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Houston Person: Blue Velvet

Referring to Houston Person, Ray Brown recently noted, “He’s one of the few left with any honest grease.” How eloquent. How sad. Don’t you wish giants such as Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Stanley Turrentine could swing forever? On a note of reality, Person is not consciously trying to keep a particular tenor tradition alive. It just so happens every time he plays a lick some of the DNA of those who preceded him makes itself known.

Which brings us to his latest project, Blue Velvet-nine fairly neglected standards, mostly ballads, with a rhythm section any instrumentalist or singer would gladly work under scale for: pianist Richard Wyands, bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Grady Tate.

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