During the Fifties, the bass trombone did come to spectacular attention in the gifted hands of George Roberts, one of Los Angeles’ most sought-after sidemen and busiest studio men, whose arresting style was introduced to audiences on the two Columbia Records albums he made as a leader in 1959 and 1960.
Meet Mr. Roberts, the first of the two, focused on the wonderful open sound of his trombone, romping through a set of standards with an unusual line-up featuring—in addition to Roberts—three trombones, two French horns, vibes, bass, drums and a harp, with Frank DeVol taking care of the direction and arrangements.
For Bottoms Up, the second, he used a sextet, and added a special mute to his bass trombone to produce a rich, warm and happy sound that was unusually appealing. John T. Williams was the arranger and pianist of the group, which also includes two guitars, piano, bass and drums. Making use of his generous wit and a dash of sentiment, Roberts kept the tone light and bouncy for both albums, which reflect his sinuous style and keen sense of humor in an irresistible combination.
[1-12] George Roberts with Orchestra
George Roberts (b-tb), Joe Howard, Lloyd Ulyate, Tommy Pederson (tb),
Vince De Rosa, Dick Perissi, (frh), Frank Flynn (vib), Joe Mondragon (b),
Irv Cottler (d), Ann Stockton (harp). Arranged & Conducted by Frank DeVol.
Recorded at Radio Recorders Studio, Hollywood, on May 22 & 29, 1959.
[13-24] George Roberts' Sextet
George Roberts (b-tb), John T. Williams (p, arr), Tony Rizzi, Al Hendrickson (g),
Joe Mondragon (b), Shelly Manne (d).
Recorded at Radio Recorders Studio, Hollywood, on May 2 & 5, 1960.
[1-12] originally issued on the album
George Roberts & His Big Bass Trombone- Meet Mr. Roberts" (Columbia CS 8179)
[13-24] originally issued on the album George Roberts' Sextet - Bottoms Up" (Columbia CS 8320)
01. In the Hall of the Mountain King
02. Nobody’s Heart Belongs to Me
03. You’re the Top
04. (Theme from) Picnic
05. Three Stoned Mice
06. It’s De-Lovely
07. Next Time, Take the Train
08. Georgia on My Mind
09. Back in Your Own Backyard
10. My Romance
11. Feelin’ Low
12. Don’t Worry 'Bout Me
13. Everything’s Coming Up Roses
14. I’m Nobody’s Baby
15. Does Your Heart Beat for Me
16. I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love with Me
18. Do You Ever Think of Me
19. Thank Heaven for Little Girls
20. Bye Bye Blackbird
21. I Could Have Danced All Night
22. It’s Only a Paper Moon
23. Just In Time
24. Susie Q
Total time: 64:00 min.