Eric Person says he has been putting together this project since 1984. 28 years later, he is able to present his dedication “to the creator”, perhaps in a fashion bigger than he may have originally envisioned, with Thoughts On God (Distinction).
Saxophonist and flautist Eric Person is backed by a team of 11 musicians, so this is ensemble jazz at its best, getting into that big band sound where unity in numbers is a great thing. I’m someone who has always admired ensemble jazz, originally hearing horn sections growing up with a lot of soul and funk, but also hearing the music on telethons and the times I’d stay up after 10:30pm to hear the Tonight Show band, The power of the horns has been something I’ve always looked for, when sounds creep up and hit you at unexpected moments. That’s what Person and friends do here. Even if you’re not a religious or spiritual person, the feel and intent of these songs are powerful, and the musicianship just hits and hits hard at all the right moments. Just as John Coltrane once offered “Acknowledgement” in his own way, these are songs that are Person’s acknowledgements of his spirituality, and the enlightenment he feels. “Soothes The Soul” sounds exactly like the title entails, it puts you into relaxation mode and allows you to slow down your mind and take in whatever you see, hear, and touch. Thoughts On God will definitely bring to mind the words of Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Michael Brecker, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and the aforementioned Coltrane, where everything heard (and not heard) was placed there for a purpose, and perhaps for Person, that is just what his creator intended, through him.