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Tenor legend Houston Person has always been DIY

Devin Rodino

For Let Me Tell You About It, saxophonist Houston Person talks about the ingenuity that's always kept his career humming.

Saxophonist Houston Person is a living legend and progenitor of the soulful sound of swinging music. After an intense and rewarding tenure with organist Johnny Hammond Smith in the early 1960s, Person made a call to Prestige Records which began his 50-plus year career as a solo recording artist. His albums over the years, which have included noted players such as Grant Green, Cedar Walton, Idris Muhammad, Curtis Fuller and Pepper Adams, have kept him in the ears of worldwide music fans.

From his beginnings as leader, Person booked his own tours, hired bands, and managed his career independently, a practice that he continues to the present day. Our conversation with Person sheds light on his style on and off the bandstand; he blends decades of wisdom with charm and a direct approach to storytelling. He is the personification of soul. Our Vinyl Word segment is also dedicated to some classic moments in Person's recorded discography.

Let Me Tell You About It is produced for WBGO Studios by Billy Robinson and Greg Bryant.

Greg Bryant has been a longtime curator of improvisational music. At the age of 3 in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, he was borrowing his father’s records and spinning them on his Fisher Price turntable. Taking in diverse sounds of artistry from Miles Davis, Les McCann, James Brown, Weather Report and Jimi Hendrix gave shape to Greg's musical foundation and started him on a path of nonstop exploration.