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.
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.”