Since coming to New York City from St.Louis Missouri in 1982, Eric Person has notched an impressive resume performing and recording with legends in jazz such as Dave Holland, McCoy Tyner, Chico Hamilton, John Hicks, Donald Byrd and Houston Person. He’s also performed alongside genre bending musicians Vernon Reid, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Dave Douglas and Ben Harper. Person is also the leader of his own bands, Meta-Four and Metamorphosis and is co-leader of Triokinesis.
In 1983 drummer Chico Hamilton gave Eric his first opportunity to play with a jazz legend. After auditioning for Chico, Eric joined his band and set out performing in clubs in and around New York City. He ultimately toured the USA and Europe with him. He’s recorded six CD releases with him as well.
From 1994 -1997 Eric was a pivotal member of the Dave Holland Quartet. That ensemble toured throughout Europe, United States and Canada, playing prestigious concert halls and festivals. It was a great band whos success culminated in the classic recording on ECM Records, Dream of the Elders. It put Eric on the map and continued Mr. Holland’s great legacy in Jazz. This group made exciting music, and is one of the cornerstones in Eric’s career.
During that same period Eric was a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. That band toured throughout the USA and released the Black Saint records release Moving Right Along.
After spending many years developing his sound as a sideman, Eric was ready to record as a leader. His debut release 1993’s Arrival was an auspicious beginning which paved the way for 1994’s Prophecy, both on Soul Note Records. Down Beat Magazine gave them 3 1/2 and 4 stars respectively. Arrival emphasized a variety of styles and Eric’s willingness to take chances. Prophecy was more conceptual, focusing on solo, duos and trio settings, while mixing Person’s songs with those of John Coltrane.
1997’s More Tales to Tell, showed the biggest development in Eric’s music. Strong arrangements and compositions, and an expanded band that featured acoustic guitar, bass clarinet, bassoon and flute. Down Beat gave the recording 4 stars.
1999’s Extra Pressure brings together the best qualities of the previous releases in a singular musical statement by his working band Meta-Four. Extra Pressure is a “musical knockout punch”—it’s Eric Person coming of age.
2003 Brings us “Live at Big Sur”, the CD captures Meta-Four in dynamic performances at the 2002 Big Sur Jazz Festival. This recording features three compositions recorded here for the first time and four that are updated from Eric’s earlier records. This is Eric’s first Live CD as a leader, and it shows that Eric and the band are ready to “deliver the goods,” Live or in the studio.
Person is more then fine; he's a major talent of his generation.
Russ Musto-All About Jazz Magazine.
Eric’s next two CD’s, Reflections and Rhythm Edge let’s everyone know where he’s come from and where he’s headed.
The Grand Illusion is Person’s eighth CD as a leader. He calls this his rhythm and groove project.
Donald Elfman of All About Jazz says: saxophonist Eric Person seems to find something new to say and a different direction to follow with every project he undertakes. The Grand Illusion is definately a groove project, a collection of danceable yet thought provoking jams and comfortably passionate settings. The music seems daring at this time, recalling as it does the jazz/funk experiments of the past and the commitment of the players makes it work. Despite the fact that this is a groove album, it doesn't get bogged down in sameness thanks to the diversity of the tunes. "Morning Prayer" has the serinity of a Coltrane ballad. "More Tales to tell" and "Driving Rain" let us know that knockout rock hard explosions can feel spiritual too.