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Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote)

Review of sixth duo album by the tenor saxophonist and bassist

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Cover of Houston Person & Ron Carter album Remember Love
Cover of Houston Person & Ron Carter album Remember Love

The phrase “age before beauty” does not apply to the duet partnership of tenor saxophonist Houston Person and acoustic bassist Ron Carter. Sure, Remember Love is the first of their six pairings on record to occur when both are octogenarians. Yes, seven of the eight covers are more than 65 years old, and the other, Luis Bonfá’s bossa nova “Gentle Rain,” was written in 1965. Yet all that history is mere backdrop to better admire the beauty, the organic profundity of their musical conversations.

A particularly notable charm of their combination is that Carter, the ostensible “rhythm” player, is the alpha figure. Houston Person will forever be recognized for his enveloping sound and reliably melodic approach, the plush tone and slyly inventive romanticism he derives from his horn. It’s as majestic and roomy as a yacht, providing Carter the space to roam freely while piling up deftly sophisticated incisions and counterpoints to both his partner’s robust saxophone phrases and the venerable songs at hand.

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