Jazz April Birthday #14: Gene Ammons 1925-1974 | April 14, 2013

The Boss, Gene Ammonscredit:

The Boss, Gene “Jug” Ammons

Chicago-born tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons was the son of boogie-woogie piano master Albert Ammons.  His mother was a pianist as well.  Inspired to play saxophone after hearing Lester Young, Gene went on to play alongside several of the bebop and post-bop era’s most noted players, including Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Art Blakey, Fats Navarro, Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, Woody Herman, James Moody, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, and Billy Eckstine.

Ammons and Von Freeman were the founders of the Chicago school of tenor saxophone:   strong powerful playing punctuated with sharp bursts or “honks” and low, deep notes while playing ballads.

In between prison sentences for drug convictions, Ammons made an astonishing 22 recordings between 1960 and 1962.

“You have a head like a jug.”  –Billy Eckstine, who gave Ammons the nickname “Jug.”


    Robin’s Nest

    A blog about Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz, New Orleans, musician's stories and more. My name is Robin Lloyd and I've been involved in jazz radio and the music business for over 30 years. This is my personal blog.

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