Houston Person is the embodiment of everything good about the improvisational music we call jazz!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
There has and continues to be great debate about the umbrella term we know as jazz. What is jazz? Houston Person is jazz. Houston Person runs in the slow and steady wins the race pack that understands the roots of the music without the need to attempt to make a pretentious self indulgent point about it. Person is perhaps the most versatile tenor man working today. With his own personal roots from the more organ centered R&B and blues based vibes, Houston Person celebrates his musical sweet spot with Nice'n' Easy!
Joining Person for this exquisitely balanced release we have the highly underrated John di Martino on piano and an all star rhythm section featuring Chuck Redd on vibraphone as well as Ray Drummon on bass and Lewis Nash on drums. Two particular noteworthy tunes are the imaginative reharm of the Louis Armstrong composition "Someday You'll Be Sorry" and the ballad "If It's The Last Thing I Do." This touching ballad is elevated to the next level as Person's meticulous attention to detail has sound as a lyrical voice that brings the lyrics to life through this intimate instrumental presentation or as most of us were taught, sing through your horn! No one does this better or with more feeling than Houston Person.
Houston Person may be the perfect example of why I shy away from the overtly technical review. If you know Person's sound then you dig his wheelhouse. Houston Person never tries to invent the melodic wheel, instead he embraces it. Houston Person is real deal, down home, soulful and soul filled jazz that only gets better with time. There is never a need to hang out in odd meter just to make a point. Person certainly does not follow the speed is king mentality and why should he when he can simply take it nice 'n' easy!
Personnel: Houston Person: Tenor Saxophone; John di Martino: Piano; Chuck Redd: Vibraphone; Ray Drummond: Bass; Lewis Nash: Drums.