Courtesy of Prestige
Gene Ammons on the cover of 1960's Boss Tenor.
Gene Ammons on the cover of 1960's Boss Tenor. Courtesy of Prestige
Gene "Jug" Ammons was one of the tenor giants of his era. He had a big, deep tone that was perfect for everything from warm ballads to groove-intensive blues or sweet swing. He could blow with the best, too. Ammons' record label, Prestige, allowed him to record prolifically in the '50s and early '60s because he was so popular. Fortunately, the wealth of recordings allowed Ammons to maintain his popularity while, from 1962 to '69, he was incarcerated on a drug-possession conviction. Though Ammons died in 1974, his music has withstood the test of time.