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Updated: Aug 1, 2023


Houston Person grew up in Florence, South Carolina, first playing piano before switching to the tenor sax at age 17. He studied music at South Carolina State College and later Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Conn. Person built his reputation as a leader with a series of soulful recordings for Prestige in the '60s. However, for a large part of his career the saxophonist was best-known for his legendary partnership with the great vocalist Etta Jones, which lasted over 30 years until her death in 2001. He has also performed with Barbara Morrison, Ernie Andrews, Ernestine Anderson and Dakota Staton. Person’s appearances as a sideman are legion, and include recordings with Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Charles Earland, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others. As a record producer, he has worked with many artists, including Jones, Staton, Andrews, Freddy Cole, Charles Brown, and David ‘Fathead’ Newman. Known as a master of popular songs played in a relaxed, highly accessible style reminiscent of the great Ben Webster, Person has recorded over 150 albums as a leader on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse, which became HighNote Records. Person’s latest album is Reminiscing at Rudy’s recorded with his band in one day at the famous Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, where Person had recorded his first album. In addition, he has recorded with John Clayton as part of the bassist’s Family Tree project.


Saxophonist, Eric Person is a renowned performer, composer, arranger and bandleader; who has played with the masters of modern music such as McCoy Tyner, Dave Holland, Donald Byrd, Sam Rivers and Chico Hamliton, just to name a few. Person’s music has far reaching harmonic and melodic beauty which is delivered with cutting edge intensity. His music transcends the common terrain of contemporary jazz. As a saxophonist, he takes his alto and soprano saxophones into the stratosphere with soaring solos that reveal the element of surprise, a sought after lyricism, only surpassed by his unfettered imagination. Eric Person’s 10 CD releases under his leadership on Soul Note and his own Distinction Records label have all garnered great reviews from the critics.

"What are the odds that a Person who plays jazz saxophone would meet another Person who plays jazz saxophone, that they would become fast friends and find they were so musically compatible that they would not only perform together but decide to record an album featuring their two horns as the front line? Meet alto saxophonist Eric Person who in 2009 performed onstage for the first time with tenor saxophonist Houston Person, his senior by almost three decades but someone with whom the younger Person felt an immediate musical rapport. They continue to perform together under the name Person2Person." - All About Jazz

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