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Gene Ammons
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Musician
    (April 14, 1925-August 6, 1974)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Tenor saxophonist
    Son of pianist Albert Ammons
    Member of Woody Herman’s second Herd
    Recorded the albums ‘Jammin’ with Gene’ (1956), ‘Blue Gene’ (1958), ‘Boss Tenor’ (1960), ‘Boss Tenors in Orbit’ (with Sonny Stitt, 1962), ‘The Soulful Moods of Gene Ammons’ (1963), ‘Velvet Soul’ (1964), ‘Boss Soul!’ (1966), ‘Brother Jug!’ (1970), ‘The Chase!’ (with Dexter Gordon, 1971), ‘Free Again’ (1972), and ‘Goodbye’ (1975)
    He got the nickname ‘Jug’ after bandleader Billy Eckstine told him, ‘You have a head like a jug.’
    He went to prison twice on drug charges and once for violating parole.
    Miles Davis said Ammons first got him hooked on heroin, when they were both members of Eckstine’s band in the 40s.
    He signed away his royalties to get out of a contract with his manager.
    Irony department: the last song he recorded, before being diagnosed with terminal bone cancer, was titled ‘Goodbye.’
    He began performing and recording with his father in high school.
    His cover of ‘My Foolish Heart’ was the first single released on the Chess Records label (1950).
    He was considered a founder of the soul-jazz movement.
    After his final release from jail (1969), Prestige Records signed him to their largest recording contract to date.

Credit: C. Fishel


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