Gene Ammons

Tenor Saxophone

1925- 1974

Gene Ammons (nicknamed Jug) was born April 14, 1925, the son of boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. He was a tenor sax player with a huge and immediately recognizable tone. His style became known as the Chicago school and was characterised by a big sound and aggressive up-tempo playing. Ammons was very flexible player who could play bebop with the best but also had a profound influence on the R&B; world. In fact, Ammons was at the centre of the bebop movement when he worked with the pioneering big band of Billy Eckstine from 1944-'47. This was the band that included most of the great boppers of the time (Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro and Art Blakey) and where he traded off with Dexter Gordon on the famous Eckstine record "Blowing the Blues Away". Ammons was featured with the Woody Herman Band in 1949, (succeeding Stan Getz) which helped to further spread his name internationally. Following the latest fashion for two tenor battles, he then moved on to form a partnership with Sonny Stitt, thus helping to establish the so called "Tough Tenor" school. Just when the economic fruits from this new direction came within reach, he was incarcerated for drug offenses from 1958 to 1960, as well as from the mid to late '60s. The largest body of his recorded work was done for Prestige and those efforts with Stitt are the most memorable, including Soul Summit (OJC). He was a big influence on other giants of the tenor saxophone such as Johnny Griffin and Clifford Jordan. Ammons, died of pneumonia on July 23, 1974.
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Recommended Recordings
The Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug OJC
Gentle Jug Vol 2 OJC
Gentle Jug Vol 3 OJC
Boss Tenors (with Sonny Stitt) OJC
Greatest Hits Vol 1 OJC
Jammin' with Gene OJC
Funky OJC
We'll be Together Again (with Sonny Stitt) OJC
Blue Gene OJC
Late Hour Special OJC
Angel Eyes OJC
Boss Tenor OJC
Bad! Bossa Nova OJC
The Chase OJC
Soul Summit (with Sonny Stitt and Jack McDuff) OJC
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