Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Jazz Soul: Houston Person's Goodness!

houston person goodness front
Houston Person

( LP Prestige Records, 1969 )
Catalog # PR 10027
Reissue of Prestige PR 7678

Record Presentations:
This is the first album of Person's that was a real hit. Here is one of the best examples of his late-'60s/early-'70s style. Small organ combo with that funky sound. Perhaps too formulaic, but still nice. Includes the hypnotic tune "Jamilah." (Michael Erlewine)

Although none of the five LPs Houston Person recorded for Prestige prior to Goodness! had come close to being a hit, Bob Weinstock stuck with him, believing that the natural soulfulness in Person's playing would eventually find an audience. Goodness! turned out to be a smash hit, vindicating Weinstock's judgment and launching Person as an international star.
Person came out of the organ group tradition and for many years utilized that sound for his own bands. This hugely successful album perhaps best exemplifies his Sixties/early Seventies style.
With Sonny Phillips, Billy Butler, Bob Bushnell, Frankie Jones, Buddy Caldwell.

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Personnel & Notes:
Houston Person (ts)
Sonny Phillips (org)
Billy Butler (g)
Bob Bushnell (el-b)
Frankie Jones (d)
Buddy Caldwell (cga)
Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio,
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 25, 1969

1. Hey Driver!
2. Goodness
3. Brother H.
4. Hard Times
5. Jamilah
6. Close Your Eyes

houston person goodness sleeve

''Hey Driver!''

A great little record — one of Houston’s most successful for Prestige! The album follows strongly in that late 60s pre-funk mode that Prestige was cooking up — tight and groovy, with electric bass dropped into the mix, electrifying things a bit, but still really just grooving in a souped-up 60s soul jazz mode. Houston rises to the style wonderfully — and the rest of the group include Sonny Phillips on organ, Billy Butler on guitar, and Buddy Caldwell who throws in some great conga work! Includes a nice boogaloo cut called “Hey Driver!”, with some chanted vocals by the band, plus the tracks “Hard Times” and “Jamilah”, which have a very nice groove!
© 1996-2010, Dusty Groove America, Inc.
Tenor saxophonist Houston Person was still a relatively new name at the time he recorded this set, his sixth session for Prestige. The funky music (which includes the hit title song) emphasizes boogaloos, danceable rhythms and repetitious vamps set down by the rhythm section (organist Sonny Phillips, guitarist Billy Butler, electric bassist Bob Bushnell, drummer Frankie Jones and Buddy Caldwell on congas), but it is primarily Person's passionate tenor solos that will come the closest to holding on to the attention of jazz listeners. The music is generally quite commercial and is certainly not recommended to bebop purists, although it has some strong moments. But overall these performances succeed more as background music than as creative jazz. By Scott Yanow (AMG).

About Mr. Person:
Ever since he recorded his first album as a leader, Underground Soul, for Prestige Records in 1966, big-tones tenor saxophonist Houston Person has been a standard-bearer of so-called soul jazz. His thoughtfully chosen repertoire of blues and ballads, popular and r&b standards, and compositions by fellow jazz instrumentalists aims to please the public and has helped keep Person in steady work, in clubs and concerts and on records.


Born in Florence, South Carolina in 1934, Person played piano before taking up tenor saxophone at age 17. After Army duty in Germany, where he played with such musicians as Don Ellis, Eddie Harris, and Cedar Walton, he studied at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Person made his recording debut in 1965 on a Prestige album by organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith and, after forming his own band in the early Seventies, continued featuring organ players. In 1986, the saxophonist stopped using organists on the road and hired pianist Stan Hope, who’s been with him ever since.
Person, whose influences include Gene Ammons, Illinois Jacquet, Harold Land, Hank Mobley, and Sonny Stitt, has for many years booked his own gigs and produced his own records. Veteran jazz singer Etta Jones, best known for her 1960 hit “Don’t Go to Strangers” on Prestige, was the featured vocalist with Person’s combo from 1973 until her death in 2001. He produced numerous albums by Jones for the Muse and High Note labels, as well as discs for Ernie Andrews, Charles Brown Joey DeFrancesco, Charles Earland, Red Holloway, David “Fathead” Newman, Richard Wyands, and others.
From Concord Music Group

On Line: Discogs

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