Houston Person is a melodic assassin with arguably his finest release The Melody Lingers On!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication. Houston Person may be the most versatile saxophonist working today as he draws from traditional blues, Broadway love songs and of course straight ahead swing. The Melody Lingers on is a celebration of not only Person's roots but his artistic if not zen like ability to take a simple unadorned melody and make it shine!
As usual the musical cast of co-conspirators are an A list collective of players that have an innate lyrical synergy of swing. Houston Person and his band just don't play the notes they make the music. Steve Nelson on vibes, Lafayette Harris on piano, Ray Drummond on bass and Lewis Nash on bass are an all star collective by definition alone. These are meticulously nuanced tunes with "My Funny Valentine" a smoke filled room ballad banged out with a lyrical sense of purpose few can match. The blues infused ballad "Try A Little Tenderness" comes from that sweet spot well past the heart with a soulful and soul filled spirit that is the Person calling card. Going to church has Person testifying with "You Can't Lose With The Blues."
You certainly can not lose with The Melody Lingers On, an impressive collection including some Bossa and cha-cha rhythms thrown in for some bold flavor. Virtually flawless.
Tracks: My Funny Valentine; Gone Again; You're Nearer; Minton's; Bewitched; Only Trust Your Heart; They All Laughed; Try A Little Tenderness; The Song Is Ended; You Can't Lose With The Blues.
Personnel: Houston Person: Tenor Saxophone; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone; Lafayette Harris: Piano; Ray Drummond: Bass; Lewish Nash: Drums.