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Teddy Edwards/Houston Person: Close Encounters

Produced by Houston Person and flanking his huge tenor sound with that of the equally prestigious Teddy Edwards, this 1996 Rudy Van Gelder-engineered studio date can easily rank alongside the best recordings of the two tenor teams of the past. Although not as technically daunting as the Griff ‘n’ Jaws combo, certainly the fluency that Edwards and Person demonstrate on blues, ballads, and medium swing grooves places them on a par with the Jug & Sonny tandem. Backed in appropriately swinging fashion by pianist Stan Hope, bassist Ray Drummond, and drummer Kenny Washington, the two well-matched tenormen romp through the blues terrain on Wardell Gray’s “Twisted” and Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train,” while also imparting healthy doses of soul to “Blues and Sentimental,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You,” “The Breeze and I,” and “Little Girl Blue.”

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