All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

3

Houston Person: Nice 'n' Easy

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
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 man, his supporting cast should not be overlooked, and Person has assembled a superior team for this largely even-tempered session, starting with the tasteful pianist John di Martino and including (on several tracks) vibraphonist Chuck Redd, the reliable bassist Ray Drummond and drummer par excellence Lewis Nash. Di Martino, Drummond and Nash have been Person's backup trio of choice for several years, and in tandem with Redd they see to it that the leader's every step is beyond question nice 'n' easy. It's good that Person is a charming balladeer, as half the songs on offer ("All My Tomorrows," "It's All in the Game," "If It's the Last Thing I Do," "Ill Wind," "Sweet Life") abide in that realm. Person unsheathes the luster in each of them, as he does the more hurried numbers ("Someday You'll Be Sorry," "Stolen Sweets," "Nice 'n' Easy," Let's Fall in Love," "Bluesology").

While nothing here is less than admirable, the standards by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler ("Ill Wind," "Let's Fall in Love") are especially engaging, mainly because they are simply marvelous compositions. On the other hand, it's hard to find fault with any of the others, in particular Sammy Cahn / Jimmy van Heusen's "All My Tomorrows," Alan and Marilyn Bergman's "Nice 'n' Easy" or Milt Jackson's "Bluesology" (like those Texas tenors alluded to earlier, Person has always been a bluesman at heart).

Those who have heard Houston Person before will know pretty much what to expect from Nice 'n' Easy; those who haven't are in for a pleasant ride. Even though Person never strays from conventional norms, neither does he undervalue the music or its import, lending every tune the full measure of his attentiveness and ardor.

Track Listing: Someday You’ll Be Sorry; All My Tomorrows; Stolen Sweets; It’s All in the Game; Nice ‘n Easy; If It’s the Last Thing I Do; Ill Wind; Let’s Fall in Love; Sweet Life; Bluesology.

Personnel: Houston Person: tenor saxophone; John di Martino: piano; Chuck Redd: vibraphone; Ray Drummond: bass; Lewis Nash: drums.

Title: Nice 'n' Easy | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
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
 

My Romance

HighNote
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Elvesang CD/LP/Track Review
Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Necessary Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen) CD/LP/Track Review
Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Influences CD/LP/Track Review
Influences
by Don Phipps
Published: February 17, 2018
Read async Remodels CD/LP/Track Review
async Remodels
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 17, 2018
Read Way Out West CD/LP/Track Review
Way Out West
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: February 16, 2018
Read "Hide Ye Idols" CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Falling Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Falling Forward
by James Nadal
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Heaven" CD/LP/Track Review Heaven
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 17, 2017