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For nearly a quarter-century, beginning in 1950, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons (1925-1974) was among the brightest stars in the Prestige Records firmament. Whether leading, or partaking in, one of Prestige’s jam sessions, immersing himself in the organ-dominated blues and gospel grooves that in the 1950s came to be called “soul jazz,” or digging deep for heart-rending ballads, Ammons was multiply masterful. And in 1960, leading a quintet featuring the impeccable pianist Tommy Flanagan, plus Ray Barretto’s piquant congas, he produced the insuperable¬†Boss Tenor.

From the blues that drips from “Hittin’ the Jug” and “Blue Ammons” to the infectious medium bounce of the standards “Close Your Eyes” and “Canadian Sunset,” and from the sophisticated swing of “Stompin’ at the Savoy” to the finger-poppin’ bop of “Confirmation” and the after-hours balladry of “My Romance,” Boss Tenor has something for everyone claiming to be a fan of modern jazz.

Gene Ammons "Boss Tenor" (Quality Records Pressing)..... Online Price $53.10