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“Nothin ‘But Love” album shows passion for jazz
Celebrity jazz singer Kathy Lyon and legendary tenor saxophonist Houston Person’s collaboration pays off in album
By Christina Stock
Famous jazz singer Kathy Lyon has released her latest album, “Nothin ‘But Love”, featuring the great tenor saxophonist Houston Person, supported by other renowned musicians.
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Lyon and Person are well known in Roswell, having performed at the Roswell Jazz Festival.
Lyon toured with the USO to entertain American troops overseas, which made her an experienced live artist, feeling comfortable singing classic jazz tunes as well as her own original songs. . She was the star singer of the Ricky Loza Latin Jazz Orchestra; she was part of the Ricky Loza Jazz Festival touring El Salvador and Guatemala in July 2002, including the tribute tour in July 2003, after Loza’s sudden death. Since then, Lyon has performed at top jazz festivals in the United States, including her adopted hometown of Pensacola, Florida. She has earned her reputation for being one of the few female singers who has perfect intonation and great tone and who can communicate the true message of a song.
Person’s legacy not only maintains Gene Ammons’ touching tenor tradition, becoming the heir to the Boss Tenor crown, but adds his talent as a conductor, and even a producer, to the genre. He was a member of the US Air Force group, stationed in Germany, where he performed with Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton and Don Ellis. Person toured with the late Etta Jones and his partnership with her lasted over 30 years, until her death in 2001. Person’s performance as a sideman has been with jazz legends such as Lena Horne, Joey DeFrancesco and Horace Silver, to name just a few.
Honors include the 1990 Independent Jazz Record of the Year award, which he won with Ron Carter. He also received the Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund Image Award in 1993 and the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award in 1982. He was a Grammy Award finalist in the Best Jazz Vocal category in 1999 and 2000 as a tenor artist and producer. for “My Buddy: Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson” and “Etta Jones Sings Lady Day.” In each of his concerts and interviews, Person is known to say that his goal is to relax the audience and make them feel good.
Person is listed as one of the guest artists to perform at the 2021 Roswell Jazz Festival which takes place across the city from October 13-17.
Lafayette Harris Jr. joins Lyon and Person at the piano. He is known as the essential pianist among his peers. Harris Jr. toured with the great music pioneer Max Roach and performed with the Duke Ellington Legacy Orchestra. He has also recorded and toured with the late four-time Grammy nominee Ernestine Anderson.
Peter Hand, a graduate of Berklee College of Music, also performs on the album. Originally specializing in guitar, in 1977 he obtained a Bachelor of Music in Composition.
Today, Hand is a composer and arranger and leads his own big band. In his biography he states: “… his music encompasses a wide variety of original compositions, new interpretations of jazz standards and Latin and Brazilian jazz.
“He has recorded three highly acclaimed big band albums on Savant Records and has worked with many top artists and groups as frontman, arranger and sideman including Carmen Lundy, Jon Lucien, George Coleman, Lee Konitz, Houston Person , Claudio Roditi, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, St. Louis Jazz Orchestra and Charleston Jazz Orchestra.
Matthew Parrish is a sought-after performer, arranger, composer, producer and instructor, with a permanent position at Princeton University. Parrish is no stranger to the jazz scenes of New York, Washington, DC, Boston, Massachusetts, although he considers himself a dedicated performer of Philadelphia. He has recorded with musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paquito D’Rivera, Clark Terry, Etta Jones, James Williams, Harry “Sweets” Edison, James Newton, Miri Ben-Ari, Gary Thomas, Vana Gierig, Orrin Evans and of course, Nobody. Parrish accompanies Lyon on bass.
Vince Ector’s favorite instrument is the drums. Ector’s musical training began early, at the age of 9, in Philadelphia. Being part of the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP, a magnetic music school in Philadelphia) allowed him to study at Temple University while he was still a junior high school student. School was not enough for the talented drummer, so he began studying privately with drummers such as Mickey Roker, Ralph Peterson Jr. and Armand Santarelli, and he joined the US Army group, where he played as a percussionist for six years. As a performer, he has worked with jazz luminaries including Freddie Hubbard, NEA Jazz Masters, Randy Weston, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Ron Carter and Jimmy Heath, as well as Person, Gloria Lynne, Charles Earland, Bobby Watson , Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr., Dr Lonnie Smith, Claudio Roditi, John Lee, Ralph Peterson Jr., Melvin Sparks and Shirley Scott.
The engineering, mixing, and mastering of “Nothin ‘But Love” were in the hands of Grammy Award-winning and Emmy-nominated Dave Kowalski.
The 12 song compilation from the album was recorded at Teaneck Sound Studio and produced by Person.
In a press release, he declares: “With such a good line-up behind (her), the voice of Lyon becomes the icing on the cake because this performer delivers from the soul while retaining the vocal discipline necessary to draw at inside the lines. The results of this collaboration are extremely pleasant.
“Person’s signature arrangements allow the standards to remain the familiar standards we know and love, but the instrumentation and voice are able to breathe and produce a refreshing music collection. This breath of fresh air is felt from the very beginning to the very end. The album title “Nothin ‘But Love” is the result of harmony within the studio between everyone involved. “It was great, you couldn’t ask for a more refined and harmonious group of musicians. It was a very memorable collaboration; the room was filled with nothing but love, ”said Lyon.
The album offers a refreshing variety of songs, and Lyon stands out with a unique voice and rhythm, a rare find among the male-dominated field.
For more information, visit kathylyonmusic.com.