Artist: Houston Person
Album: Soft Lights
01. Here’s That Rainy Day
02. I Only Have Eyes for You
03. It Might as Well Be Spring
04. Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me
05. At Last
06. The Night We Called It a Day
07. It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream
08. I’ll Be Around
09. Hey There!
Honestly, it’s tempting to imagine (shades of the urban legend about German avant-garde freaks Amon Düül) that when Houston Person signed to High Note Records in the mid-’90s, he recorded one marathon session and all of his albums since then have simply been culled from those master tapes. Certainly they’ve had the same sound, along with most of the same personnel. Practically the only way to tell the difference between the albums is by the song selection choices. This one splits the difference between jazz standards and pop hits, with Duke Ellington’s immortal “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” (given a wonderful, sprightly reading that owes a subtle debt to Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s sublime take on the underrated A Meeting of the Times) leading one pack and Bread’s treacly “If” (surprisingly good, with some lovely, restrained guitar work by Russell Malone the only backing for Person’s meditative solo) the other. As always with Person, the standards win. This isn’t a bad place to start for those wondering which album from this era to get.