February 15, 2011 by esarsea
This week we’re sitting in the corner of a small, dimly-lit and smokey club somewhere in Chicago during the early 1960’s. On the modest stage stands Gene “Jug” Ammons, recently released from serving a 2 year prison term for narcotics possession. Unkown to Ammons — and the captivated audience at the time — is the fact that in less than 2 years, Ammons will serve another prison term (this time 7 years) for yet another narcotics charge.
Gene Ammons compiled an impressive disography and list of credits during his short 49 year life. Ammons was an incredibly emotive sax player, who understood and applied the, “Less is more” approach to his music. His phrasings were beautiful, with tones that were dry and rich, deep and earthy, breathy and soulful.
My favorite Gene Ammons album his 1962 release Swingin’ The Jug. It was not available on CD until recently. Unfortunately the record company saw fit to add bonus tracks to the re-release which in my opinion detracts from the overall listening experience — but it’s still well worth the purchase price.
I was unable to locate any cuts from Swingin’ The Jug on youtube, but I was able to locate all 7 tracks from his 1960 release, Boss Tenor. So try to imagine sitting in that Chicago night club some 50 years ago. Turn it up, and listen to a master apply his craft.
You might be interested to learn Boss Tenor has just been digitally remastered using 20-bit technology, and is set for release today 2-15-11! You can view and order the CD here.