Thursday, 21 August 2008

Houston Person - Houston Person '75

74.5 MB
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 Chocomotive
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
1969 Jamilah
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 a
t 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.


johnv said...

Great post--I am enjoying your blog very much and am looking forward to see what you have up your sleeve for the future.

panzan said...

minor detail - you posted two images of the A-side label. No B-side.

avocado kid said...

nice one!

cheeba said...

johnv, thanks a lot! i appreciate the comments you've left and glad you're enjoying it.

panzan, thanks for the heads up! i've had a really hectic week and that slipped by. i'll fix asap

avocado, always nice to see you drop by for a visit! thanks!

Jazz-Nekko said...


After dropping in only occasionally because I did not bookmark your blog the first I visited, today I had a "look through".

My ears pounded at your selection, my eyes need a break from all of the fascinating reading and my pride is hurt because I should have known better to find your invaluable blog sooner!

Many thanks to you for your efforts - keep it up.


P.S. Ask Simon666 how to get in touch in with me if you cannot understand the "puzzle" of an e-mail under my profile. I would like to write you an e-mail. . .

cheeba said...

panzan, again, thanks for the heads up on the label...

i won't be replacing the label in the file itself, since they are the same resolution as the ones on the post.

just follow the link for b-side label and right-click-save.

cheeba said...

Jazz-Nekko, you're very kind, thanks for your comments! I think I figured out the email, if not you can send to cheebacheebakid at gmail dot com. Thanks again!

Jur said...

Killer funky stuff! Best album in this genre I've heard in months.


cheeba said...

Glad you liked it Jur! Make sure you check Get Out'a My Way if you haven't done so already. They're both recorded at almost the same time and very similar, although personally I think '75 edges it out slightly.

katonah said...

great post, many thanks.
think you've missed one on the discography tho.
the real thing on eastbound 1973. it's double with jack mcduff, grant green idris muhammad and a load of others.

cheeba said...

Right you are, katonah!

This one is news to me... found it at dusty groove

Thanks for the info!!

Jur said...

Thanks for the pointer Cheeba. However, the "Get Out'a My Way" is in APE-format which I can't handle at the moment.

Never mind, I downloaded Jimmy McGriff's "The Mean Machin" instead. Quite groovy.

You are my number one jazz funk supplier at the moment! Thanks for all the good work.

cheeba said...

Hi Jur, glad you're enjoying this stuff.

For another tip, MediaMonkey is a free program that will convert APE to .wav and then you can convert to mp3, aac, etc.

I never used it until last year when I needed to sync a friends iPod. No friggin' way am I putting iTunes on my PC so was advised to go w/ MM instead.

Super happy with it, it's replaced some of the other software I was using and is actually an awesome audio file manager as well. Let me know if you still have troubles with APE and I may consider throwing up Get Out'a My Way in the future.

Jur said...

Hi Cheeba,

Thanks for the tip. I will definitely give MediaMonkey a try, some day. I have very little space left on my hard disk right now.

So if I understand you correctly, you use Mediamonkey to manage all your Audiofiles. But you would still need Itunes to manage your Ipod, I guess.

BTW don't know where you got your nickname from. It might reflect one of your hobbies, of course. Just wanted to let your know that there there is a song with your name on a recent post on my favourite sound. See:


cheeba said...

Hi Jur, actually, I don't use MediaMonkey to manage my files even though it is good. I've got my own system with some other tools that goes back almost 10 years and I'm super-comfortable with it or I would use MM more. I installed it as a replacement for iTunes so I wouldn't have to put Apple's crappy PC version on my box. The only difference is MM won't access iTunes store

As for the nickname, close but no blunt. The full nickname given to me in '93 was CheebaCheeba as a reference to the Harlem Underground Band track.

Good guess though!

cheeba said...

Heads up HP fans: My Favourite Sound just posted The Real Thing from 1973 so I've added it to the discog.

Anonymous said...

Thank you
Houston Person - Goodness! - 1969

My Vinyl rip

add your site in my side bar

cheeba said...

Cheers for the HP update Pretoria!

I've inserted the link into the post and also added Funkydisposition to the blog roll here.

Thanks a lot!

Ian Van Groove said...

Here's a new link to 'The Real Thing'

Smooth Jazz said...

Houston Person - Houston Person '75

where is the download link?