Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival > 5:15 pm > Karrin Allyson featuring Houston Person

Karrin Allyson featuring Houston Person

May 26, 2017
5:15 pm - 6:15 pm

Gem Theater Stage

Karrin Allyson, Houston Person

Karrin Allyson featuring Houston Person

Among musicians, Karrin Allyson is known as a great bandleader and one of the deep pleasures of the current scene is listening to her highly developed interplay with her bandmates — it sounds so effortless — but it conceals a deep musical sophistication. It’s one of Allyson’s great achievements — the result of working over the years with an ensemble of fearless and powerfully committed jazz virtuosi. Karrin has also developed a unique relationship with the multi-talented L.A. composer Chris Caswell and the two have collaborated for nearly ten years as composers and performers in a very spirited ensemble featuring Caswell on Hammond B-3 organ. In fact, Karrin has been doing a lot of writing of late and promises an album of original songs in the near future.

It’s no surprise that music lovers and critics around the world have been singing Karrin Allyson’s name from the roof tops, marveling at the range of this extraordinary musician, who moves with such ease and authority from the Great American Songbook of Gershwin and Porter to the Great American Jazz Songbook of Duke and Thelonious and Miles and Dizzy, jet-setting to Rio and Paris and swinging back home to pick up Bonnie Raitt and Joni Mitchell and Jimmy Webb. What unites this wide world of music — brings it together and makes sense of it all — is Karrin Allyson’s warmth and depth. She’s not just singing a lyric, she’s telling you her story. And then that becomes your story. You hear the music from the inside out.

Ever since he recorded his first album as a leader, Underground Soul, for Prestige Records in 1966, big-tones tenor saxophonist Houston Person has been a standard-bearer of so-called soul jazz. His thoughtfully chosen repertoire of blues and ballads, popular and r&b standards, and compositions by fellow jazz instrumentalists aims to please the public and has helped keep Person in steady work, in clubs and concerts and on records.

Born in Florence, South Carolina in 1934, Person played piano before taking up tenor saxophone at age 17. After Army duty in Germany, where he played with such musicians as Don Ellis, Eddie Harris, and Cedar Walton, he studied at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. Person made his recording debut in 1965 on a Prestige album by organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith and, after forming his own band in the early Seventies, continued featuring organ players. In 1986, the saxophonist stopped using organists on the road and hired pianist Stan Hope, who’s been with him ever since.

Person, whose influences include Gene Ammons, Illinois Jacquet, Harold Land, Hank Mobley, and Sonny Stitt, has for many years booked his own gigs and produced his own records. Veteran jazz singer Etta Jones, best known for her 1960 hit “Don’t Go to Strangers” on Prestige, was the featured vocalist with Person’s combo from 1973 until her death in 2001. He produced numerous albums by Jones for the Muse and High Note labels, as well as discs for Ernie Andrews, Charles Brown Joey DeFrancesco, Charles Earland, Red Holloway, David “Fathead” Newman, Richard Wyands, and others.



Gem Stage

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