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Lazaro Vega

Gene Ammons

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Gene Ammons soulful tenor saxophone rang out over the airwaves of Blue Lake Public Radio last night. In the first part of each hour we featured Ammons music, starting mid-career, 1961, with music from “Brother Jug” and “The Boss Is Back.” Though Dexter Gordon may have been the first to “bop the tenor saxophone,” Gene Ammons was close behind, digging the music of Charlie Parker, yet completely distinctive in playing ballads. You may check this episode of Jazz From Blue Lake out for yourself via www.bluelake.org/ondemand.

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First word that popped into my mind - "fun", Jug was fun.

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Always!

I swear to god, people talk about "body music" like, you know, dance music, but Gene Ammons, that sound, it resonated in such a way that it gets inside your body and goes straight to your soul. At least it does mine. I don't care what the record is, what the setting is, when that cat makes a sound, I mean shit, feel first, don't ask any questions, later, or ever. If Gene Ammons' sound leaves you asking questions...of course I can only speak for myself, but an answer that total needs no question, if you have to ask, don't and/or all the variations on that.

When we had real jazz radio around here, you would hear Gene Ammons all through the day and into the night, he had a record for any groove the DJ wanted to hit.

People don't play like this any more. "Style" is totally irrelevant to this point, feel is. Why that is...I'd hate to think that people don't feel like this any more, don't vibrate like this any more, but...

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From the Lester Young Appreciation Society on Facebook, in response to this radio program posting:  Jon Wheatley "I experience Gene as a kind of bebop sax version of Louis Armstrong. His music was down-to-earth, sweet, fiery, sincere and never too ornate. Like, jazz for everyman...  I believe Gene had hit songs in three decades. My Foolish Heart (50's) Canadian Sunset (60's) and My Way (70's). Remarkable and his career wasn't even that long. " And from Terry Gibbs "I worked with Gene on the Woody Herman Band. We know how great he was as a Jazz Saxophonist but a lot of you don't know that he was one of the most gentle people you would love to like to hang out with. We are both on a record called "More Moon" that we recorded with Woody. Gene's two choruses that he played on the record is something that would stay in your head if you ever heard it. It was great."

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Ammons solos first on this tune on "How High The Moon" changes:

 

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