Mark 29 and 30 July in your diaries... they make for a couple of chances to catch one of the most swinging soulfully bluesy jazz saxophone masters in the ideal circumstances of a small jazz club situation.
Now in his eighties Houston Person has more than 75 albums under his own name on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse, and is currently with High Note Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, and many more.
His latest record is I’m Just a Lucky So and So, from which his version of ‘Willow Weep For Me’ can be heard above. I am shutting my eyes and recalling the Dexter Gordon version on Our Man in Paris and this stands up big time with to my mind the best version of the standard. The record is released on High Note at the end of this month. Hear HP with his organ trio at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London. One to relish! You only really learn deep down as a player and/or as a listener by hearing and experiencing the masters live. Tickets.
Nigel Price organ trio, Live at the Crypt, nigelprice.biz ***1/2
Interesting and cheering to see this pop up as a bestseller on Bandcamp at the moment. Why so? Well Price is not part of the currently much hyped group of UK bands, usually released by either the Jazz Re:freshed or Brownswood labels, to get a rush of hype behind him. And another thing, the style is pretty mainstream to an extent which rarely gets, rather unfairly, any hype at all. Nobody is going to be going around claiming like the wheel has been reinvented after all. Guitarist Price has a pristine highly mobile sound and close your eyes and he could be playing on a 1960s record, his sound landing a little between Kenny Burrell and Grant Green. With Matt Home on drums, the popular Hammond organist Ross Stanley, and hard blowing tenor saxophonist Vasilis Xenopoulos all playing as a supportive team, the impressive thing here is that this was made in front of a live audience, the band clearly are old fashioned in the sense that they can make it sound like the studio. Good meat and potatoes blowing jazz all in all and a bunch of tunes that know where the beginnings, middles and ends need to be.
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