Houston Person: Lester Leaps In


Lester Leaps In


Houston Person (tenor sax)


Mellow (HighNote 7206)

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Houston Person (tenor sax), John di Martino (piano), James Chirillo (guitar), Ray Drummond (bass).

Composed by Lester Young


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 23, 2009


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

The CD is entitled Mellow, but Houston Person closes it with a track that is anything but. Lester Young's personal take on "I Got Rhythm" changes serves as a platform for hard-swinging at a pace somewhere north of 300 beats per minute. Person may be best known for his soulful tenor stylings and his many years spent accompanying Etta Jones, but this outing is situated at that intersection where bop and Kansas City swing meet. And, frankly, if you plan to hang out at any intersection, you could hardly pick a better one, my friend. Person shows off more technique than usual, and the rhythm section plays with confidence. Drummond sticks to walking lines, even during his solo, but he is a major source of swing here. But at a little over three minutes, the track is all too short. Next time invite Lester to stay awhile.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


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