Saturday, March 28, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Person of interest

Today, let's look at some videos featuring saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person, who's coming back home for the first time in five years to perform in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University this coming Thursday, April 2.

Person, who's now 51, grew up in North County and began playing local jazz gigs while still attending Normandy High School. After graduation, he moved to NYC in 1982, and over the next decade refined his skills on alto sax, soprano sax and flute while performing and recording with bands led by the drummers Chico Hamilton and Ronald Shannon Jackson.

In the 1990s, he worked with bassist Dave Holland and with the World Saxophone Quartet, and also began leading his own recording dates, releasing three albums on the Soul Note label.

More recently, Person founded the Distinction Records imprint to distribute his subsequent recordings, and has continued to release albums and lead various ensembles including eponymous trios and quartets, the jazz quartet Meta-Four, the more fusion-oriented Metamorphosis, and a big band, documented on his most recent album, 2012's Thoughts on God.

For his gig here next week, Person will work in a trio with St. Louis bassist Bob Deboo and drummer Demarius Hicks, and so today, we begin with some video clips showing him playing in a similarly configured band, the cooperative Triokinesis, which also features bassist Joseph Lepore and drummer Shinnosuke "Shin" Takahashi.

The first clip up above shows them playing Person's composition "Distant Rainbows" in a performance in May 2011 at Small's in NYC. After the jump, you can see three more songs from the same gig: Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Black Diamond" plus Person's tunes "Prophecy" and "Old Hat Feathers."

Those videos are followed by a clip of Person and Meta-Four playing "The Multitudes" in December 2010 during a gig at the Jacque Pelzer Jazz Club in Liege, Belgium. Along with Person, that's Free Desmyter on piano, Nicolas Thys on bass, Marek Patrman on drums, and Chris Joris on percussion.

In the next two clips, both recorded in 2009, you can hear Person work out on a couple of standards, the Billy Strayhorn ballad "Chelsea Bridge" and Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments."

Last but not least, there's a track from Person's big band gig last May at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in NYC's Lincoln Center. The original composition is called "And Then There Was Light," and features solos from Person on alto plus pianist Adam Klipple, tenor saxophonist Jason Marshall and trombonist Dion Tucker.

You can see StLJN's past coverage of Eric Person here, and see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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