Search - Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt :: Boss Tenors

Boss Tenors
Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt
Boss Tenors
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (5) - Disc #1

This is a blowing session by big men on big horns. The tempos are up, with double-time the norm, and the horns are given ample room to blow. "There Is No Greater Love" kicks off the CD at a quick tempo and Ammons and Stitt...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Gene Ammons, Sonny Stitt
Title: Boss Tenors
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Release Date: 3/21/1990
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 042283744028

This is a blowing session by big men on big horns. The tempos are up, with double-time the norm, and the horns are given ample room to blow. "There Is No Greater Love" kicks off the CD at a quick tempo and Ammons and Stitt, heard on alto for this tune, set the format of trading theme statements and choruses. They had worked together before this session and their musical symbiosis shows. On "Blues Up and Down" they trade one note back and forth with the ease of two guys playing catch. The recording though is distinguished by the palpable sense of inspiration here. You can hear them exchanging ideas and knocking each other out of their stock riffs and into some truly inspired blowing. --Michael Monhart

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CD Reviews

Six Stars!!!!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Take "kind of Blue". Take "Blue Trane". Take the best thing Mingus ever did. Take the most soulful & bluesest Howard Land lick ever laid down . . . combine it with the raw intuition of people like Cannonball and Bill Evans, blend it with, say, Oscar Peterson's super-duper-swing . . . and you have that wonderful kernal that gets people -- all people: jazz fans or not -- tapping their toes and moving their heads. This CD embodies that essence; it simply flows. It should be one of the popular classics, but Gene Ammons -- as great as he was -- didn't have that Miles mystique (or business sense). Like the above reviewer said: these guys are playing catch, i.e., their communication is unbelievable."
The Penultimate Trip
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 12/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you wanted to catch Jug and Sonny in Chicago circa 1961, you took your chances (esp. if you were a white boy) and headed to McKie's Show Lounge at 63rd and Cottage Grove. No risk was too great to deny the ultimate reward--the experience of being seated literally inches from the Selmer Mark 6's of the South Side's two great tenor troubadors, miraculously squeezed together on a postage-stamp bandstand along with a drummer and Hammond B-3 player just across the bar (patrons would reach across and shake the hand of a triumphant soloist, or pass along a drink to the usually obliging Sonny).As good as this album is, it comes up just a trifle short because of the use of an acoustic piano, at the time an artifact of the recording studio (though Sonny would gravitate more and more toward piano players as the sixties closed out). For the "ultimate trip" the album you want is the one with Jug and Sonny plus Donald Patterson on organ, especially the side that includes tunes like "Bye Bye Blackbird," "Why Was I Born," "Long Ago and Far Away," and "Walkin'". At one time, that side was included with this one as part of a two-fer album called "Prime Cuts." It might take some trouble to find, but it's well worth the hunt."
A toe tapping ride
Swing King | Cincinnati, OH USA | 04/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Early in 1950, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt co-led a two tenor septet together and frequently interlocked horns during live jazz settings. It is befitting that the two tenors came together in Chicago then for this August 1961 date to play, this time in a quintet formation. The rhythm section here is a solid one, featuring John Houston on piano, Buster Williams on bass and George Brown on drums.

"There Is No Greater Love" is an up-tempo ballad featuring some magnificent interactions between Ammons and Simmons in 8 bar increments. "The One Before This" is a romping melody with Sonny and Gene blowing out choruses in turn. Originally produced by Creed Taylor for Verve, this album was digitally remastered by Tom Ruff at PolyGram Studios. The sound quality and caliber of musicianship are excellent on this release, so I recommend this one without hesitation to the jazz collector in you.


Gene Ammons (tenor sax)
Sonny Stitt (tenor and alto sax)
John Houston (piano)
Buster Williams (bass)
George Brown (drums)