by Scott Yanow
In the 1990s, Houston Person kept the soulful thick-toned tenor tradition of Gene Ammons alive, particularly in his work with organists. After learning piano as a youth, Person switched to tenor. While stationed in Germany with the Army, he played in groups that also included Eddie Harris, Lanny Morgan, Leo Wright, and Cedar Walton. Person picked up valuable experience as a member of Johnny Hammonds group (1963-1966) and has been a bandleader ever since, often working with singer Etta Jones. A duo recording with Ran Blake was a nice change of pace, but most of Houston Persons playing has been done in blues-oriented organ groups. He has recorded a consistently excellent series of albums for Muse, eventually switching to HighNote Records for 2006s You Taught My Heart to Sing and 2007s Thinking of You.