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Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 - The Sixties

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Album Review

A noble attempt at harnessing a vast and varied career, OJC's hits roundup of Gene Ammons' '60s sides provides a balanced sampling of the tenor great's indelible ballad work and the funkier soul-jazz he also favored during the decade; and, in between, there's a whole lot of top-notch swing and seasoned soloing. From a fine outing with B-3 organ man Jack McDuff ("Twistin' the Jug") to one of his best ballads ("My Foolish Heart"), the mix provides a very enjoyable way to plot your Ammons buying spree. Plus, there's a gem ("Canadian Sunset") from what is arguably Jug's best outing, Boss Tenor.


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 unfortunate interruptions in his career, Ammons remained a popular attraction for 25 years. Son of the great boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons, Gene Ammons (who was nicknamed "Jug") left Chicago at age 18 to work with...
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