Houston Person

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Houston Person
Houston Person.jpg
Person performing at the Cellar in 2006
Background information
Born (1934-11-10) November 10, 1934 (age 81)
Florence, South Carolina United States
Genres Jazz, hard bop, soul jazz, swing
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, bandleader, producer
Instruments Saxophone
Labels Prestige Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, HighNote, Telarc
Associated acts Etta Jones

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. Person is also known for his distinctive sassy sound and his expressive style of playing. He received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982.


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. He 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.

There are more than 75 albums recorded by Houston 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[2] and others.

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


As leader[edit]

  • Underground Soul! (Prestige, 1966)
  • Chocomotive (Prestige, 1967) -with Cedar Walton
  • Trust in Me (Prestige, 1967) -with Cedar Walton
  • Blue Odyssey (Prestige, 1968) -with Curtis Fuller, Pepper Adams, Cedar Walton
  • Soul Dance! (Prestige, 1968) -with Billy Gardner, Boogaloo Joe Jones [note: reissued as Legends of Acid Jazz: Houston Person - Truth in 1999]
  • Goodness! (Prestige, 1969) -with Sonny Phillips, Billy Butler
  • Truth! (Prestige, 1970) -with Sonny Phillips, Billy Butler [note: reissued as Legends of Acid Jazz: Houston Person - Truth in 1999]
  • The Best of Houston Person (Prestige, 1970) -compilation
  • Person to Person! (Prestige, 1970) -with Virgil Jones, Sonny Phillips, Grant Green [note: reissued as Legends of Acid Jazz: Houston Person in 1996]
  • Houston Express (Prestige, 1971) [note: reissued as Legends Of Acid Jazz: Houston Person in 1996]
  • Broken Windows, Empty Hallways (Prestige, 1972)
  • Sweet Buns & Barbeque (Prestige, 1972)
  • The Real Thing [live] (Eastbound, 1973) -2LP
  • Houston Person '75 (Westbound, 1975)
  • Get Out'a My Way! (Westbound, 1975)
  • Pure Pleasure (Mercury, 1976)
  • Harmony (Mercury, 1977)
  • Stolen Sweets (Muse, 1977) -with Sonny Phillips, Jimmy Ponder; recorded 1976
  • Wild Flower (Muse, 1978) -with Bill Hardman, Sonny Phillips, Jimmy Ponder; recorded 1977
  • The Nearness of You (Muse, 1978) -with Virgil Jones, Charles Earland, Sonny Phillips, Melvin Sparks; recorded 1977
  • The Gospel Soul of Houston Person (Savoy, 1978)
  • The Big Horn (Muse, 1979) -with Cedar Walton, Buster Williams, Grady Tate; recorded 1976
  • Suspicions (Muse, 1980) -with Virgil Jones
  • Very PERSONal (Muse, 1981) -recorded 1980
  • Heavy Juice (Muse, 1982) -with Jon Logan, Melvin Sparks, Bernard Purdie
  • Road Warriors (Greene Street, 1984) -with Les McCann
  • Creation (Greene Street, 1984) -with Roger Kellaway
  • Always on My Mind (Muse, 1985)
  • The Talk of the Town (Muse, 1987)
  • We Owe It All to Love (Baseline [UK], 1989)
  • Basics (Muse, 1989) -recorded 1987
  • Something in Common (Muse, 1990) -with Ron Carter; recorded 1989
  • Just Friends (Muse, 1990) -with Buddy Tate, Nat Simpkins
  • Now's the Time! (Muse, 1990) -with Ron Carter
  • Why Not! (Muse, 1990)
  • The Party (Muse, 1991) -recorded 1989
  • The Lion and His Pride (Muse, 1991)
  • Christmas With Houston Person and Friends (Muse, 1994) -with Randy Johnston, Etta Jones, Grady Tate, Benny Green [note: reissued as Santa Baby on Savoy in 2003]
  • Horn to Horn (Muse, 1994) -with Teddy Edwards
  • Person-ified (High Note, 1996) -with Richard Wynands, Ray Drummond, Kenny Washington
  • The Opening Round (Savant, 1997) -with Bernard Purdie, Joey DeFrancesco
  • Lost & Found -with Charles Brown (32 Jazz, 1997) [note: first issue of previously unreleased Muse album Sweet Slumber recorded in 1991]
  • Christmas With Houston Person and Etta Jones (32 Jazz, 1997) -compilation of various Muse material
  • My Romance (HighNote, 1998) -with Richard Wynands, Ray Drummond, Kenny Washington
  • Close Encounters (HighNote, 1999) -with Teddy Edwards; recorded 1996
  • Soft Lights (HighNote, 1999) -with Russell Malone, Richard Wynands, Ray Drummond, Grady Tate
  • Together at Christmas (HighNote, 2000) -with Etta Jones, Stan Hope, George Kaye, Chip White
  • In a Sentimental Mood (HighNote, 2000) -with Stan Hope, George Kaye, Chip White
  • Blue Velvet (HighNote, 2001) -with Richard Wynands, Ray Drummond, Grady Tate
  • Dialogues (HighNote, 2002) -with Ron Carter; recorded 2000
  • Sentimental Journey (HighNote, 2002) -with Richard Wynands, Russell Malone, Peter Washington, Grady Tate
  • Social Call (HighNote, 2003) -with Stan Hope, Paul Bollenback, Per-Ola Gadd, Chip White
  • To Etta With Love (HighNote, 2004) -with Stan Hope, Paul Bollenback, Per-Ola Gadd, Chip White
  • All Soul (HighNote, 2005) -with Eddie Allen, Stan Hope, Randy Johnston
  • You Taught My Heart to Sing (HighNote 2006) -with Bill Charlap; recorded 2004
  • Thinking of You (HighNote, 2007) -with Eddie Allen
  • Just Between Friends (HighNote, 2008) -with Ron Carter; recorded 2005
  • Mellow (HighNote, 2009) -with John di Martino
  • Moment to Moment (HighNote, 2010) -with Terell Stafford
  • The Way We Were: Live in Concert (HighNote], 2011) -with Etta Jones, Stan Hope, George Kaye, Chip White; recorded 2000
  • So Nice (HighNote, 2011) -with Warren Vache
  • Naturally (HighNote, 2012) -with Cedar Walton, Ray Drummond, Lewis Nash
  • Nice 'N' Easy (HighNote, 2013) -with John di Martino, Chuck Redd, Ray Drummond, Lewis Nash
  • The Melody Lingers On (HighNote, 2014) -with Steve Nelson
  • Something Personal (HighNote, 2015) -with Steve Nelson, John di Martino
  • Chemistry (High Note, 2016) -with Ron Carter

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 Billy Butler

With Joey DeFrancesco

  • 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)

With Charles Kynard

With Johnny Lytle

With Don Patterson

With Sonny Phillips

With Bernard Purdie

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

With Shirley Scott

With Janis Siegel

  • Friday Night Special (Telarc, 2003)

With Horace Silver

With Johnny "Hammond" Smith

With Melvin Sparks


External links[edit]