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Soft Lights

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Album Review

Honestly, it's tempting to imagine (shades of the urban legend about German avant-garde freaks Amon Düül) that when Houston Person signed to High Note Records in the mid-'90s, he recorded one marathon session and all of his albums since then have simply been culled from those master tapes. Certainly they've had the same sound, along with most of the same personnel. Practically the only way to tell the difference between the albums is by the song selection choices. This one splits the difference between jazz standards and pop hits, with Duke Ellington's immortal "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" (given a wonderful, sprightly reading that owes a subtle debt to Rahsaan Roland Kirk's sublime take on the underrated A Meeting of the Times) leading one pack and Bread's treacly "If" (surprisingly good, with some lovely, restrained guitar work by Russell Malone the only backing for Person's meditative solo) the other. As always with Person, the standards win. This isn't a bad place to start for those wondering which album from this era to get.

Biography

Born: November 10, 1934 in Florence, SC

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the 1990s, Houston Person kept the soulful thick-toned tenor tradition of Gene Ammons alive, particularly in his work with organists. After learning piano as a youth, Person switched to tenor. While stationed in Germany with the Army, he played in groups that also included Eddie Harris, Lanny Morgan, Leo Wright, and Cedar Walton. Person picked up valuable experience as a member of Johnny Hammond's group (1963-1966) and became a bandleader in the following years, often working with the late singer...
Full bio
Soft Lights, Houston Person
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