Bright Moments

Gene Ammons

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Gene Ammons is one of my all time favorites! I just discovered that one of our own, Christiern did the liner notes for "The Boss is Back!"

My hope is that we can persuade Christiern to tell us some "insider" Gene Ammons stories!

:)

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Try posting on Deep's thread. He might see it there.

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enjoying this atm!

51qOSRK3rmL._SS500_.jpg

What recordings are these?

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enjoying this atm!

51qOSRK3rmL._SS500_.jpg

What recordings are these?

1. House Warmin'

2. Jivin' Around

3. Nothing But Soul

4. Jug-n-McGhee

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at least in my part of the world in can be heard here - good one!

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Ah, yes. That is a good one. It has been released under quite a number of different covers and titles. A few releases called it "Nothing But Soul." Interestingly enough, Howard McGhee was the leader of the session, as indicated on the original Argo release:

HowardMcGheeGeneAmmons-HouseWarminNothingButSoul.jpg

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Ah, yes. That is a good one. It has been released under quite a number of different covers and titles. A few releases called it "Nothing But Soul." Interestingly enough, Howard McGhee was the leader of the session, as indicated on the original Argo release:

HowardMcGheeGeneAmmons-HouseWarminNothingButSoul.jpg

I have a 45 from that session - "House Warmin'" parts 1 & 2, on the Winley label. The label credits Howard McGee (sic) with The Blazers.

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if you can find it, check out a late date he made, on CD as Live at Pio's: In Sweden. Loose as a goose.

Edited by AllenLowe

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I just saw this thread for the first time. Back in 2004, when this thread was born, I had great Gene Ammons stories, but I'm afraid the intervening years have claimed them.

Thanks for telling me that I wrote those liner notes—I have no recollection of that....seriously!

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I just saw this thread for the first time. Back in 2004, when this thread was born, I had great Gene Ammons stories, but I'm afraid the intervening years have claimed them.

Thanks for telling me that I wrote those liner notes—I have no recollection of that....seriously!

dang! i was hoping for a few stories!

:rcry

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Other than his records?

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I have a Gene Ammons story, though probably not as good as Chris'. Bob Neloms told me that one of his first gigs out of Berklee was with Ammons, who called the tune Crazy Rhythm. Bob said the only tune he knew with the word "rhythm" in it was I Got Rhythm, which he proceeded to play while the rest of the band band played Crazy Rhythm.

After they played it Ammons said to Bob: "You play some wrong notes, but you sure do play funky."

Edited by AllenLowe

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I have a Gene Ammons story, though probably not as good as Chris'. Bob Neloms told me that one of his first gigs out of Berklee was with Ammons, who called the tune Crazy Rhythm. Bob said the only tune he knew with the word "rhythm" in it was I Got Rhythm, which he proceeded to play while the rest of the band band played Crazy Rhythm.

After they played it Ammons said to Bob: "You play some wrong notes, but you sure do play funky."

:rofl:

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On the topic of anecdotes, is there an Ammons bio?

There promises to be a ton of Ammons material in the long-gestating book on soul jazz by Bob Porter, who knows more about Ammons than anyone.

I've been mulling an Ammons essay for a while but haven't gotten around to it yet. I've been addicted to his playing forever -- nobody played with more personal expression or feeling than Jug. The marriage of such a virle-yet-vulnerable sound, melodic rhyme, relaxed swing, natural push-pull phrasing, bebop, blues, testifying and vocalized sound in a solo like this one on "Exactly Like You" is just in a class by itself.

(From Ammons' best record in my opinion, "Jug," with "Boss Tenor" coming in second.)

But with Jug, the whole cultural relevance of jazz, especially in the black community,is just as significant. The corner bar, jukeboxes, etc. Porter told me that in the '60s he knew middle class blacks who planned vacations around Ammons' itinerary, always trying to hear him along the way. His appeal cut across every schism of class and style -- doctors, lawyers, pimps, factory workers, hipsters, squares, beboppers, avant-gardists. A beloved figure and completely original yet essentially ignored by the larger critical establishment, which on the one hand is not surprising since but for his time in the Eckstine band he was never within shouting distance of the vanguard. But at his funeral, both Miles Davis and Ray Charles sent huge bouquets. That says something.

Last thought: There's nothing wrong with jazz education that couldn't be fixed by firebombing all the major jazz schools with Gene Ammons records.

Edited by Mark Stryker

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"There's nothing wrong with jazz education that couldn't be fixed by firebombing all the major jazz schools "

a radical thought but don't worry, we'll help you raise money for your trial.

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I wanted to add this, from my notes to a later blues box (if it ever comes out) - because I've always thought Ammons was a significant influence on Coltrane, and this recording clinched it for me:

"Blowin’ the Blues Away Billy Eckstein Gene Ammons Dexter Gordon 12/5/44 Here is the future of jazz saxophone (after Bird, that is), particularly in the work of Ammons, whose thick cry of a tone, sense of blues modality as overlaid on the chord (with a regular return to the tonic) not only predicts but likely also influenced John Coltrane. Not to mention what a truly funky player he was, devoid of honker clichés and blues-phrase crutches"

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All the Gene Ammons records in my collection (most of them) are desert island discs, even the one or two that are rather unsatisfactory ('In Chicago' - too much too fast; 'Brasswind' - horrid arrangements).

MG

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