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Exploring the Jazz Saxophone of Houston Person, on the days following his 80th birthday!!

Houston PersonHouston Person is a jazz artist whose name I have seen on the JazzWeek Chart, as recently as this week where his latest release as a leader TheMelody Lingers On is now at # 9, but I had yet to listen to any of his music until last week, when on his birthday, November 1oth I listened to two of the albums he recorded with legendary bassist Ron Carter, Something in Common  from 1989 and Now’s the Time released in 1990. Both albums were released on the Muse label and were recorded at the Van Gelder Studios with  Rudy Van Gelder serving as the engineer. I have listened mostly to Now’s the Time and for me it is simply an incredible album, just the two of them, a bass and a saxophone blending together, soaring alone! Ron Carter has played on many of the jazz albums I have listened to over the years, but I don’t think that I have heard the terrific Mr. Person before, as such I needed to go and find out about the man whose saxophone sounded so different from most of the saxs I have heard through the years……from Wikipedia..

Houston Person (born November 10, 1934) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and record producer. Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, he is most experienced in and best known for his work in soul jazz. Person is also known for his distinctive sassy sound and his expressive style of playing. He received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982….

There are more than 75 albums recorded by Houston Person as a bandleader, on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse Records, and he has most recently been recording on HighNote Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Bill Charlap, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Billy Butler, Richard “Groove” Holmes[2] and others. Read More

So Person has recorded over 75 albums as a leader and a ton more as a sideman, boy, I once again have a lot of catching up to do!! I did listen to one of those albums that Person recorded as a sideman, Johnny “Hammond” Smith‘s Good ‘Nuff. If you’ve read posts here before,you know I can’t pass up, a good Hammond B-3 album and Person’s sax makes this one a treat!!

Speaking of Hammond B3, another album that Houston played on was Introducing Atsuko Hashimoto a release from jazz organist Atsuko Hashomoto. The album’s other sideman was Jeff HamilIton on drums. Based on how much I really like this album and the latest release from Atsuko, that I also listened to, exploring the music of Houston Person is going to be a lot of fun! I still have to find and listen to, Person’s current album!

So check out Houston’s sax in whatever setting you like, it’s all  good stuff!! Oh, and a Happy Belated 80th Birthday to you Houston!!!


All About Jazz

Here’s “Bemsha Swing”from Now’s the Time…..