This is my first experience with Conti's methodology and it's fascinating - unusual compared with most other approaches, but it seems to work! Looking forward to trying some of the others.

So, You Asked, Who Is This Conti Guy?

The 1960s

Robert Conti was born in South Philadelphia, an area that has produced a respectable number of great musicians including many legendary string players. His interest in jazz guitar began in 1958 at the age of twelve. With the exception of a brief period of lessons from Philly guitar virtuoso, Joe Sgro, Conti is a self taught musician. However, he is quick to credit Sgro as pointing him in the right direction.

In his early teen years, he began playing six-night engagements in a variety of show groups in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area, and spending his summers on the road. After graduating high school, Conti spent the next three years performing throughout the United States and Canada with a variety of show groups out of the Philly area.

While traveling to Philly after a Miami Beach engagement in 1965, Conti made an impromptu visit to a relative in Jacksonville, Florida. After three years of constant traveling, he was enticed by the beaches and Florida’s relaxed lifestyle. That intended brief visit was the beginning of Conti’s twenty-two-year residency in North Florida. During the next four years, he maintained a full teaching schedule and seized every opportunity to play jazz in North Florida.

The 1970s

In 1970, a series of extremely unusual circumstances thrust Conti into the securities business. During the following six years, Conti’s talents as an account executive flourished, as he amassed a host of coveted financial industry awards for unparalleled business achievements. In fact, Conti is credited as the mastermind of a highly sophisticated business strategy that produced over five hundred million dollars of windfall profits to a publicly held Florida company. Additionally, he advanced the concept of the financial supermarket as early as 1974. Needless to say, lofty achievements that are inconsistent with the typical personality profile of an artist/jazz musician.

By late 1975, the time demands of the high tension business of stock trading had created a major void in his life. That void was the absence of his music. Having attained all of his personal goals in the corporate arena, and no longer enamored by corporate financial trappings, he decided to trade his three piece suits and return to music. In early 1976, he resumed teaching students, and focused his effort on regaining his previous technical facility. In May of 1979, he recorded two albums for the L.A. based Discovery record label. The results of those first recordings were a clear indication that Conti had indeed regained his technical facility

The 1980s

Several albums followed on the Discovery/Trend labels through the 1980s, including a 1981 guest appearance as a featured artist on the extraordinary arranger/conductor Gerald Wilson’s “Orchestra Of The Eighties” – an album that featured an all-star roster of L.A.’s finest jazz musicians. He was also featured on one side of “The Living Legends” – an album with the late Joe Pass.

In the early part of 1982, a business associate persuaded Conti to participate in a short-term business venture. However, being cautious not to abandon music because of the extreme time demands of the business world, he managed to maintain a minimal performing schedule. As 1985 drew to a close, he chose to focus all of his time to performing and writing music. In 1986, Conti began performing in the Southeast, including a performance as a headliner at the prestigious Florida National Jazz Festival, where his sidemen included jazz giants, Jimmy McGriff on organ, and Nick Brignola on baritone sax.

In the latter part of that year, he was invited to perform at a jazz festival in Southern California, where he made an acquaintance with a music fan who was an executive with Beverly Hills film producer, Dino De Laurentiis. Two years later, that casual acquaintance resulted in Conti accepting a position with the De Laurentiis organization. In the summer of 1988, Conti relocated to Irvine, California, a pristine and affluent community just south of Los Angeles. Shortly after his relocation, he had the misfortune of a serious injury from an office accident that required months of extensive medical treatment. 

Upon partial recovery from the injury, Conti decided to resume his musical activity instead of returning to the De Laurentiis organization.

The 1990s

I first became aware of Robert Conti in early 1990, as the Southern California grapevine was continuously buzzing about a “monstrous guitarist” when Conti began that hotel gig. In fact, I heard so much talk that I decided to drive up to Irvine from San Diego to hear and draw my own conclusions. Upon entering the hotel, I immediately heard loud applause from a lobby audience that included business executives and the usual cadre of guitarists absorbing every note. Within the first five minutes of my arrival, it was apparent that everything I had heard about this musician was true. In the midst of this bustling business hotel, here was a solo guitarist whose technical prowess had an audience spellbound! When questioned later that evening, as to his early influences, he quickly cited Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery and Howard Roberts as his heroes. Those influences were readily apparent, as his playing tastefully merges the stylistic trademarks of those super players into another fresh voice.

At the end of his performance, I introduced myself and asked if would be interested in doing an album for my newly formed Time Is record label. Conti responded, “Yes, only if I don’t have to travel. This gig is tantamount to my being on the road continuously, as the hotel is host to numerous guests from all over the world. In effect, they are on the road.”

In the years that passed since my first meeting with Robert Conti in 1990, I learned much more about the man other than the musician. He epitomizes a complete paradox of disciplines. Most musicians are generally in a tense state of mind in the recording studio. However, I observed this man nonchalantly walk into a Hollywood recording studio and front an all-star rhythm section to the absolute height of cooking straight-ahead jazz.

In bold contrast to Conti’s musical proficiency, his business/legal intellect grants him the ability to function with razor-sharp efficiency in the corporate environment, as he is just as comfortable in the midst of a dozen lawyers and accountants. In fact, on first meeting, his demeanor would cause one to readily assume that he is a corporate executive or an attorney, as he is a cordial gentleman most untypical of the usual artistic temperament of a musician of this caliber.