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4767 reviews

Someone who teaches how to play rather than memorize. What a concept!

The Formula
Dr. Dave Walker - Canada
Terrific materials on chord melody

I am a retired (EARLY retirement!) university professor and administrator who taught music criticism at the graduate level. I've also been a practising musician for over 40 years now. Although I have played in jazz bands for years, I restricted myself mostly to comping until I discovered Robert Conti's column in Just Jazz Guitar, and then his terrific materials on chord melody. I was delighted with the DVD of The Formula to finally be able to see and hear Mr. Conti. His down-to-earth style of instruction really resonated with me.

The Jazz Lines
James Macneil - Fayetteville, NC
Find endless ideas...

I just love all the material presented. I have all the Source Code and Ticket to Improv series. Even though the TTI series is an introduction, I find that coupled with The Jazz Lines you can find endless ideas from those "simpler" lines presented. I really think I've seen other people imitating the approach Conti has used for decades. The problem with theory is that many students don't understand how to apply it. Robert demonstrates that theory in real world application. Anyone who understands theory can analyze Robert's lines and see how that theory works in real playing. I think Robert understands theory as much as any music theory teacher, but he also knows that on the bandstand the mind doesn't have time to compute all that information when chords are flying by at break neck tempos. He just presents things that make sense to the mind in real time playing.

Chord Melody Assembly Line
"Monkmiles" on The Gear Page forum
Gets you playing quickly

Robert Conti has a good book/method called the Chord Melody Assembly Line. It's been many years since I looked at it but I remember it as a straight forward, easy to follow approach that gets you playing quickly.

The Formula
Hinton Owens - Georgia
He is a gifted educator

I just received Robert Conti's Source Code Book Four ("The Formula") last week. The man has a way of packing a tremendous amount of information into my brain quickly. He is a gifted educator. His concept of harmonizing melodies is fantastic and it works great for me. If you have not seen a copy I recommend it to you. You will have fun reading it and applying his concepts to any standard tune within a couple of hours. It's the best money I have spent on a learning aid ever.

A knack for making the esoteric obvious!

I discovered Robert Conti through the article in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine. I have purchased his Chord Melody Assembly Line book/DVD, and am working through it at this time. Robert certainly has a knack for making the esoteric obvious! I would be interested to know of any new offerings he may have for guitar instruction. Also, he should really come back to his roots here in Pennsylvania once in a while so that us east-coasters can meet him, see him play, take a lesson or two!

2 Hour Lesson
Tony Pereira - Las Vegas, NV
Best musical investment I've ever made

I just wanted to give a shout out to Robert Conti. I started taking lessons with Robert about 2 years ago and picked up a few tricks. I decided to get serious back in February and made a weekly appointment for a 2 hour lesson. It is the best musical investment that I have ever made. The progress has been amazing and his teaching style fits with the way I need to learn.

Robert teaches a no modes/no scales method...and he hates that I use the word “method”. Make no mistake though the guy knows his music theory. Not only does it sound good to your ear but he can explain at a Ph.D. level why it sounds good.

Do yourself a favor and take a lesson from the guy. I guarantee you will walk away with something new. Every week I have met with him save a few times when I was traveling and I walk away exhausted and energized.

He has completely changed my playing...for the good. He’s a rare combination of being a stellar player who can teach.

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The Jazz Quintet (1981)


This outing has Conti performing with an all star rhythm section including: Mike Wofford, Piano; Herman Riley, Saxophones; Jim Plank, Drums; John B. Williams, Bass

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The Jazz Quintet – Recorded In Los Angeles, March 1981
Originally Released On Discovery Records

Conti’s third album displays his overwhelming mastery of the jazz guitar in the hard bop jazz idiom. And once again, Conti’s skill as a prolific composer becomes evident. Pete Welding, who is one of the most highly respected music critics said it best in a Guitar World magazine story and review: “Make No Mistake, Conti Is A Monster Musician Who’s Got It All Covered!”

This outing has Conti performing with an all star rhythm section including: Mike Wofford, Piano; Herman Riley, Saxophones; Jim Plank, Drums; John B. Williams, Bass; As evident when listening to this album, each musician made marked contributions. Conti was especially taken by Mike Wofford’s superb rendition of “In Memory Of” a solo piece written by Conti, who states: “Mike Wofford epitomizes the term “Master Musician” His exquisite interpretation and performance of that piece of music brought me to tears. When I heard the playback, it was almost a spiritual experience – he played every lilting nuance as if he was in my thoughts when I wrote the music! It was the high point of that recording session!

Note: One week before The Jazz Quintet was recorded in Los Angeles March,1981, Robert Conti also appeared as a guest soloist on Gerald Wilson’s “Lomelin, The Orchestra Of The Eighties” which featured an all-star lineup of West coast jazz musicians.

Southeast Entertainer Review by Pete Mandell

We saved the best for last. This is, quite simply, one of the best jazz albums to come along in a long, long time. As annotator Pete Welding notes, “…Conti has fully arrived.” Those who have caught guitarist Conti’s rare public appearances in this area are aware of his prodigious skills. The man is a monster player, with a seemingly never-ending flood of inventive musical ideas and a technique that is dazzling. In a live performance, however, the music roars by and is gone. Captured in “The Jazz Quintet,” Conti’s abilities can be savored in replaying, studied for their brilliance and be better appreciated. A pleasant surprise here is Conti’s impressive compositional skills. He wrote and arranged the seven tunes included on the disc. They range from a hell-bent-for- leather blazer titled “String Fever” to a floating and anguished ballad of the Strayhorn variety (“Chelsea Bridge,” “Lush Life,” etc.) titled “The Agony Of Ecstasy.” “Rotation” employs the familiar chord structure of “Cherokee” (a Conti favorite), taken at a tempo that only the gifted would attempt. “the Street Life Of South Philadelphia” (Conti’s home turf) is a very catch melody in 6/4 time that reminds, at times, of Miles Davis’ “All Blue.” A long and lovely ballad titled “The World Today” contrasts with a funky romper called “Hollywood and Sunset.” The eminently talented Mike Wofford is on piano (he solos on a lovely ballad entitled, “In Memory Of”), and Herman Riley is heard on soprano, alto and tenor sax and flute. John B. Williams is the dependable bassist and Jim Plank handles percussion duties. Joe Pass, Pat Metheny – whoever, look out. Robert Conti has arrived — and he’s ready.

Jazz Improv Mag. Review by Ethan Gutzeit:

Robert Conti is awesome! His debut jazz recording “The Robert Conti Quintet Featuring Mike Wofford” is as viable today as it was when it was released in 1980. The first tune “Rotation” is an up tempo swing tune that Conti eats alive with his blistering single note lines. “The Agony Of Ecstasy” is a ballad with Herman Riley on Soprano saxophone playing the haunting melody punctuated by string arrangements and subtle comping by Wofford and Conti. Conti adds some nice chord soloing and some single note material. “Hollywood and Sunset” is a medium swing tune with another great Conti solo representing a Philadelphia guitar sound started by Pat Martino. “In Memory Of” is a song Conti wrote after the passing of his father in 1979. Conti lets Wofford take over and play this wonderful ballad tune solo with a gentle touch. “The Street Life Of South Philadelphia” is a 6/8 grooving tune with a vamping section followed by a turnaround for the form. Conti shines on this original from the period. “The World Today” is another soulful ballad penned by Conti. He takes a great extended solo with much attention to taste. Conti also shows his chops soloing with octaves. “String Fever” is an up tempo rhythm changes tune showcasing Conti talent on the timeless jazz form.

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