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Boss Tenor

Gene Ammons

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Album Review

The great tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons was of the generation of swing-era players that easily adapted to bop. But though he was a modernist, Ammons maintained that breathy, old-school romantic approach to the tenor. Boss Tenor, a quintet session from 1960, is one of Ammons' very best albums. Ray Barretto's congas subtly add a bit of Latin spice, but otherwise this is a collection of standards rendered with a gorgeous late-night bluesy feel. Accompaniment by Tommy Flanagan, one of the best mainstream pianists ever, certainly doesn't hurt, either. A gem.

Biography

Born: April 14, 1925 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Gene Ammons, who had a huge and immediately recognizable tone on tenor, was a very flexible player who could play bebop with the best (always battling his friend Sonny Stitt to a tie) yet was an influence on the R&B world. Some of his ballad renditions became hits and, despite two...
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