Katy Roberts Jazz
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Katy Roberts Jazz

Paris, Île-de-France, France | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Paris, Île-de-France, France | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Jazz World


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"Katy Roberts The Vibe"

Nov., 2003
Katy Roberts The Vibe
Paris based pianist Katy Roberts has done a canny job assembling a crack ensemble for this self-produced release. From her Boston days, Roberts recruited tenor player Salim Washingtonand percussionist Sa Davis. Ringers Frank Lacy and Rasul Siddik, (veterans of David Murray, Henry Threadgill and Lester Bowie, to name a few), provide a killer brass section. Radu Olahu Ben Judah and Ronnie Burrage nail down the rhythm section. Roberts originals are rounded out with pieces by the band members and intriguing choices by Woody Shaw, Kenny Kirkland and Howard Johnson. The infectious arrangements make the most of the free-bop compositions. There are shades of David Murray's ensembles here...Roberts' clean, angular phrasing full of stabbing chords, Ben Judah's bounding basslines...the energetic grooves with tight voicings that open into stirring solos...This recording shows enormous growth.
Michael Rosenstein - Cadence Magazine

"Katy Roberts-The Vibe"

April, 2003
Translated from French:
Katy Roberts is part of a group of extremely creative Parisien musicians including Rasul Siddik,
...She used to teach at the Berklee College of Music in Boston (she now teaches at the Bill Evans Piano Academy in Paris.) ...Katy became involved with African Music (we hear here here on the balafon), and this splendid album reflects that background well. The conviction of this music is evident. She dives into moods coming from the 70's and makes you think of Pharoah Sanders, Leon Thomas, Woody Shaw, and more globally, music that prolongs the legacy of Coltrane in his spiritual dimensions and in his lively lyricism.
As for Roberts, she makes you think of McCoy Tyner and all the modern pianists that mix swing and a harmonic-rhythmic approach.
The juxtaposition of the trombone and the percussion creates a style of contemporary 'jungle' with a touch of Jazz Messengers. ...
It suffices to add some strong personalities like Ku-umba Frank Lacy or Rasul Siddik to guarantee the most poetic and contemporary jazz. This is an album to listen to over and over again. It is superb and unexpected in the forest of mediocricy that exists these days and that masks many sincere artists.
Jean Szlamowicz - Jazz Hot, Paris France

"Stellar Music in tune at film festival"

July 23, 2004
...On July 16, Katy Roberts and her Quintet, the featured perfomers at Maine International Film Festival this year, took the stage at the Waterville Opera House and wowed jazz and film buffs alike.
Roberts is a Paris- based pianist whose influences range from hard-bop flavors of the 50's and 60's to the free and avant-garde. Backed by Salim Washington on tenor sax and Rasul Siddik on trumpet, Radu Olahu Ben Judah on bass and Joe Link on drums, Roberts delivered a fiery performance to an audience of 150. Particularly pleasing was the wide variety of tunes chosen. Whether they were burning on Woody Shaw's "Zoltan" or sublimely navigating through Roberts' gorgeous "Oliver Missed the Spring",
the band played with constant energy and emotion. As the night wore on, the music only got better, with the ensemble feeding off the palpable energy of the crowd.... the star of the night was Roberts, her playing was drenched with blusey soul, but her sound was light and graceful, making everyone of her solos a joy to listen to. Her accompaniment work was also stellar, providing color and direction to each one of her fine soloists. Finally, her compositions reveled a musician with a deep understandin of both the cerebral and emotional aspects of Jazz...artists of the highest calibre delivering
music that was at once high in energy and deep in soul.
John Philipps Sandy - Capitol Weekly, Maine July 23, 2004

"CD's of the month"

translated from French:
Independantly produced and recorded in two separate countries by a great septet, the pianist-composer Katy Roberts imposes her joyous vision of a music that is very real. Jazz like we love it, swinging elegantly, moving the soul. With Horace T. by Salim Washington (between Jitterbug Waltz, MyFavorite Things, don Cherry and Horace Tapscott,) we go back to the sacred references of the Great Black Music. The electrifying Zoltan, a composition of the trumpeter Woody Shaw, starts in a fanfare of collective euphoria, then exalts a true con- centrated jazz.
Africa comes back with the Balafon blues where Katy Roberts shows us that she also dominates this pentatonic instrument. The tribute to the drummer Oliver Johnson is the only title veiled with melancholy.Roberts knows how to wake up multiple reminiscences and send to the jazz amateur the reflection of her personal myths.
Sophie Chambon, April 2003
- Jazz Magazine April, 2003

"Katy Roberts Live à L'Archipel"

translated from French:
The readers of Jazz Hot must know Katy Roberts, regularly at the Relais de l'Isle, teacher at the Bill Evans Piano Academy, disciple of John Hicks, Horace Tapscott, Larry Willis, Ronnie Mathews and Mulgrew Miller. We have reveiwed her last CD with extasy (The Vibe, Jazz Hot #566.)
...the hommage to Woody Shaw was welcome, if you add such good choices as pieces by Joe Henderson, Strayhorn, and two originals, what a program! especially since it is a live recording ...with a form of tension coming from the universe of Coltrane, Roberts never neglects the melody, especially in her dedications to her friends, ("Carol's Caprice", Oliver Missed the Spring.") ...Sophistication, aggresiveness, freedom and cohesion, the music of Katy Roberts is a jazz classical, contemporary, faithful and personal, all at the same time...we advise you not to miss this, for it would be good to take advantage of the fact that these artists still live here and bring to us such a lively creativiety.
Jean Szlamowicz - Jazz Hot, June, 2004, Paris

"Katy Roberts Quintet Live at Twins and More"

Jazz Hot, Paris, APRIL, 2007
(translated from French)

Katy Roberts Quintet
Live at Twins and More7th avenue,° Blossom, Punjab°, Aisha, Love Dance,°# Photonality, Self Portrait in 3 Colors, Jean Marie, 26-2
Katy Roberts, (p), Rasul Siddik, (tp, flh,) Salim Washington,(ts, fl,) Radu Olahu Ben Judah (b), Joe Link (dm), Wayne Dockery (b)°, John Betsch (dm)°, Sa Davis (cgas)# Dominique Lemerle (b) & Brian Willson (d) sur 26-2
Recorded between 2003 et 2005, Washington et Paris
Length 1h 12’ 16”

Katy Roberts’ music is immersed in the jazz scene of the first half of the 1960’s, thus in an excellent choice of repertory, (Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus ) always swinging but at the same time burning off to the edge. Good intentions are not enough though, one must have the means to realize them and this she achieves perfectly with two excellent quintets in which only the drummers and bass players change. The five musicians succeed perfectly in attracting and holding the listener’s attention by one of the surest means: energy. The quintets develop a beautiful force which is sustained throughout the entire live recording and the communication between the musicians is intense. Katy Roberts’ role as leader must be appreciated, her musical support of the soloists is totally attentive and creative. And like all energy, this music warms us and for that Rasul Siddik’s trumpet and Salim Washington’s saxophone are excellent conductors. Add to this “Aisha” and “Self Portrait in 3 Colors, 2 beautiful slow tempos that permit us to see another side of the pianist, and you will find an hour and fifteen minutes of captivating jazz.
Frank Steiger
- Jazz Hot



Roberts, p., Rasul Siddik, tpt., flgh.., Salim Washington, ts, flt., Radu Olahu Ben Judah, ac. b. Joe Link, d., Wayne Dockery, ac. b., John Betsch, d., Sa Davis, congas, Dominique Lemerle, bs., Brian Willson, d. 2003-2005,
Paris, France, 2004, Washington, DC.

This is a new disc from hard driving pianist Katy Roberts. Recorded over a period of three years and sporting three different rhythm sections, the recording is a mix of mostly classic Hard-Bop-and-beyond compositions by McCoy, Mingus, Trane, et al. The pieces are well chosen and showcase the talents and abilities of all concerned.
“Seventh Avenue”, a Hard Bopper up-tempo excursion, begins with the solid tenor of Salim Washington. He has a hard edge that seems a little Hendersonesque, a little Dexterish in tone; Rasul Siddik’s trumpet follows with his take on a Hard Bop sound, with perhaps a little Woody Shaw in there. There is a nice McCoy bluesyness to all. Katy takes a solo in that vein, sounding good, bluesy, hard-hitting. The cut ends with a short but effective Betsch solo on top of the song’s horn motif. Salim’s Jazz waltz “Blossom” gets a lyrical performance with flute and muted horn. It has a little of that classic Dolphy at the Five Spot sound. Salim’s flute has an attractively bright tone; Katy’s solo comes off as loose and spirited, with the left hand squarely in the Tyner mode. Joe Bonner’s “Love Dance” in six with an African post Trane straight eight feel, features a lively John Betsch and an inventive trumpet solo by Rasul. the latter seems especially sure of his upper range on this one and makes most phrases jump out at you with some drive. Roberts’ own “Photonality” has spirit, fire and notable tenor and trumpet solos. Ms. Roberts should write more; this is an attractive tune that reminds one of the vehicles Lee Morgan worked in the classic late group with Bennie Maupin. Katy’s solo on Mingus’ “Self Portrait in Three Colors” is one of her strongest, showing a ballad style that is a little different than her more uptempo strategies. She seems to be striving toward virtual horn-like lines in her right hand and the results are inventive. The mid-tempo Elvin-like groove “Jean Marie” shows Roberts’fleet right hand and some definitely smoking lines. Roberts’ CD as a whole has that certain buoyancy and lift that a good live recording should have. If you are a fan of advanced Hard Bop that burns off to the edge of the mainstream with a good selection of blowing vehicles, you will like this one. I look forward to her next CD.
Grego Applegate Edwards


"Katy Roberts, Live at Twins and more"

Jazz Hot, Paris, April 2007

Katy Roberts Quintet
Live at Twins and More7th avenue,° Blossom, Punjab°, Aisha, Love Dance,°# Photonality, Self Portrait in 3 Colors, Jean Marie, 26-2
Katy Roberts, (p), Rasul Siddik, (tp, flh,) Salim Washington,(ts, fl,) Radu Olahu Ben Judah (b), Joe Link (dm), Wayne Dockery (b)°, John Betsch (dm)°, Sa Davis (cgas)# Dominique Lemerle (b) & Brian Willson (d) sur 26-2
Enregistré entre 2003 et 2005, Washington et Paris
Durée 1h 12’ 16”

La musique de Katy Roberts se plonge dans la scène du jazz new-yorkais de la première moitié des années soixante, tant dans l’excellent choix du répertoire, (Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus) que dans l’esprit ouvert à la fois au swing et à la rupture. Mais les bonnes intentions ne suffisent pas , il faut encore se donner les moyens de les réaliser, ce qu’elle parviens parfaitement avec deux excellents quintets dont seul les batteurs et contrebassistes changent. Les cinq musiciens parviennent parfaitement à alpaguer l’auditeur par l’un des moyens les plus sûrs, pour qu’il ne tente pas de s’ éloigner: l’énergie. Les quintets en développent en effet une belle tout au long de ces morceaux enregistré en concert qui se communique d’ailleurs tout autant à chacun des membres du groupe. A ce titre, on peut apprécier le rôle de leader de Katy Roberts qui sait où elle veux emmener sa musique par son soutien attentif et créatif au solistes. Et comme toute bonne énergie, celle-ci dégage de la chaleur toute aussi nécessaire à cette musique et pour cela la trompette de Rasul Siddik et le saxophone de Salim Washington sont d’excellents conducteurs. Ajouter à ceci « Aisha » et « Self Portrait in 3 Colors » deux bons tempos lents qui permettent d’apprécier une autre facette de la pianiste et vous obtenez une heure et quart de jazz captivant.
Frank Steiger
- Jazz Hot, April, 2007

"Katy Roberts Quintet Live at Twins"

Volume 7 Number 3 Summer 2007


LIVE AT TWINS AND MORE –www.katyroberts.com – recorded live at Twins Jazz, Washington DC in 2004 and Bop City studio, Paris, 2004-5. 7th Avenue, Blossom, Punjab, Aisha, Love Dance, Photonality, Self Portrait in 3 colors, Jean Marie, 26-2
PERSONNEL: Katy Roberts, piano, Rasul Siddik, trumpet and flugelhorn, Salim Washington, tenor saxophone and flute, Radu Olahu ben Judah, bass, Joe Link, drums, Wayne Dockery, bass, (1,3,5), John Betsch, drums, (1,3,5),
Sa Davis, Congas, (5), Dominique Lemerle, bass,(9), and Brian Willson, drums,(9).

By Ariel D. Teitel

Katy Roberts trained in Boston, Mass; at Berklee College of Music in the late 1970’s and in 1985btaoined a Masters of Music degree from New England Conservatory. In the ‘80’s she performed solo and led her own groups, often including Alan Dawson, Gene Jackson, Billy Hart, Antonio Hart, Kurtis Rivers and Salim Washington. From 1988-1990 she was a professor at Berklee College of Music. since then she has performed in concerts and clubs in and around Paris, in other parts of France and Europe, in Africa and the USA with her own trio, quartet and more recently her quintet and septet. from 1993-2000 she was the pianist for the Ku-Umba Frank Lacy Quartet. Recently Katy has recorded and independently produced two CD’s :
Katy Roberts Septet the Vibe (2003) and Katy Roberts Quintet Live (2004)

“7th Avenue” by Victor Lewis, starts out with a dissonant fanfare for horns, the piano comping in the background.Its a swinging tune, notable for tight, piercing solos by Washington and Siddik. Roberts eventually comes in powerfully, dancing along the melody across a wide register. The car horn like ostinato closes out this vibrant tune. Salim Washington’s “Blossom” slows things a little but still swings. The composer’s flute drives this song, skittering over the trumpet or piano at times. Roberts crafts some beautiful rhythmic interpolationsuntil the flute and trumpet close out this shimmering track. Joe Henderson’s Punjab gets great statements from Siddik’s trumpet and Washington’s sax. The song is punch, tautly driven by Betsch on drums. Roberts is on fire here, creating cradles of sound with her forceful syncopation. “Aisha”, by McCoy Tyner, displays some beautiful flute work by Washington. It’s taken slowly, with nice cymbal nuances-all the performers luxuriate in this chestnut. Joe Bonner’s “Love Dance” is up-tempo and swinging, with especially fine horn and sax solos. Roberts varies her
approach: block chords, rhythmic patterns and melodic inversions in her lucid solos. Her be-bop’ish “Photonality” also features strong horn and reed takes. The pulse slows a bit for Mingus’s “Self Portrait in 3 Colors”. Hauntingly beautiful flute brush strokes by Salim Washington add a luster to this track. Roberts enters with a repetitive rhythmic figure and throws some moon dust around. Ben Judah provides a nice foundation with his bass, usually understated. This impressionistic song is my favorite-how about you? “Jean Marie¨” is a bluesy, swinging tune, again featuring incisive horn and reed dissonances. The Coltrane bonus track, 26-2 is the final offering. A hard- swinging tune featuring more outstanding ensemble work with great solos. This is a great album, full of powerful, inspired musicianship. Check it out!
- Jazz Improv Magazine

"Katy Roberts Quintet Live at Twins and More"

The Washington Post
Sept.1, 2006

“Live at Twins and More”

KATY ROBERTS, the Paris-based jazz pianist, doesn’t take long to display her considerable gifts and charm on this spirited transatlantic session, recorded in Washington at Twins Jazz on U St. NW and in Paris at Bop City.
On the opening track, Victor Lewis’s “7th Ave.”, Roberts colorfully punctuates the hard-bop tension with flowing chromaticism and blues tints. When the tempo and meter shift on the next tune, Salim Washington’s “Blossom”, Roberts shores up the flute-limed melody with brightly cascading lines and a swinging pulse. Sometimes forceful, sometimes fanciful, always a plus, Roberts’s improvisations rank among the album’s most rewarding pleasures, right alongside reedman Washington’s contributions on tenor saxophone and flute and Rasul Siddik’s turns on trumpet and flugelhorn.
Unlike a lot of live jazz recordings, this one never devolves into a mere blowing session. Despite the occasional changes in the rhythm section lineup, the quintet sounds consistently tight and interactive as it moves through tunes composed by Joe Henderson (“Punjab”, featuring, as it turns out, a jabbing tenor-trumpet frontline), McCoy Tyner (“Aisha”, softly arranged for flute and muted trumpet) and Charles Mingus (“Self Portrait in 3 Colors”, a particularly soulful showcase for Washington’s flute.) the list of tunesmiths represented also includes Ronnie Matthews, Joe Bonner and Roberts herself. “Photonality”, her sole offering, makes for an exhilarating interlude that underscores John Coltrane’s influence on Washington. And speaking of Coltrane, the CD concludes with a bonus track composed by the jazz titan-“26-2”, on which Siddik and Washington shine.
-Mike Joyce

Appearing Friday and Saturday at Twins Jazz

- The Washington Post


Katy Roberts Quartet Steppin' Up (to be released)
Rasul Siddik the Now! Artet (2009)
Katy Roberts Quintet Live at Twins and More (2006)
Katy Roberts Quintet live a l'Archipel (2004)
Katy Roberts Septet the Vibe (2003)
Katy Roberts Trios-Dymusic (1998)
Rasul Siddik-Music for the film Art Brut (2000)
Ku-Umba Frank Lacy Quartet-Live at Moods (1995)
Mra Oma and Brotherhood (1996)




Katy Roberts www.katyroberts.com

Katy Roberts, jazz pianist, composer and arranger, decided to study jazz piano after living and studying African music and dance in Accra, Ghana. She was trained musically in Boston (she obtained her Bachelor of Music at Berklee College of Music in 1979 and her Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in 1985). Katy was already playing solo piano regularly, leading bands, playing as a sideperson and teaching piano and Ensemble at the Berklee College of Music in Boston when she moved to Paris, France in 1990. She continued playing as a sideperson, notably she was the pianist with the Ku-Umba Frank Lacy Quartet from 1992 to 2000 and frequently toured Europe with that group. She also performed regularly with Mra Oma and Brotherhood, and recorded and toured Greece with that band. In 1998 she released her first CD as a leader, "Katy Roberts Trios". She also has performed with such greats as Oliver Johnson, George Brown, John Betsch, Salim Washington, Rasul Siddik, Sonny Simmons and Ricky Ford. Recently she has also performed frequently as a duo and in groups with Ernest. K. Dawkins, the great saxophonist from Chicago's AACM. She performs regularly in Europe with the "Spirit of Life Ensemble" from New York. She has also worked frequently with the great trumpeter Ted Curson's group in Paris.

For the past few years she has joined the legendary saxophonist Hal Singer's Quintet, performing in concert halls and clubs throughout France. Besides that, she has always continued to compose for and perform with her own quintet, quartet and duo.

In 2001, Katy decided to start self- producing her own quintet and septet. She has since independently released three CD's, two quintets and one septet, that have had high critical acclaim. She has taken her band along the east coast of the US, and performed regularly in Paris and other parts of France. Performances include the Maine International Film Festival, the Madagascar Jazz Festival, the Zanzibar International Film Festival (with the group Apex), the XV International Open Air Festival Jazz at the Old Town Square, Poland in 2009.

In 2006 Katy released her CD "Live at Twins and More" and performed on the east coast of the US with her Quintet in August and September, 2006, 2007 and 2008. She is now performing regularly in Paris and other parts of France with her group , and has recorded a new CD of all new original material which hasn't been released yet, although several of her songs have been chosen by licensing companies across the states for placement in film and TV. Katy also plays balafon on that latest recording, an instrument she learned to play while living in Ghana. Katy also co-produced Rasul Siddik's CD, his first as a leader, (the "Rasul Siddik Now! Artet") in 2008 and 2009. It has been released on Philology Records, Italy.

Katy is also a professor at the Conservatory of Val d'Yerres, (France) where she teaches jazz piano, arranging andconducts and arranges for jazz ensembles.

Band Members