This relaxed, swinging quintet session from 1960 isn't the landmark that many of the other releases in this series are. But it is among the finest, most rewarding music tenor great Gene Ammons (1925-74) ever made. Boss Tenor easily confused with Boss Tenors , the 1961 Verve record Ammons cut with Sonny Stitt is probably included here due to Ammons's enduring and unprecedented affiliation with Prestige. Ammons recorded over 50 albums for the label from 1950, around the time of the label's inception, until Ammons's death in 1974 (interrupted only by seven years in jail between 1962 and 1969). A warm, burnished, consistently recognizable tone always blew through Ammons's horn and the assured, identifiable manner he could scale ballads, blues, bop and r & b was always reliable and appealing. Here, though, he is ideally teamed with the gracefully elegant and innately soulful pianist Tommy Flanagan, Prestige house bassist, Doug Watkins, and house drummer, Art Taylor, and with just the right amount of Latin spice, Ray Barretto's congas. The feel, less loose than many of the 1950s jam sessions that Ammons participated in, seems unusually well considered and as rehearsed as any Blue Note date. Ammons chooses well here too, glossing musically over Bird's "Confirmation," Bill Doggett's "Savoy" and easing lovingly through Rodgers and Hart's "My Romance" (ranking right up there with Ben Webster's classic interpretations). Two "hits" actually emerged from this record, making it one well worth acquiring: Ammon's soulful blues, "Hittin' The Jug," and a swinging rendition of the otherwise corny pop hit "Canadian Sunset." A winner all the way around, and one of the definitive additions to Ammons's huge discography.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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