Emmet Cohen feat. Houston Person – Masters Legacy Series Volume 5

Bandstand Records – Street Date November 10th 2023
Emmet Cohen feat. Houston Person – Masters Legacy Series Volume 5

We were accustomed to hearing Emmet Cohen on his own compositions on the Mack Avenue label. Here he is on Masters Legacy Series Volume 5, in the company of 88-year-old saxophonist Houston Person, who exudes an incredible sense of class, poise, and lends a special brilliance to this admirable album that kicks off with a highly enticing ‘Why Not?’ – what a beautiful album opener in which you can feel the perfect chemistry between Emmet Cohen and Houston Person.
Strangely, yesterday I found myself revisiting Dexter Gordon, perhaps it was an intuition, but in any case, I find here a magnificent interpretation of ‘If You See Me Now,’ and I can’t help but think of what a duo on this track between the two saxophonists, under the enchanted gaze of Emmet Cohen, could have been like, because yes, this album is one of fascination.
Then comes the track ‘All My Tomorrow,’ where the vast cultural influences of these two artists seep into the bluesy intentions, on a syrupy jazz journey. You glide endlessly from note to note, almost daydreaming about this recording at the Van Gelder studios, tailored to respect the history of jazz down to the finest nuances. Especially when you consider the fantastic lineup of artists on this album: Houston Person (tenor saxophone), Emmet Cohen (piano), Yasuhi Nakamura (double bass), and Kyle Poole (drums). There’s much to dream about…
Rich, beautiful, seductive – these are just a few of the adjectives and superlatives that aptly describe this album, one you can’t get enough of. It offers a thousand and one surprises with each listen, and it’s impossible not to mentally recall all the great names in jazz that this album evokes. For me, it brings to mind the orchestrations of Lionel Hampton, Dexter Gordon, of course, Count Basie, and the list could go on because on this album, Emmet Cohen reminds me of Oscar Peterson. The same way of delivering perfectly calibrated notes whenever needed. In fact, this album ends in that kind of ambiance with the track ‘Sunday Kind Of Love.’ I also strongly recommend you listen to the excellent album recently released on the Mack Avenue label, ‘Oscar Peterson – Con Alma: The Oscar Peterson Trio – Live in Lugano, 1964.’ You’ll better sense this part of jazz history, this craftsmanship that, on the surface, plays simplicity in often very complex compositions.
It’s difficult, yes, truly difficult not to have ‘Emmet Cohen feat. Houston Person – Masters Legacy Series Volume 5′ on repeat until the end of the night. It’s impossible not to admire the musicians’ way of playing and Houston Person’s incredible, reassuring, and enchanting presence – it’s a must-have, as stated by Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, October 18th 2023


To buy this album

Emmet Cohen’s Website

Houston Person’s Facebook page