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Houston Person: Social Call

Houston Person’s Social Call (High-Note) showcases breathy, subtone tenor. Indeed, beautiful melodies, lovingly caressed by Person’s sultry horn, constitute a generous portion of this recording. Slow tunes like Tadd Dameron’s “If You Could See Me Now,” Benny Carter’s “Evening Star,” Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s “Day Dream” and Cedar Walton’s “I’ll Let You Know” along with the standards “Bewitched” (spiced up with some double-time spots) and “Some Other Spring” make up more than half the 11 tracks. Person treats them all with a lyrical sensitivity that allows the venerable melodies to speak for themselves. Appropriate change of pace is afforded by the title tune, by Horace Silver’s “Juicy Lucy” (where Person gets down and dirty without ever having to strain for it) and by a few other medium-paced or up tunes. Person’s colleagues are pianist Stan Hope, guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Per-Ola Gadd and drummer Chip White, who provide a comfortable backdrop for the leader’s tenor. Hope and Bollenback both also contribute excellent hard-bop solos, with Bollenback’s fluid improvisations consistently among the high points of the recording.

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