Houston Person

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Houston Person
Person performing at the Cellar in 2006
Person performing at the Cellar in 2006
Background information
Born (1934-11-10) November 10, 1934 (age 89)
Florence, South Carolina, U.S.
GenresJazz, soul jazz, swing
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, bandleader, producer
LabelsPrestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, HighNote, Telarc

Houston Person (born November 10, 1934) is an American jazz tenor saxophonist and record producer. Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, he is most experienced in and best known for his work in soul jazz. He received the "Eubie Blake Jazz Award" in 1982.


Person in New York, 1984

Person grew up in Florence, South Carolina, and first played piano, before switching to tenor saxophone.[1] He studied at South Carolina State College, where he was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 1999.

In the United States Air Force, he joined a service band stationed in West Germany, and played with Don Ellis, Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton, and Leo Wright. Person later continued his studies at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.

He first became known for a series of albums for Prestige in the 1960s. Contrary to popular belief, he was never married to the vocalist Etta Jones, but did spend many years as her musical partner, recording, performing and touring, and for much of his career this association was what he was best known for. They first met playing in organist Johnny Hammond's band.[2]

There are more than 75 albums recorded by Person as a bandleader, on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse, and he has most recently been recording on HighNote. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Ron Carter, Bill Charlap, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Janis Siegel, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Cedar Walton, plus Billy Butler, Don Patterson, Grant Green, Sonny Phillips, Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Richard "Groove" Holmes[3] and others.

Person has been a resident of Newark, New Jersey.[4]

Person performing with his combo at the Red Bank Jazz & Blues Festival in 2009.
Person in Paris, France, in 1980


Person received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982, and in 2011 the Jazz Legend Award, presented in San Diego.[5]


As leader[edit]

As Sideman[edit]

With The 3B's

  • Soothin' 'N Groovin' with The 3B's (3B's Music, 1994)

With Gene Ammons

With Charles Brown

  • Blues and Other Love Songs (Muse, 1992)

With Paul (PB) Brown

  • Paul Brown Quartet Meets The Three Tenors (Brownstone, 1998)

With Billy Butler

With Ron Carter

  • Orfeu (Somethin' Else/Blue Note, 1999)

With Joey DeFrancesco

  • All About My Girl (Muse, 1994)
  • Plays Sinatra His Way (High Note, 1998 [rel. 2004])

With Charles Earland

With Grant Green

With Tiny Grimes

With Peter Hand Big Band

  • The Wizard of Jazz: A Tribute to Harold Arlen (Savant, 2005 [rel. 2009])
  • Out of Hand (Savant, 2013)

With Richard "Groove" Holmes

  • Good Vibrations (Muse, 1977 [rel. 1980])
  • Broadway (Muse, 1980)
  • Blues All Day Long (Muse, 1988)
  • Hot Tat (Muse, 1989 [rel. 1991])

With Randy Johnston

With Etta Jones

With Charles Kynard

With Johnny Lytle

With Don Patterson

With Sonny Phillips

With Jimmy Ponder

With Bernard Purdie

  • Shaft (Prestige, 1971 [rel. 1973])

With Shirley Scott

With Rhoda Scott

  • Feelin' the Groove (Verve, 1993)

With Janis Siegel

  • Friday Night Special (Telarc, 2003)

With Horace Silver

With Johnny "Hammond" Smith

With Melvin Sparks

With Warren Vaché


  1. ^ Collar, Matt. "Houston Person Biography". AllMusic.
  2. ^ Shaw, Lew (March 31, 2020). "Houston Person: It's Been a Wonderful Journey". The Syncopated Times. Retrieved April 9, 2020.
  3. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Richard "Groove" Holmes, Biography". AllMusic.
  4. ^ Stewart, Zan (September 28, 2003). "The State of Jazz: Meet 40 More Jersey Greats". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on September 27, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2017. Houston Person -- Deep-toned, blues-rich tenor saxophonist Person, who lives in Newark, has performed and/or recorded with Johnny Hammond, Cedar Walton and Charles Earland, among many others.
  5. ^ Varga, George (February 23, 2023). "Sax great Houston Person, a reluctant 'acid-jazz' legend at 88, the 2023 San Diego Jazz Party". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 8, 2024.
  6. ^ "Houston Person, Remember Love - Review by Alex Henderson" (PDF). NYCJR. No. 197. September 2018. p. 16. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
  7. ^ "Houston Person, I'm Just a Lucky So and So - Review by Scott Yanow" (PDF). NYCJR. No. 209. September 2019. p. 31. Retrieved September 26, 2019.

External links[edit]