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To Etta With Love

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Album Review

One of the longest-lasting and critically lauded partnerships in jazz, the duo of vocalist Etta Jones and tenor saxophonist Houston Person ran from a concert in 1968 to Jones' death in 2001 on the same day their last album together, Etta Jones Sings Lady Day, was released. In tribute to Jones, To Etta With Love finds Person digging into various standards that Jones loved throughout her career. There is a melancholy, heartbreaking quality to these tracks. The fact that liner notes are included on an album without a vocalist only serves to further underline how much Jones' personality and style inform every note Person plays. The journeyman's warm, burnished tenor sound veritably weeps and more often soars through such classics as "Don't Go to Strangers," "For All We Know," and "Gee Baby Ain't I Good to You." Backing Person here are the always sensitive talents of pianist Stan Hope, guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Per-Ola Gadd, and drummer Chip White. Much like the singer Person knew, To Etta With Love is an understated, moving, and swinging elegy.

Biography

Born: 10 November 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...
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To Etta With Love, Houston Person
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