Houston Person: Naturally
Houston Person, after more time in the recording studio than perhaps any other tenor player, has become something of a jazz institution. Learning his craft at a time when some of the earliest pioneers of jazz saxophone <0x2014> Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet, Lester Young, and Ben Webster <0x2014> were playing, he was able to develop his own unique sound and voice that acknowledged these iconic men without ever resorting to imitation. Person is an eloquent messenger from a jazz landscape firmly rooted in the blues, church music, the great American song composers and the vocalist-like communication of a song's meaning through the saxophone. For Naturally, his latest HighNote recording, Person has asked legendary pianist Cedar Walton to sit in on the date and the collaboration between these two giants results in some of the most genuinely musical playing to come out of the famed Rudy Van Gelder studio. If it is ostentatious show that floats your boat, look elsewhere. Though the formidable chops of each member of the quartet are evident in every phrase, technique is completely at the service of the music on the set list, never for showboating or cheap effect.