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Houston Person & Ron Carter, "Something in Common"

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Jack Clark, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. I know this recording isn't new (1990, I think), and I see that a few others have mentioned it. But this is fast becoming my No. 1 favorite recording.

    Unlike other Person-Carter collaborations, Carter's bass is mic'd equally up-front with Person's sax, and the two of them play as equals throughout. Oh, man, am I going to have fun transcribing tunes from this one, when I get the time.

    I'm guessing that a lot of you guys will think of Person's play on this album as retro, but it's tops for me. He caresses a melody like Sinatra, but he can get out there, too, while staying in touch. I'd love to some day have just one bass solo down the way Person plays them on sax.

    BTW, I cannot find a recording of Person playing "Body and Soul," which I can hear in my head as being made for him. I know he recorded that tune with Teddy Edwards on "Horn to Horn," but I haven't heard it and I doubt that it will have Houston Person doing it like he would do it on his own. Anybody know of any other HP recording of B&S?
  2. Houston is amazing. Amazing man also. Glad to hear someone else loves this. I met him, talked shop, and he ended up shooting me a copy for free through the mail. He is really something else
  3. Hi, tsj-

    I'm getting that impression myself. I sent an email to him (his address was on his website) about a month ago, asking him on which album he recorded "Body and Soul." (But now I also want to get a CD of him playing "Love Letters," too, which I also can hear him playing in my head.)

    Anyway, I just recently got an email from Houston's wife. Believe this or not, she said that Houston wanted to talk with me about Body and Soul (!?!), and she gave me his cell phone number. When I get my thoughts together in a couple of days, I'll call him. Wow.

    BTW, I have never heard his name pronounced. I knew somebody named "Person" who pronounced it "Pierson," and I have heard Houston pronounced "Hews-ton" and "House-ton" and even "Hoos-ton." Do you happen to know how he pronounces his name?
  4. tsj-

    Were you ever right, or what? Before I called Houston, he called me! In less than a minute, I felt like I was talking to an old friend. He's sending me a CD with Body and Soul on it, even. Says he wants me to call him from time to time! I'm not even a musician, just a fan. I missed him when he came to Palm Springs last year. Not again, I won't. He is an extraordinary man.

    (And, BTW, when he introduced himself, he did pronounce both his names in the most usual way.)
  5. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    I love this. When we are fans, it seems we build up ideas about the people we love to hear. Sometimes we feel that their work is so strong that they might be unapproachable.

    Houston's response to your friendliness and interest isn't at all uncommon. Most great players are just plain, old down to earth people who love to hear from listeners and other players.
    We never know when we might lose them, so I suggest doing it now before it's too late.
    Very cool, Jack (and Houston).. :D
  6. You're certainly right, Paul. I really don't like to see fans gushing all over a celeb, so I avoid that myself. But, you know, I do feel intimidated when around people of extraordinary talent and ability at things I love--like jazz. And, as you say, that does make me hesitate to approach them.

    Sometimes I wonder if it's not a lonely life being a celeb. Either you're approached by gushing fans (which I would think they would hate) or the fans are so intimidated they stay away (which I would think might make them feel kinda lonely).

    Well, I will stay in touch with Houston. Especially, since I now certainly do not want to miss an appearance he might make in Southern California. (Heck, or in SF, or Vegas, or Phoenix, even.)

    A couple of weeks ago I was talking with Harry Pickens at the Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines Festival, he signed his ear training book for me. (It's about a seven page booklet that would take me many years to actually do.) I asked Harry if he had had to go through that whole process himself, or if it just came naturally to him. He shook his head and said, "Oh, no, everything you see and hear on stage came out of a whole lot of sweat, blood, and tears." And he wasn't smiling when he said it.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    IMO, Houston Person's playing is very underrated. I really love that album and I often use it as a learning tool.
  8. Yesterday I received a CD from Houston of his album with Teddy Edwards, "Horn to Horn," which has their duet rendition of Body and Soul on it. Great album! You can hear Houston's unique tone on some pretty hot solos, well away from the vanilla melody. The two tenors work very well together. Each of the eight tunes is dedicated to a tenor sax great.

    What a helluva nice guy!
  9. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Soquel, CA
    Their recording of "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" on "Nows the Time" is one of my faves. Houston kills it and Ron's playing is beautiful. I don't care much for his "direct" sound but what he plays is pure f-in' magic.
  10. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    Richmond, CA
    In addition to "Nows The Time", I found that there is one more album they did together called "Dialogues". Just did a cursory scan of them and they all sound great!

    I got both by downloading from Amazon.
  11. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    Jack, tell us you don't mean it. If you really do, I could make a list of some of the greatest musicians that ever lived who would disagree with you. May be your opinion and that's cool but it kind of shocked me to hear you say that.
  12. I'm surprised that you're that surprised, Paul! Not about this album or the musicians on it, but about my general state of jazz ignorance. :) That comment of mine will serve to remind you of how much of a rank amateur I am. :rolleyes:

    You don't much like those guys' playin', huh? :meh:
  13. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    That last sentence of yours confuses me, Jack?

    I was surprised only because I thought I had read some other threads where you mentioned that you were fond of the tune.
    If you don't like a tune that's your business.
  14. ?? Whoa! Time out, Paul. I'm completely lost here. I'm going to go back and read our comments over again because we apparently got off on different tracks somewhere. We can't be talking about the same thing. Let me get back to you after I figure out what happened here.
  15. i havent been here in a bit, but I'm excited for everyone to have enjoyed his music. There aren't too many of these guys left, with his knowledge, and that big ballad sound.
  16. Reading the questionable Ron bio made me aware of these records; seeing all this praise makes me wanna check them out even more.