Born: November 10, 1934 Primary Instrument: Sax, tenor
Houston Person wears the Boss Tenor crown, worn so long by Gene Ammons. Mr. Person is busy working his own gigs; booking his tours, finding new clubs, having phone numbers for every major concert promoter on every continent. He even produces his own albums. His first big break came while working as a sideman with organist Johnny Hammond and his group, co-led by Etta Jones. Mr. Person's working relationship with Ms. Jones began in 1973 and lasted for thirty years, until her recent passing in 2001. Early gigs happened while serving in the Army overseas in Germany, where he played with Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton and others. On Mr. Person's philosophy of jazz, he says, Well, it's uplifting and important. And a release and a relief. That's what it is, jazz, so called jazz, to me. It's important that it's relaxing. Something that when the end of the day comes, after a hard and frustrating day out in the world, that relieves you. Relaxes you and makes you feel good. Mr Person adds that all he wants is to give people good solid melodies with some improvisation and plenty of blues feel. He smiles, You always want that dance feeling there, that happy, happy feeling.