Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

483

Houston Person: Don't Misunderstand & Thinking of You

By

Sign in to view read count








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 because of his talent—which is abundant—but because of how darn good he and Etta Jones were together. Don't Misunderstand is a beautiful album that perfectly encapsulates the relationship that transformed two great, but distinct, talents into a duo with a place in jazz history.

Etta Jones and Houston Person began collaborating in 1968 until Jones passed away in 2001. Their partnership never seemed strained or divergent; it was organic and explosive and Don't Misunderstand, recorded in New York in the '80s, demonstrates the relationship perfectly. The richness and robustness of Jones' voice does not overpower the precision of Person's saxophone, but the converse also holds true; Jones' voice and Person's saxophone are complementary instruments, united to convey the yearning and subdued sensuality of the songs. On tracks like "Exactly Like You," however, they seem to compete, her voice earth-shattering and ethereal and his notes tender and passionate. It's a near perfect track, the highlight of the disc and a musical synopsis of their musical relationship. The arrangement in said relationship is obvious: Jones sang, Person played.

The liner notes for Thinking of You start off with the following statement: "Tenor player Houston Person sings." Surprised? Me too. It continues: "His voice, fat and juicy comes out of his tenor saxophone..." This was true in his collaboration with Jones and it remains true without her. On tracks like "Why Did I Choose You?" and "People," he exhibits a dexterity that most contemporary jazz musicians would envy, but listening to Thinking of You after listening to Don't Misunderstand leaves one with a nostalgic era, a golden one if you will, that was, isn't, yet somehow always will be.


Tracks and Personnel

Don't Misunderstand

Tracks: Blue Monk; Don't Misunderstand; Exactly Like You; Ain't Misbehavin'; I Saw Stars; I'm Glad There Is You; Bluesology; Are You Real?.

Personnel: Etta Jones: vocals; Houston Person: tenor saxophone; Sonny Phillips: organ; Frankie Jones: drums.

Thinking of You

Tracks: Rock Me to Sleep; People; Brazilian Emerald; Why Did I Choose You?; Black Coffee; Thinking of You; Medley: That Sunday That Summer/Funny; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Sing; Avant de Mourir (My Prayer); When October Goes.

Personnel: Houston Person: tenor saxophone; Eddie Allen: trumpet; John di Martino: piano; James Chirillo: guitar; Ray Drummond: bass; Willie Jones III: drums.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Remember Love

Remember Love

HighNote Records
2018

buy
Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine

HighNote Records
2017

buy
Nice 'n' Easy

Nice 'n' Easy

HighNote Records
2013

buy
 

So Nice

HighNote Records
2012

buy
Moment to Moment

Moment to Moment

HighNote Records
2011

buy
So Nice

So Nice

HighNote Records
2011

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Apr15Mon
Houston Person
Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Center For The Performing Arts
Norfolk, VA
$10-15

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume Multiple Reviews
Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume
By Geno Thackara
January 12, 2019
Read Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud Multiple Reviews
Meeting of the Minds and Sounds: The Clarinet and The Oud
By Doug Collette
January 12, 2019
Read Two major releases from Ferran Fages Multiple Reviews
Two major releases from Ferran Fages
By John Eyles
January 11, 2019
Read Music Matters: SRX Vinyl Multiple Reviews
Music Matters: SRX Vinyl
By Greg Simmons
January 10, 2019
Read Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes Multiple Reviews
Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes
By Geno Thackara
December 26, 2018
Read Drummers As Leaders Multiple Reviews
Drummers As Leaders
By Jerome Wilson
December 23, 2018