E.FM

Radio

Gene Ammons




Gene Ammons grew up surrounded by music: His father was celebrated boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons:

and his high school produced scores of famous jazz musicians. "I would tell them to get a sound. Practice their sound. That's the most important thing."Gene Ammons, advice to young musiciansNPR.org, February 20, 2008 - When Albert Ayler informed a critic that his music was more about feelings than about notes, he could also have been describing the immense yet undersung legacy of fellow tenor saxophonist Gene "Jug" Ammons.

A Chicago native, Ammons had an ability to infuse originals and standards with preachy yet elegant clouds of sound. His contributions to what became known as "soul jazz" were ignored by critics. But his abilities earned him the respect of jazz and R&B lovers, as well as innovative bandleaders such as Billy Eckstine and Woody Herman, who both had the vision to hire Ammons in the late 1940s.

Some of Ammons' stylistic versatility can undoubtedly be traced to his Chicago home, where he was born on Apr. 14, 1925. There, he heard the piano stylings of his mother, and perhaps most importantly his father, the celebrated boogie-woogie master Albert Ammons. He also learned from the renowned "Captain" Walter Dyett, the musical director of Chicago's DuSable High School. Dyett was instrumental in launching the careers of many other DuSable alumni, including the legendary crooner and pianist Nat "King" Cole and fellow saxophonist Johnny Griffin.

In the early 1940s, Ammons joined the ensemble of trumpeter King Kolax, a stint that allowed him to craft a style out of two key saxophone influences — the blustery Coleman Hawkins, and the more painterly Lester Young. This marriage of aural ideologies was further honed in 1944, when Ammons joined the innovative orchestra of vocalist, trumpeter, and bandleader Billy Eckstine; there, his fluid, rich-toned style was featured on songs such as "Rhythm in a Riff" and "Blowing the Blues Away."

In 1947, Ammons formed his own quintet and also produced his first hit, called "Red Top" after his wife Mildred's nickname. "Red Top" featured the "big beat" and bluesy saxophone that was to define a genre soon christened R&B. Two years later, Ammons joined clarinetist Woody Herman's "Second Herd" ensemble, and was impressively spotlighted on bop-influenced chordal mazes like Shorty Rogers' "More Moon."

The next year found Ammons paired with the fleet-fingered, Charlie Parker-influenced alto saxophonist Sonny Stitt — a musical marriage that proved a hit both artistically and commercially. He also had a number of successful recording dates for Prestige Records during the same decade.

In 1958, Ammons suffered his first career setback when he was arrested and convicted for narcotics possession. He resumed playing at the end of his prison term in 1960, when jazz was in the midst of another sea change. A number of ensembles turned to the Hammond B-3 organ instead of the piano. The rise of unabashedly funky soul-jazz was a natural match for Ammons' driving, bluesy sound, and he was again able to lend his arresting tone to a number of successful projects.

Unfortunately, Ammons' drug problems led to a another arrest and conviction in 1962 — though jazz and blues expert Bob Porter says that Ammons was framed. Luckily, thanks to the savvy of Prestige Records producer Bob Weinstock, the label was able to continue releasing new material. Ammons was released from prison in 1969. From then until his death from bone cancer on Aug. 6, 1974, he continued to make new recordings, including the acclaimed collection The Boss Is Back, as well as equally memorable dates with saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Cannonball Adderley.

In the more than 25 years since his death, Ammons' soulful approach and versatility have continued to touch musicians and fans. The key to his unique influence is found in what Ammons told a journalist in 1961, when asked to offer advice to young musicians: "I would tell them to get a sound. Practice their sound. That's the most important thing."

Hittin' The Jug
Close Your Eyes
My Romance
Blue Ammons
Confirmation
Savoy

Views: 88

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

Latest Activity

Magassia Promotions is now a member of E.FM
Friday
Edie2k2 left a comment for KnightD12
Dec 20, 2017
Edie2k2 commented on Edie2k2's blog post test
Nov 29, 2017
Edie2k2 commented on Edie2k2's blog post test
Nov 29, 2017
Edie2k2 commented on Edie2k2's blog post test
Nov 29, 2017
Edie2k2 commented on Edie2k2's blog post test
Nov 27, 2017
E ♪♫♪ posted songs
Nov 3, 2017
Edie2k2 left a comment for Old School C
Nov 2, 2017

♪♫♪...My Podomatic

I Had A Nightmare

itunes pic
Don Hollinger

Rainy Day

itunes pic
(Gary Lionelli-Made In America)

Musical Massage

itunes pic
Leon Ware

Icarus

itunes pic
Straight Ahead | Body & Soul (1993)

Optimistic

itunes pic
Straight Ahead ...featuring a fantastic solo by Regina Carter.

♪♫♪...Today In The News

US border patrol routinely sabotages water left for migrants, report says

US border patrol routinely sabotages water left for migrants, report says Volunteers are said to have found hundreds of water gallons vandalised in a patch of Sonoran desert. United States border patrol agents routinely vandalise containers of water and other supplies left in the Arizona desert for migrants, condemning people to die of thirst in baking temperatures, according to two humanitarian groups. Volunteers found water gallons vandalised 415 times, on average twice a week, in an 800 sq mile patch of Sonoran desert south-west of Tucson, from March 2012 to December 2015, the report said.


Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony's Day

Blessing of the animals on St. Anthony's Day The feast of St. Anthony, Spain’s patron saint of animals, is celebrated each year. On the eve of St. Anthony’s Day, riders guide their horses through a bonfire in the village of San Bartolome de Pinares as part of the Luminarias ritual in honor of St. Anthony the Abbot.


Police issue warning about drugs cut with 'Rizzy' after man's skin is eaten away

Police issue warning about drugs cut with 'Rizzy' after man's skin is eaten away Police in Alliance, Ohio, issued a warning to other law enforcement officials after a man's skin was eaten away when he allegedly injected heroin tainted with a substance called "Rizzy" into his arms, according to WEWS. Narcotics officers who arrested the unnamed 25-year-old man last week said they immediately noticed his horrific injuries. WEWS reports that the man's forearm skin was blackened and peeling, and some of his flesh had been completely eaten away.


Alligator and python captured tangling on golf course

Alligator and python captured tangling on golf course Several golfers had their games interrupted in Florida by a highly unusual sight on Friday: a python battling an alligator.


Social Security Has Paid Benefits To My Dead Husband For A Year

Social Security Has Paid Benefits To My Dead Husband For A Year Ann Brenoff’s “On The Fly” is a weekly column about navigating growing older ― and a few other things.


Discussion Forum

My Grandfather, The Cotton Club, and Billy Eckstine

Started by Shelley "SoleMann" King. Last reply by Tonya Anderson Jun 18, 2009. 7 Replies

Billy Eckstine

Started by Edie2k2. Last reply by Shelley "SoleMann" King Mar 20, 2009. 5 Replies

Jazz Dance

Started by Saint. Last reply by Edie2k2 Mar 16, 2009. 1 Reply

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

The Best Music From The Past .. Present .. And Into The Future ♪♫♪

© 2018   Created by Edie2k2.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service