4 PM Reception | 5 PM Performance

Reuniting for a Molly Blank Concert Series performance at the Breman Museum on March 12, pianist Joe Alterman and legendary tenor saxophonist Houston Person plan a melodic swing through standards of the Great American Songbook.

Their show title, “Together Again,” emphasizes that togetherness is a key component for these musicians who are decades apart in age but totally simpatico on stage. “Houston and I have such a fun time performing together,” Alterman says of his collaborations with legendary saxman, “and there are smiles all around when we play — both on our faces and those in the audience.”

The 5 PM performance will be preceded by a 4 PM reception featuring Kosher Cajun food and drink.

Though they have shared the stage many times, Atlantan Alterman can step back and call his South Carolina-born collaborator “a bona fide jazz legend — one of the greatest saxophonists of all time.”

Known for his 35-year partnership with Etta Jones, Person has more than 75 albums under his own name on the Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, Muse and HighNote labels. In addition to Jones, he has recorded with Charles Brown, Charles Earland, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Horace Silver, Dakota Staton and others.

Although he has performed in the hard bop and swing genres, Person is best known for his work in soul jazz. He believes in music that provides “a release and a relief.” His goal in recordings and concerts is, he says, to deliver “good solid melodies with some improvisation and plenty of blues feel.”

That’s part of what makes him and Alterman fitting allies. ArtsATL recently noted about the pianist, “He has emerged as one of the freshest — and yet most classic — voices in modern jazz.”

The late, great Ramsey Lewis called Alterman’s music, “Happy music with tasty meat on the bones.” The pianist believes that’s an apt description for what’s in store during their “Together Again” gig at The Breman on March 12, with swing, funk, soul and blues on the menu. The 5 PM performance will be preceded by a 4 PM reception featuring food and drink.

More on Joe Alterman: Alterman has performed at world-renowned venues including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and New York’s Blue Note, where he has opened, many times, for Ramsey Lewis. In addition to his own trio, he has also performed with Houston Person, Dick Gregory and Les McCann, who says, “Joe’s on a ‘blow your mind’ level.” Alterman has released four critically acclaimed albums, including his most recent, 2021’s “The Upside of Down: Live at Birdland.” He has also written liner notes to three Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis albums. In addition to his piano work, Alterman is the executive director of Neranenah Concert & Culture Series, which celebrates Jewish contributions to music and the arts.

More on Houston Person: “Tenor saxophonist Houston Person’s playing has a lot in common with a perfectly brewed cup of coffee,” according to HighNote Records, which has released 29 albums by the saxophonist, including his most recent, 2022’s “Reminiscing at Rudy’s.” “Both are bold, tasteful, smooth, eye-opening and addictive once experienced.” The album’s title is an homage to Houston’s engineer of choice, the legendary Rudy Van Gelder. Person’s very first recording as a leader, the 1967 “Underground Soul!” was done at Van Gelder’s fabled Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, studio and they continued their friendship and working relationship until the engineer’s passing in 2016. But “Reminiscing at Rudy’s” – which includes smoldering blues-tinged numbers, up-tempo takes on old favorites and sultry, late-night ballads — is “not a backward-looking memorial album,” HighNote notes. “That is not Person’s style. If you go by his busy performance schedule and his extensive discography, Houston Person is, like his fans, always looking forward to his next gig.”

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