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 KenSands. 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.
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".
* 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.