Stuff I Heard, Troy Roberts

There was never any question for saxophonist Troy Roberts that his imagination would only be matched by his energy and ambition to put forth meaningful music with its highest purpose of creativity.

At the tender age of 15, he was accepted with exceptional entrance to the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. At age 19, Roberts had already graduated with a Bachelor of Music and quickly went on to earn his master’s degree at The University of Miami. A semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, his awards include 3 DownBeat SM Jazz Soloist Awards, 2 GRAMMY Nominations, and contributions to almost 50 recordings as a sideman. Roberts is a Vandoren endorsed artist who has performed and or recorded with jazz luminaries such as Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff’ Tain’ Watts, James Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Christian McBride, Sammy Figueroa, Orrin Evans, and Kurt Elling. Based in New York City, Roberts tours regularly with Joey DeFrancesco, Kurt Elling, and his ensembles NU-JIVE and the Troy Roberts Quartet.

Stuff I Heard, Troy Roberts

With the release of Stuff I Heard (Toy Robot Music) – his 12th album as a leader – Roberts circles back to his beginnings with elements of both, the Troy Roberts Quartet and NU-JIVE, as well as film score-esque pieces compositionally reminiscent of his 2009 release, The XenDen Suite. But make no mistake, the result is conceptually unlike anything he has ever recorded. The album features all original compositions with an element not yet showcased on Roberts’ previous albums; the collection in nature is an ensemble album, only this time recorded with Roberts helming multiple soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, as well as acoustic and electric basses, along with longtime live performance compadre Jimmy MacBride on drums. The album is born from Roberts’ continuous creative momentum; he explains, “My first compositional rule of thumb is to capture my ideas by singing them into my phone. Every so often, I transcribe and save them to a folder on my hard drive called ‘Stuff I Heard’ for later development. All my albums are essentially the fruits of these seeds.”

TROY ROBERTS – soprano, alto & tenor saxophones,
acoustic bass, electric bass


Episode #218

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