Born To Be Blue

Gene Ammons

April 14, 1925 – July 23, 1974

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While still attending high school in 1943, Chicago tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons went on tour with the band of trumpeter King Kolax.

The following year he joined the “Billy Eckstine Orchestra” where he would perform alongside Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon.

In 1947 when Eckstine broke up the band to go solo, Ammons assemble a group that included Sonny Stitt and Miles Davis before spending a brief period replacing Stan Getz in Woody Herman’s Herd.

The 1950s were a productive time for Gene Ammons and created the best recordings of his career.

After his release from prison in 1969 for the second time, after serving seven years on a narcotics possession charge, he signed a new recording contract with Prestige Records.

Displaying the stylistic influence of Ben Webster and Lester Young, Gene Ammons along with Von Freeman were the original architects of the Chicago saxophone style.

Recorded by the “Gene Ammons-Joe Newman-Jack McDuff Sextet” in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on November 28, 1961.


Joe Newman, trumpet
Gene Ammons, tenor saxophone
Jack McDuff, organ
Wendell Marshall, bass
Walter Perkins, drums
Ray Barretto, congas


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