Thursday, 21 August 2008
256+ VBR LAME mp3
Vinyl rip & scans from Westbound W-205
Houston Person is regarded as the man who took up Gene Ammons' Boss Tenor crown and has continued holding the torch high and still going strong at the age of 74. This was one of the Westbound sessions sought after by acid jazz and jazzfunk afficianados but is hardly ever checked in his discographies (AMG and Discogs for example). Next to no info on the cover or anywhere else here regarding the musicians involved. Since one funky insurance salesman named Ed Nuccilli is named as arranger shortly after Motown parted ways with both Detroit and him the previous year, it's likely members of his Plural Circle Big Band Orchestra at the time were present. That's about as narrowed down as it gets.
The fact arranger and producer extraordinaire Jimmy Roach lent a hand doesn't help much since he was in the same boat after Motown moved in '74. Knowing it was cut at Artie Fields Studio is no help, since it was a motor city mainstay and everyone from MC5 to Gladys Knight & The Pips recorded there. The studio didn't have a house band near as I can tell and simply provided the room & board, in this case under the supervision of another Motown strandee named Ken Sands. The liner notes thank Westbound founder Armen Boladian (the sample troll), The Detroit Emeralds' Abe Tilmon and someone named Mariam Lampkin who never existed as far as Google is concerned. The other Houston Person LP on Westbound I own is Get Out'a My Way! and there's little variance on the info quotient there. So, at the end of it all, the players are still a mystery and even poking around the Soulful Detroit Archives (which is usually a treasure trove of inside info) yielded little.
Best guess would be this was recorded at the same time as another Westbound obscurity, Etta Jones '75 (W-203), for which Houston was bandleader and made his debut as a producer. It was her first album in 10 years since Etta Jones Sings and after that LP, Houston and her enjoyed a 33 year working relationship. It was also her last kick at the funky can as their next sides were for Muse and notable for being early returns to straight-ahead jazz in the fusion and funk-filled heydey and the style to which she would remain faithful until her passing in 2001.
Dusty Groove's review:
Houston hits a funky groove for Westbound -- not as hard, heavy, and Prestige-sounding as his work on the now-dead Eastbound label, but also not too bad either. The overall sound is more produced, and there's some cuts that have a smoother tenor sound than you're used to with Houston. Titles include "Shotgun", "500 Gin Rummy", "All In Love Is Fair", "Funky Sunday Afternoon", and "A Touch Of Bad Stuff".
Houston's selected* discography:
1966 Underground Soul! at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1967 Trust in Me
1968 Blue Odyssey at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1968 Soul Dance! at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1969 Goodness at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1970 Truth! at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1970 Person To Person at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1970 The Best of Houston Person (Prestige) at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1971 Houston Express at My Jazz World
1972 Broken Windows, Empty Hallways at My Jazz World
1972 Sweet Buns & Barbeque at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1972 The Big Horn
1973 The Real Thing at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1975 Houston '75 at Soundological
1975 Get Out'a My Way! at Disco Magic
1976 Stolen Sweets at My Jazz World
1976 Pure Pleasure at My Jazz World
1977 Harmony at My Jazz World
1977 Lost & Found
1977 Wildflower at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1977 The Nearness of You
1978 The Gospel Soul of Houston Person
1980 Very Personal
1980 Suspicions at My Jazz World
1985 Always On My Mind at My Jazz World
1987 Talk Of The Town at My Favourite Sound 2.0 + BeeQ
1989 The Party at BeeQ
1990 Why Not at Good Jazz Was Recorded To Stay
1990 Now's The Time w/ Ron Carter at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1991 The Lion & His Pride at My Favourite Sound 2.0
1998 My Romance at BeeQ
1999 Soft Lights at BeeQ
* Since original posting this, master jazz scholar Doug Payne has posted a very thorough discography here and an in-depth review of his "lost" Mercury years here. As with all of Mr. Payne's informative writings, these are highly recommended!
This one is really off the radar, so Soundological thought you might like a chance to listen to it for yourself HERE or HERE.