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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Varied Selection of Gene Ammons, 28 Aug. 2011
By 
ACB(swansea) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Groove Blues / Boss Tenor / Blue Gene) (Audio CD)
Gene Ammons (1925-1974) was the son of pianist Albert. Gene took to tenor saxophone. Working in a predominantly bebop format from aged 18 with Billy Eckstein, Fats Navarro, Art Blakey, he then spent time in small group settings especially with Sonny Stitt. His musical career was something of a roller-coaster with ups and downs interrupted by prison spells for narcotics. I am unsure if the 'Jug' nickname emanated from this. He was also known as 'The Boss'. This Avid compilation is again welcome particularly to remind us of Gene Ammons's warmth and ability especially with blues.
GROOVE BLUES: Notable for John Coltrane's presence on alto sax, although of interest only. The music is largely collective with ensemble work from Mal Waldron, Pepper Adams, Paul Quinichette and Art Taylor. Ammons had R&B affiliations during his short recording career but breaks from this with more blues numbers such as 'It Might As Well Be Spring'.
BOSS TENOR: A sturdy compact album with Tommy Flanagan, Art Taylor,Doug Watkins and Ray Barretto providing the rhythm section. Ammons plays consistently well and in command, most notably on 'Hittin The Jug', 'Close Your Eyes' and the passionate ballad 'My Romance'.
BLUE GENE: Pianist Mal Waldron wrote the four featured compositions. The accompanists are as above with the addition of frontmen Art Pepper and trumpeter Idrees Sulierman. The numbers are pretty straightforward. Good if not exceptional. The title track is well-conceived.
THE HAPPY BLUES: Fairly long blues-based numbers with the welcome addition of Jackie McLean who, with Mal Waldron, and Addison Farmer on bass keep the momentum and supply of ideas to achieve continued interest. 'Can't We Be Friends' and 'The Happy Blues' are enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great purchase. This is how to play blues tenor sax., 28 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Groove Blues / Boss Tenor / Blue Gene) (Audio CD)
There are / were so many tenor players ! Gene Ammons, son of boogie pianist Albert, was one of them. He had a very distinctive full bloodied tone and specialised in the blues (he also played R&B). However he was eclipsed by Webster, Coltrane etc. and was rather regarded as second flight. However I think that is a little unfair. No one else quite had his tone or ability to play langrous blues. For those unfamiliar with "Jug's" sound he has an affinity to Stanley Turrentine.

I was not too familiar with Ammon's work so bought this excellent value for money compilation comprising virtually all of four of his classic albums from 1956, 1958 twice, and 1960. These include some very well respected albums which if purchased separately would cost a fortune.

As an example of his work, and access to a couple of hours of very pleasurable blues, well recorded and remastered in a jewel case with full sleeve notes from the original albums this is a bargain! Four stars my foot, this package is top value for money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars nice set of sessions, 20 May 2012
By 
Mr. Aa James - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Groove Blues / Boss Tenor / Blue Gene) (Audio CD)
IF YOUR AFTER EXTENDED BLUESY BLOWING SESSIONS
THEN YOU CANT GO WRONG WITH THIS 2 CD SET. AVID ARE A GREAT COMPANY IN PUTTING THESE ALBUMS TOGETHER. GROOVE BLUES HAS JOHN COLTRANE PLAYING ALTO
AND THE BLUE GENE SET HAS PEPPER ADAMS .ALL IN ALL ENJOYABLE BUT MAYBE A BIT TOO MUCH LONG BLUES
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars on avid remastering, 5 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Three Classic Albums Plus (Groove Blues / Boss Tenor / Blue Gene) (Audio CD)
I find these Avid reissues frustrating. The music is generally excellent and well-chosen, the packaging interesting and reasonably well done. The remastering is, however, variable. This Ammons is very well remastered and, with the Jim Hall, the best I have so far heard. At the price it is therefore a very attractive package. I have heard the Avid Stitt and Eldridge reissues, and while the sound is satisfactory there are certainly better remasters even among the budget reissues (Real Gone Jazz, Not Now Music).The Clifford Brown and Art Pepper Avids I thought particularly poor.
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