Roberts opened the set with a Jelly Roll Morton tune entitled "New Orleans Blues " which he played in double octaves up and down the piano. Rhythmically free and complex, Roberts played in a sophisticated manner as he displayed keyboard virtuosity by defying steady meter and pulse.
He continued to dazzle the audience throughout the evening with his musical genius as he performed tunes from Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Fats Waller.
It was intense to see Roberts perform without his trio, which includes Roland Guerin (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums). Sometimes we get so caught up into what each player is doing we cannot concentrate on the main attraction. On this set, Roberts was the cause and response and masterfully utilized ten fingers to push the music forward. He employed a diversity of techniques from complex comping to intriguing chord changes to dirging to create colorful orchestrations.
Complex and passionate, Robert's piano playing is the essence of cool. On "Mood Indigo," the post-bop pianist displayed a wide range of melody. However his interpretation of "After the Party Is Over," explored a variety of dimensions as he created various moods of celebration. He swung out lightly on classical licks before moving into a bluesy format. He ended up creating a dramatic church-like atmosphere that was spiritually immersed and rhythmically charged.