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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: Nice 'n' Easy

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Even though Houston Person isn't, strictly speaking, a “Texas tenor"--he hails from Florence, SC--the crafty veteran hits the mark in almost every other respect, from his clear and powerful sound to his unremitting propensity to brighten a melody and to swing under any and all conditions. On his latest album, Person, still marshaling all the right notes at age seventy-eight, is said to be taking it Nice 'n' Easy, but that's anyone's guess, as he makes what he does sound easy no matter how intense or heated the surroundings. While the spotlight shines brightest on the leading ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: So Nice

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Mom's meatloaf is wonderfully predictable. You always know what you're going to get, and after decades, you've come to rely on it. Why? Because there's something intimately reassuring about knowing that when you go back for more, it's the same as the last time. A recipe change would be simply unthinkable. It's comfort food. Oh, and by the way, it's delicious. Houston Person albums are like mom's meatloaf. There are never any surprises. The name on the cover announces a creamy tenor saxophone destined to play a mix of standards and ballads with the oddball pop cover thrown ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: Moment to Moment

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Tenor saxophonist Houston Person's Moment to Moment begins with an instant nostalgia trip to the classic Blue Note Sessions of the 1960s. It should not come as any surprise, then, that this album was recorded in the legendary Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, NJ by the man himself, Rudy Van Gelder--rarely a bad thing. The tenor and trumpet front line in the opener, “Bleeker Street," would be at home on an old Donald Byrd or Tina Brooks record, with perhaps a bit more brio than has been heard on recent Person sets, as trumpeter Terell Stafford lends ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: Mellow

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Houston Person's Mellow could easily have been called “Up Close and Personal." With dozens and dozens of recordings to his credit, it's just the latest in a long list of exemplary sets that always evidence the warmth of his tone and the directness of his tenor sax phrasing. Also mixed in as well is a funky R&B feeling. That is particularly noticeable on the bouncy “Sunny" that opens the set. Everyone gets into a sweet heat, most notably when James Chirillo pungently strums his guitar, John DiMartino jumping in with emphatic piano. Ultimately Person wraps it all up with blazing, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Houston Person: The Wizard of Jazz A Tribute to Harold Arlen, Well,Alright! Nancy Kelly Live, A Song For You

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Peter Hand Big BandThe Wizard of Jazz: A Tribute to Harold Arlen (feat. Houston Person)Savant2009 Nancy KellyWell, Alright!: Live! with Houston PersonSaying It With Jazz2009 Ernestine AndersonA Song For YouHighNote2008 As he continues on well into his 8th decade as the go-to tenor sax man, the always solid Houston Person remains a prolific and first-rate blues man. This latest trio of recordings attest to how effectively ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: The Art and Soul of Houston Person

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The Art and Soul of Houston Person is an irresistible combination of the celebrated tenor saxophonist and the Great American Songbook. The 30 songs on this generous three-CD set were culled by Person from ten of his HighNote CDs, with the addition of four new songs recorded in spring, 2008. The songs feature an array of talented sidemen, including pianist Bill Charlap, bassists Ron Carter and Ray Drummond and drummer Grady Tate. If that isn't compelling enough, all the tracks were mixed, edited and mastered by the eminent Rudy Van Gelder in his legendary Englewood Cliffs studio. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Houston Person: Don't Misunderstand & Thinking of You

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Etta Jones/Houston Person Don't Misunderstand HighNote 2007 Houston Person Thinking of You HighNote 2007

Collaborations are ubiquitous in jazz. Legendary ones are rarer, but still existent. When one of the two talents involved passes away and is survived by the other, many listeners refuse to let go of the memory and hold every succeeding project to the standards set by the collaboration. Saxophonist Houston Person escapes this predicament, but barely, not ...



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