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Gene Ammons: Greatest Hits - The 70s

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Album Review

Assembled in 1998 for Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics series, Greatest Hits: The 70s offers a sample of recordings that Gene Ammons made during the first two years after his release from prison in 1969. The collection, which spans 1969-1971, draws on five of Ammons' Prestige albums from that period: The Boss Is Back, Brother Jug, The Black Cat, You Talk That Talk, and My Way. None of the tenor titan's 1972-1974 recordings are included — and for that reason, Fantasy probably should have called this release Greatest Hits: The 70s, Vol. 1, and followed it up with a Vol. 2 focusing on 1972-1974. At any rate, the material on this 56-minute CD ranges from excellent to merely decent. "Jungle Strut" and "The Jungle Boss" are soul-jazz gems, and "Didn't We" is a fine example of Ammons' expressive ballad playing. Meanwhile, Ammons' versions of "My Way" (a song that Sinatra defined) and the Linda Ronstadt hit "Long Long Time" are pleasant but hardly essential — both performances would have been better off without Bill Fischer's commercial string arrangement. Unfortunately, two of the tracks are not listed in their correct order; Fantasy lists "My Way" as the eighth track and "Chicago Breakdown" as the ninth, but it's actually the other way around. Nonetheless, Greatest Hits: The 70s has more plusses than minuses — and, most of the time, it paints an attractive picture of Ammons' late period.

Customer Reviews

Love It you will too!!

Gene Ammons soulful feel to everytrack brings you in tune with the time period and funky groove you won't get let down at all my favorite track The jungle Boss and Ger-ru but get the whole ablum its a a banger!!


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...
Full Bio

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