Gene Ammons

Top Songs & Albums Gene Ammons

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... read moreThe son of boogie woogie piano pioneer Albert Ammons, saxophonist Gene Ammons did some pioneering of his own. Taking the lessons he learned from swing and early bebop, he forged a new stylistic vein known as the “Chicago school,” making the tenor sax an ever more personal, expressive instrument. The...

Key songs

My Romance
Gene Ammons
4:12
My Romance (Remastered)
Gene Ammons
4:16
Here's That Rainy Day
Gene Ammons
6:06
Canadian Sunset
Gene Ammons
5:21

Biography

Active: 1940s-1970s
Country Of origin: United States of America

Gene Ammons, who had a huge and immediately recognizable tone on tenor, was a very flexible player who could play bebop with the best (always battling his friend Sonny Stitt to a tie) yet was an influence on the R&B world. Some of his ballad renditions became hits and, despite two unfortunate interruptions in his career, Ammons remained a popular attraction for 25 years.

Son of the great boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons, Gene Ammons (who was nicknamed "Jug") left Chicago at age 18 to work with King Kolax's band. He originally came to fame as a key soloist with Billy Eckstine's orchestra during 1944-1947, trading off with Dexter Gordon on the famous Eckstine record Blowing the Blues Away. Other than a notable stint with Woody Herman's Third Herd in 1949 and an attempt at co-leading a two tenor group in the early '50s with Sonny Stitt, Ammons worked as a single throughout his career, recording frequently (most notably for Prestige) in settings ranging from quartets and organ combos to all-star jam sessions. Drug problems kept him in prison during much of 1958-1960 and, due to a particularly stiff sentence, 1962-1969. When Ammons returned to the scene in 1969, he opened up his style a bit, including some of the emotional cries of the avant-garde while utilizing funky rhythm sections, but he was still able to battle Sonny Stitt on his own terms. Ironically the last song that he ever recorded (just a short time before he was diagnosed with terminal cancer) was "Goodbye." ~ Scott Yanow~ Rovi

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Appears in

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