Houston Person ‘Naturally’ (High Note) 3/5

Tenorist Houston Person is one of jazz’s elder statesmen and can back this up with no less than seventy-five recorded albums and is a regular on the label.
A top line up of Cedar Walton on piano, Ray Drummond on bass and Lewis Nash on drums makes for entertaining listening and, while not groundbreaking, this is quality bop with a soulful and, in places, gospel-tinged touch. This is exemplified on Ellington’s ‘It shouldn’t happen to a dream’ and equally on the gospel sounding ‘Red sails in the sunset’. Person excels on the slower material and has something of Coleman Hawkins in his tone on ‘Don’ cha go way mad’ with deft drum work from Nash. A tribute to the late Bill Evans on ‘My foolish heart’ breathes newl ife into the piece wth lovely piano accompaniment from Walton while thre is fine all round playing on the emotive ballad ‘That’s all’. In a more uptempo groove, Milt Jackson’s ‘Bag’s groove’ receives a soulful treatment and the album ends on a bright ands breezy note with the mid-tempo ‘Sunday’.

Tim Stenhouse