In the fall of 2015, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem debuted its version of Desert Island Discs. It’s modeled on an iconic BBC radio show, extant since 1942, which invites eminences from various walks of life to choose—and discuss—the eight records they would bring for a stay on the apocryphal desert island. For the Jazz Museum’s expanded version curated and hosted by esteemed journalist Ted Panken, the presenters are jazz musicians, who will present a cohort of music, of any genre, that was essential in the formation and evolution of their musical personality. This months guest is the tenor legend, Houston Person.
After sixty years in the jazz business, which have generated more than 70 recordings of extraordinary consistency, tenor saxophonist Houston Person remains unparalleled in his ability to elicit from his metal instrument a tone parallel to a male baritone singer. This is evident on Person's most recent offering, Rain Or Shine, which is his 21st oeader release for High Note, along with three duo albums with Ron Carter, a duo recital with Bill Charlap, a tenor battle with Teddy Edwards, and five co-led sessions with the late singer Etta Jones. It's the latest demonstration of Person's statement, "When I play, the blues is always close by, somewhere."