Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor Sax

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 Gene Ammons on the cover of 1960's Boss Tenor. i i

Gene Ammons on the cover of 1960's Boss Tenor. Courtesy of Prestige hide caption

itoggle caption 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.

Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor Sax

Groove Blues

Groove Blues

  • Artist: Gene Ammons
  • Album: Groove Blues

This groove is so bright, and spirited you can barely spot a trace of blue in it until Ammons breaks into a solo a bit into the tune. The flute, provided by Jerome Richardson, adds considerable brightness. Jazz legends John Coltrane, Paul Quinichette, Pepper Adams, and Mal Waldron round out this album's all-star cast.

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Song
Groove Blues
Album
Groove Blues
Artist
Gene Ammons
Label
Ojc
Released
1958

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Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug

Willow Weep for Me

  • Artist: Gene Ammons
  • Album: Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug

This standard is especially blue and soulful in Ammons' hands. It starts as a mellow ballad, breaks into a light swing, then winds back down into a slower pace. The Gene Ammons Story combines songs from two Ammons albums, Nice an' Cool and The Soulful Mood of Gene Ammons.

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Song
Willow Weep for Me
Album
Gene Ammons Story: Gentle Jug
Artist
Gene Ammons
Label
Prestige
Released
1961

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Boss Tenor

Canadian Sunset

  • Artist: Gene Ammons
  • Album: Boss Tenor [RVG Remaster]

The warm, full sound of Ammons' tenor sax captures attention just as well as a beautiful sunset. Ray Baretto is featured on conga, which adds a slightly Latin feel to this Canada-inspired tune.

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Song
Canadian Sunset
Album
Boss Tenor [RVG Remaster]
Artist
Gene Ammons
Label
Prestige
Released
1960

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Late Hour Special

The Party's Over

  • Artist: Gene Ammons
  • Album: Late Hour Special

It feels like the party might be over, but it's definitely continuing somewhere else afterwards. "The Party's Over" features Ammons working with a larger ensemble, conducted by Oliver Nelson.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Party's Over
Album
Late Hour Special
Artist
Gene Ammons
Label
Original Jazz Classics
Released
1961

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Jug

Ol' Man River

  • Artist: Gene Ammons
  • Album: Jug

The introduction of this tune sounds as if Ammons captured the flow of a river through his tenor sax. The song picks up into a steady, swinging current from there.

Purchase Featured Music

Song
Ol' Man River
Album
Jug
Artist
Gene Ammons
Label
JVC Japan
Released
1961

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