The Jazzcat

Eric Person and Meta-Four at Santa Monica College

by on Apr.11, 2006, under News


Additional Photos

Straight outta Brooklyn to Los Angeles, my main man Eric Person set out

on a West Coast that proved to be quite a musically successful venture. His

intent was to make his journey part vacation, part business and 100% jazz

music, Meta-Fourically speaking!


He came down to the LAX Westin and sat in with Larry Nash,

visited the Crown Plaza for Rebecca Paris, stopped by LACMA for John Heard,

checked out an up an coming jazz club downtown called “Harlem Place” that, when

finished, is going to be one of the most beautiful places to see jazz in the

world and dropped into Café Metropol to have a quick visit with Rocco Somazzi.

Quite the busy cat, but when it came to playing his first gig of the tour, it

was all about the business of the alto and the soprano.

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Eric lives in the East but, he teamed up with some brothers

from the West for this trip. On piano, one of our outstanding players who just

produced his very first album, Mr. John Rangel. On bass, another one of the

cats from around the way who has played with Dwight Trible, Hydeus Kiatta and a

number of other folks around town, Mr. Kevin Oneil. And on drums, a young man

working on many different projects around town and certainly becoming one of

the most sought after percussion players in this town, Tony Austin.



Eric writes all of his own music and his thoughts and

concepts are derived directly from his travels and life’s experiences from

growing up in St. Louis to making the pilgrimage

to the mecca of the music, New York

citay! He is here playing with these cats for the first time and although his

concepts are challenging, the music rises to the occasion.

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The audience here at Santa Monica College

is full of music students. Not the ones that play instruments but, those taking

music appreciation classes and some hearing jazz for the first time. Keith

Fiddmont, Leslie Drayton and Kevin Oneil, are all players but, are also

instructors here at Santa Monica

College. Many of their

students are in the audience and have been learning the foundation of the music

through class and now getting to experience the music first hand. You can tell

that these young minds are eager to learn, hear, feel, grasp, incorporate and

become apart of the music as they listen with open ears.


“Majestic Taurian Majesty” is a piece that was written and

dedicated to Charles Mingus. A sweet mid-tempo ballad with rich tones and

colorful bass characteristics revealing the softer side of the bull. The music

silences to just the sound of the bass and then to just the alto as if old wise

ones are telling their stories to a captivating audience with a thurst for

knowledge. The individual voices of the instruments on their own are powerful, spiritual,

and just a beaming light of brilliance as the sole source of the sound.

  image image

The auditorium is big enough to have a sizable audience yet

intimate enough for the music to collectively penetrate the individual souls as

one pure cognitive source of musical intelligence. It’s EP not ET and a phone

call home about the standard, meditative, Trane-like, therapeutic qualities  of “Stella by Starlight” would not be a bad

idea. Familiar phrases with so much different information that you look forward

to hearing how it will be expressed the next time it is performed. On “It’s

Time Again” the relevance to New

Orleans is prevalent and if you just close you eyes,

you can feel the concepts sink into your body. Over off to the side, Eric

smiles as the cats start digging in enhancing the Beauty of “Song #6”. In

church they call it tongues, but live on stage, it is the natural birth of

musical creation, no epidural. Integrity in simplicity cannot always be

achieved but, is so satisfying when it is. The music is open, free and swingin’

with Extra Pressure!


LeRoy Downs



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