Nobody Said It Was Easy

The Jon Burr Band

Houston Person on Tenor

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The Jon Burr Band performs live at Birdland featuring Ty Stephens (vocals), Houston Person (tenor sax), Jon Davis (piano), John Hart (guitar), Jon Burr (bass and leader), and Anthony Pinciotti (drums).

Tenor saxophonist and record producer Houston Person was born in Florence, South Carolina on November 10, 1934. Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, he is most experienced in and best known for his work in soul jazz. Person is also known for his distinctive sassy sound and his expressive style of playing.

Person first played piano but soon switched to tenor saxophone. In the United States Air Force, he joined a service band stationed in West Germany, and played with Don Ellis, Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton, and Leo Wright. later he continued his studies at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.

He first became known for a series of albums for Prestige Records in the 1960s. Contrary to popular belief, he was never married to the vocalist Etta Jones, but did spend many years as her musical partner, recording, performing and touring, and for much of his career this association was what he was best known for. They first met playing in organist Johnny Hammond’s band.

There are more than 75 albums recorded by Houston Person as a bandleader, on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse Records, and he has most recently been recording on HighNote Records. He has recorded with Charles Brown, Bill Charlap, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Etta Jones, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton, Billy Butler, Richard “Groove” Holmes and others.

*Huston Person received the Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982.


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