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Houston Person: My Romance

Take one experienced tenorman, put him alongside a very compatible rhythm section (Richard Wyands, piano; Ray Drummond, bass and Kenny Washington, drums), turn them loose on nine classic songs and look out! Houston Person (who produced this disc) has chosen his repertoire with an eye to, as the title suggests, romance, and wraps his big tone around such songs as “But Beautiful,” “Laura,” “Love Is Here to Stay” . . . well, you get the idea.

Melody is one of his prime concerns, about which he says, “The song just stands on its own . . . the melodies are so great . . . on a lot of these ballads, you don’t need anything more. If you do something more, you sort of take something away.” Person and Co. haven’t taken a “thing” away from the material at hand, which-if radio programmers had any sense at all-would be the sort of CD to spin instead of the “new jazz groove,” with all its fake strings, percussion and “emotions.” There’s nothing phony about this music at all; it’s 24-carat jazz all the way. Pop this into your player and cuddle up with your baby. S/he’ll thank you for it.

Originally Published