Houston Person

A Little Houston on the Side

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This budget disc from the 32 Jazz label is aptly titled A Little Houston on the Side. It highlights the jazz-soul of tenor saxophonist Houston Person: a leader, sideman, and producer. The material on this compilation comes from Person's stint with the now-defunct Muse label, and was recorded in the '70s, '80s, and early '90s. A Little Houston on the Side emphasizes the stripped-down raucous blues of Hammond B-3 heroes Joey DeFrancesco, Sonny Phillips, and Groove Holmes, although a highlight has to be Jack McDuff's "Walking the Dog," featuring the battling tenors of Person and Ron Bridgewater. The tenor-organ combo bases are beautifully covered here. Also represented are the soulful vocals of Etta Jones, pianist Charles Brown, and a duet with bassist Ron Carter. Person's haunting, breathy tone is used to great effect on the ballads "My Romance" and "I Remember Clifford," but this reissue also reminds us he can blow in a hard bop tenor style influenced by greats like John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon. Person's versions of "Equinox" and "Broadway" are classic examples of the hard bop influence on his playing. Recommended.

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