Houston Person

Houston Person

Tenor Saxophone
November 10, 1934 --

Houston Person

"Houston Person plays beautifully, in a warm, honest, uncomplicated style."

--Bill Buchanan

Houston Person is thenatural heir to the Boss Tenor crown worn so long and so well by Gene Ammons. In the more than twenty-five years that he has been a working bandleader, Person has taken his show to most points on the globe. A travelling jazzman in an era that has found that particular species a veritable rara avis, Person does it all himself. He books his own tours, hunts up the new clubs, has the phone number of every major concert promoter on each continent and produces his own albums, Truly the vertically integrated jazzman.

If, given all this, he played mediocre tenor it would be easy to forgive him. But he doesn't--he plays damn good tenor and it keeps getting better. One of the last proponents of the big sound, his tone has gotten bigger even as his delivery has mellowed and rounded out. And, of course, with Person you are likely to hear almost anything in terms of repertoire. He has recorded disco and gospel, pop and r&b in addition to his natural jazz but beyond that he has an enormous and ever changing book. Nothing pedestrian or everyday for Person!

In getting down with a Hammond organist, Person is returning to his own roots. His first big break came while a sideman with organist Johnny Hammond and his own group, co-led with Etta Jones, featured organ right into the mid-80's. One of the reasons for switching to a piano trio was the difficulity finding good organists. The instrument had begun falling into disfavor in the early 70's and many of us thought that perhaps it would be the end of the genre. Yet there has been a resurgence of interest in the instrument.

In Person's long and rewarding partnership with Etta Jones the only thing missing is the ability to hear a little bit more of either performer on a night when everything is really clicking. Person will open their live performances an, after a bit, Etta will come out of the audience to take the bandstand. As you read this they are probably performing somewhere in the world. The rhythm section of Stan Hope, Peter Martin Weiss and Cecil Brooks III has served them well and continues to impress as a first class team. But here Person looks back, one time, to the way things were. It sure sounds good!

--BOB PORTER, from the liner notes
The Party, Muse.

A selected discography of Houston Person albums.

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