2010 Just Jazz Guitar Cover Story

Preface by Paul Getty During a recent conversation with Ed Benson, we were discussing how the economic downturn has affected numerous guitarists who voiced complaints about their substantial loss of income from lessons, gigs etc. Our conversation turned to the success of Robert Conti. In the midst of the punitive economic conditions during the last three years, he recently released his thirty-first full-length DVD, as an obvious result of the ongoing demand for his unique ability to teach effectively. To my knowledge, that level of consistently creative teaching production is unprecedented. On the heels of ongoing DVD production plus a heavy …

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Gitarist Magazine Masthead

Comping Expo Review in Gitarist Magazine

The Comping Expo Robert Conti? A jazz guitar virtuoso who likes to keep things simple. As complicated as his bebop licks and chord melodies may sound, Conti constantly stresses that you can learn all of it without spending years and years being bogged down by chords, scales and arpeggio’s. Conti rightfully thinks that the the was he learned to play is most natural; you hear somebody play something that you like and you go and find out what he did. The next step is to try and use that new information in your playing, and finding variations on it, too. …

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Conti Approach To Teaching Jazz Guitar

– Why It Works – Preface To Original 2004 Article In the latter part of 2004, I wrote the following article and sent it to Robert Conti with a request to have it published on his website with the intention of sharing insights of my learning experience with other aspiring jazz guitarists.  Since this article was first written, there has been an increase in the number of guitar instruction books that emphasize the use of melodic phrases and licks as a means of enhancing improvisation skills. As an avid reader of JJG, I also see other respected players who are now advertising a …

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To The Brink! CD Review in Jazz Improv Mag.

TO THE BRINK! – Pinnacle Records. Released in 2004. Website: www.Pinnaclerecords.com To The Brink, Anticipation, Pork Loin! Here’s That Rainy Day, So To Speak, Pit Stop, Our Love is Here To Stay, Mister Twister’s Fanfare, The Hooker! (Total Time -59:40 ) PERSONNEL:  Robert Conti, Guitar; Rocco Barbato, Saxophone; Billy Moran, Hammond B3; Aldo Bentivegna, Drums

By Bob Miles for Jazz Improv Magazine

Robert Conti has been a name notorious in the guitar world for years. Robert is known among guitarists as a very prolific composer, clinician, and educator. Robert’s credits include a series of instructional DVDs/videos and books much sought after by any serious guitarist. Robert has, blazing chops combined with musical taste.

To The Brink! Robert starts this original composition with an incredible fire. The composition is appropriately tiled with all the energy of taking great musical abilityto the brink. Robert shines with a diverse and interestingly array of technique. The head is played with guitar and sax. Robert starts off his solo in a blistering array of chops and doesn t let up until he releases it to Rocco Barbato who then takes the be-bop lines that Robert threw out and continues with a very soulful solo. Billy Moran follows with a wonderful and soulful organ burning solo as well. Of course, Aldo Bentivegna follows with incredible chops and an interesting drum solo that would make any drummer stand up and listen. Robert and Rocco trade off of each other for several choruses. It seems that neither is at a loss for ideas and each spurs the other on to take chances.

Anticipation, This Mark Stefani penned composition is a bossa nova that is tasteful and well executed by Conti and his band mates. Again, Rocco Barbato tastefully weaves a beautiful solo, but now on the soprano saxophone. The sound is one that is well suited for this Latin number. Robert plays a solo reminiscent of Pat Martino type feel. There are some very funky moments throughout ala George Benson as well. Robert blows through with a quite impressive array of double stops to push the solo forward. All said and done, very impressive. Pork Loin! This original Robert Conti selection is a blues that swings hard and funky. Robert chooses to incorporate a beautifully mastered use of impressive funky style techniques that reminded me of Howard Roberts on the Goodies album. Robert also effectively uses tri-tones double stops as he comps very nicely behind Rocco and Billy’s solos. I have to say that Robert s sensitivity and feel are evident as a true blues man. The feel is an extremely relaxed feel. Here s That Rainy Day, Robert takes this well know standard and does a beautiful rubato solo melody and chord up until the rhythm section joins him for this very pretty ballad. The harmonic choices are especially unique especially in the lower register of the guitar. Again, Robert sensitivity comes through in a very relaxed and calm way. So To Speak, This is another one of the brilliant Mark Stefan s compositions. This has a Henry Mancini type theme that has a haunting melody. Robert delves right in with all the confidence of a true master. The use of Robert s whole-tone lines is very effective and appropriate for this tune. Rocco again delivers a soulful solo with Billy s first class organ solo pumping up the fever for more inspired soulful type licks. A very serene and relaxed song.

Pit Stop, Robert shows his strong blues background on this original Conti composition. Many jazz guitarists approach the blues from strictly a jazz upbringing. The problem with this is that they miss that authentic blues development in their feel and soul. Not Robert, Robert obviously has spent quite a bit of time in this arena. The blue lines certainly are those of a seasoned blues player playing over the blues. The funk double stops are very tasteful as well.

Our Love is Here To Stay, Robert takes a slow rubato approach to the head with his strong use of harmony, bass lines and wicked technique to open up to this beautiful rendition of this Gershwin standard. Robert swings hard to a back-up of brushes and organ stops. Robert s technique is relentless. Robert s knowledge of chordal arranging and single line playing during this song and all of the CD shows that he is a master jazz guitarist.

Mister Twister’s Fanfare, Another of Robert s original compositions on this CD, Mister Twister’s Fanfare again shows Robert s talents as a composer with interesting melodies and nicely placed harmonies against an slamming back beat. Again, Robert pulls out all the stops. I believe that this is a showcase for Robert s soulfulness and amazing chops. Robert s command and I do mean command of the guitar is very impressive. The Hooker! Again Robert takes this original Conti composition to a very high level. Very wonderful listening.

Overall, Robert Conti s Cd, To The Brink does just that. Robert and his band mates take you on a fabulous and soulful ride to the brink. Robert is funky, dirty and a mean street player. This CD is well worth adding to anyone’s collection of great jazz guitarists. Robert Conti is just incredible!!

Play Pro Chord Melody Vol, 3,4,5

I reviewed the first two DVD’s in this series in the November issue. In these Three DVDs Bob teaches you arrangement of Danny Boy, Poor Butterfly and Indian Summer.  Once again his method is to teach you measure by measure, chord by chord so when you are finished with the DVD you have an understanding of how to play different versions of the arrangement. I viewed Indian Summer first. Check out his new Parker archtop on this one. He begins by playing the chord melody arrangement slowly with great closeups of his hand position. He always has something going in in …

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Vintage Guitar Magazine Interview

Anybody so into jazz guitar that they think they’ve seen it all may want to take a gander at the video clips on Robert Conti’s website.  Chances are they’ll end up joining the growing ranks of those who start wondering where he – or we – have been. It could be chalked up to the “flying under the radar” maxim, but get to know  Conti’s inconceivable chops, astounding technique, and downright revered teaching materials, and it seems more likely he’s simply been flying above it.  A Philly native, Conti grew up with  fellow jazzer Pat Martino, was gigging on the road by his early teens, has released a number of …

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The Jazz Quintet CD Review in Jazz Improv Mag.

Robert Conti
ROBERT CONTI, THE JAZZ QUINTET,FEATURING MIKE WOFFORD-
Pinnacle Records PR-C09902.

Rotation: The Agony Of Ectasy; Hollywood And Sunset;  In Memory Qf; The Street Life Of South Philadelphia; The World Today; String Fever. PERSONELL: Robert Conti, guitar and all original compositions; Mike WoiTord, piano; John B. Williams. bass; Hcnnan Riley, so prano, alto, tenor sax and Outc; Jim Plank. percussion; Uew Mathews. co-arranger.
By Ethan Gutzeit

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The Formula: 2003 Product Review in JJG

Review appeared in the May 2003 Issue of Just Jazz Guitar Magazine.  This was a review of the original book, 7 years prior to the addition of the two DVDs. Nowadays the guitar educational field is simply glutted with a plethora of method books and learning aids, ranging from excellent to mediocre, but every once in a while there comes along a contribution that is truly unique and ground-breaking in scope. Jazz guitarist Robert Conti’s “The Formula” falls directly into that category, and I recently had the pleasure of reviewing his recent publication for Just Jazz Guitar Magazine. “The Formula” …

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