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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 Thinline Archtop – Equity Model


Mike Irish Conti Guitar Review

A Player’s Perspective

I just bought a new guitar.  I don’t do this very often, but when I do, I need it to have two main characteristics:  it must have a beautiful sound and  it must facilitate the expression of my music.  On both accounts, the Conti Archtop hits a home run. I had been wanting to move up to an archtop that has a solid spruce top and a wonderful sound.  But, for me, price was a consideration.

The instruments ranging in price from $3,000 to $10,000 are way out of my range.  So, I was intrigued when I saw Robert Conti playing and endorsing his new Conti Guitar.  I had experienced the sound of this archtop from Conti’s terrific instructional DVD’s and the YouTube videos from the recent 2010 NAMM Show, and I was duly impressed.  But, again, I figured that the street price on this guitar would be in the $3000 – $4000 range.  Man, I was really surprised to see the guitar on his website at the current introductory price of $1,949.00 plus shipping.

I seldom buy a guitar sight unseen, but due to Conti’s exemplary customer service record, I decided to give it a try.  It arrived via FedEx overnight, and I couldn’t wait to try it out.  I was so impressed that I could play the Conti Thinline Archtop right out of the box – it was set up perfectly.  So, I put the rest of my life on a two-hour hold, and commenced exploring my new guitar.  It exceeded all of my expectations.

The guitar has a beautiful “singing” sound, the action plays like butter, and I couldn’t believe how light and balanced the guitar was in my playing position.  I have never had easy access to 24 frets before and loved exploring that new range.  The appointments on the  guitar are beautiful: Spruce Top, Ebony Fingerboard, Rosewood Tailpiece, High Quality Grover tuners, Florentine cutaway, etc.  When plugged in, the single pickup with the ’57 Alnico specs delivers a bright (yet, warm) sound and is very even throughout the range of the guitar.

 

That night I did something unusual – I took this brand-new, out of the box guitar on a gig.  It was a quintet gig with trumpet, tenor, guitar bass and drums.  The Conti fit right in, played effortlessly and really allowed me to focus on the music.  I love it when the guitar just “disappears” from the equation, and it is just me and the music.  The Conti really facilitated the flow of ideas.

The next day, I recorded some solo guitar stuff in a studio. After laying down a few tracks, the engineer came out and just had to see the guitar  making such a beautiful sound.  Needless to say,  he was very impressed (as was I) with the recorded sound of the Conti Archtop.

I have found no weaknesses with the Conti.  Prior to my purchase, some of my “gear-head” buddies told me that the fixed bridge would alter the sound of the natural wood top.  I have not found that to be the case. The unplugged sound of the axe sings and sustains, as does the amplified sound.  The resonant sound quality of the solid spruce top Conti is far superior to other guitars I own with laminated tops.

I am extremely happy with my purchase, as it is certainly a great  value at the current introductory price of $1,949.00.  I strongly encourage other  archtop players to check out  the Conti Archtop at www.RobertConti.com .   Thanks again, to Robert Conti for making  this sweet guitar readily available to the public. Just like the motivational bang in each of his DVDs, the Conti Archtop is a six string stimulus package that really delivers!

Mike Irish
Director of Jazz Studies
Michigan Technological University
For Just Jazz Guitar Magazine

Comping Expo Review in JJG

Well Robert Conti has done it again. Having produced dozens of quality DVDs on the art of single note soloing and chord melody jazz guitar, he has set his instructional sights on that nemesis of so many guitarists:  comping.  It is easy to understand how soloing makes up the lion’s share of instructional material. All guitarists want those moments to shine on stage, and there is nothing for the ego quite like peeling off a terrific solo when called on. Very fulfilling, but the mundane fact is that if you are pursuing a career in jazz guitar you are most …

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Gitarist Magazine Review

Who? Jazz Guitarist Robert Conti holds the world record‐keep your gig: He played no less than ten years time every evening solo at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California. Today he attacked the guitar world from Las Vegas with reading material in the form of books and DVDs.   He also developed an eight‐string guitarand he now promotes a model jazz guitaar Robert Conti. Book? We received five part series of “Signature Chord Melody Arrangements” with operations standards for solo guitar as Body And Soul, Summertime and The Shadow Of Your Smile. The concept could not be simpler: a ring band with melody in standard …

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The Jazz Lines Featured Image

The Jazz Lines Review in Just Jazz Guitar Magazine

Improvisation is the holy grail of jazz players. It seems that everyone wants to learn howto do it, or to do it better. George Bernard Shaw said that “Those who can, do; those whocan’t, teach.” Fortunately, a few of those who can also do teach, and Robert Conti is oneof those few.  Readers of JJG have known Robert Conti for years. However, if you are only playing his wonderful chord melodies you are missing out on half the fun! Mr. Conti is a smokin’-hot single-line player whose machine-gun delivery seems to defy the laws of physics. Marking the tenth anniversary of …

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Intros, Endings and Turnarounds Review

Robert Conti is no stranger to readers of JJG. He has dozens of DVD learning products available, and I want to be sure that you do not miss Intros, Endings and Turnarounds. This valuable learning resource fills in a major gap for most players.  I will admit right off the bat that I am a Robert Conti fan, although probably not for the reasons you may think. Yes, I am impressed by the almost super-human number of notes that he can squeeze into a few minutes while remaining tasteful and true to the tune, but there is more to Mr. Conti than virtuosity. You see, …

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Ticket To Improv DVD Series Review

Volumes One & Two $24.95 Each For Entry Level Jazz Guitarists www.RobertConti.com 888 – JAZZ DVD In 2004 I had become aware of Robert Conti and his education products via an ad in JJG magazine.  I was originally intrigued by the rave reviews and also wondered how and why this guy had “flown under my radar” of awareness. So, I checked out the website, was very impressed with his playing (especially the chord melody things) and saw listed a series of “Source Code” books that were available. I was particularly interested in the “Precision Technique” book because it seemed to …

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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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