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Organ Combos
Gene Ammons
Organ Combos
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Gene Ammons
Title: Organ Combos
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Prestige
Original Release Date: 10/6/1992
Re-Release Date: 8/30/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 025218547123, 025218247115

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CD Reviews

A must for fans of the classic organ/tenor combo sound !
Eddie Landsberg | Tokyo, Japan | 02/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is a must have if your appreciation for the B3 extends beyond mere appreciation of the Smith and DeFrancesco or Funk/Soul schools and you can dig the HEAVY SWING. Going a bit back in time, Gene Ammons (along with Illinois Jacquet, Arnett Cobb,Sonny Stitt - - not to mention Johnny Hodges) was one of the early tenor players to regularly feature organists in his ensembles. With the rise of Jimmy Smith, this heavy swinging sound would take a back seat to the much "cooler" organ/guitar sound which meant the organist laying back a bit chordally but taking more agressive solos. Here, the stops are out and the steam is on with the Organ Combo sound of the ultra swinging and full and bluesy sound of Gene Ammons.The first half of this CD features a 1961 session with the late great Jack McDuff... the second half the late great Johnny Hammond Smith. This is a reissue of a compilation that originally came out in 1977. Its very interesting to read Bob Porter's liner notes in which he laments the virtual disappearence of the Hammond organ from the music scene at the time. (It wouldn't come back in full swing for about another 10 years until Joey DeFrancesco would help recapture the public imagination for the beast.) He also makes a few interesting points, including why these two incredible Hammond Organ bass players were forced to play with real bass players... the interesting thing though, is that the bass players are pretty much playing the same type of lines that Johnny Hammond and Jack McDuff would have anyway... however, deprived of that extra control, as well as working with an older model Hammond and Leslie - - its actually very difficult to tell their excellent playing apart. In fact, when I heard the organ work on "Born to Be Blue", I was definitely tricked... Apparently the Duff could handle ballads as JHS, and JHS could swing as heavily as the Duff.Overall fantastic album ! ! ! Check out Arnett Cobb's Smooth Sailing !"
Two Prestige organ dates
Bomojaz | South Central PA, USA | 09/13/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD collects material recorded at two different sessions from 1960 and 1961. The earlier date features Gene with reedman Frank Wess and organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith; the later has Gene with trumpeter Joe Newman and organist Jack McDuff. Ammons and Wess compliment each other well, especially when Wess is on tenor sax (he also plays flute on three tunes). IN SID'S THING is a real cooker with Gene and Frank playing tennis as they throw the solo spotlight back and forth, playing fewer and fewer bars with almost each exchange (they start at two choruses and end up exchanging single bars). VELVET SOUL is a slow blues and everyone is in a deep groove on it. ANGEL EYES became a big hit for Gene and his solo deepens in feeling as it goes along; by the end of the chorus just before Wess's flute solo, Gene is performing a masterpiece.

The later session with Joe Newman is equally fine. TWISTING THE JUG is a medium-up blues with Ammons in a take-no-prisoners mood. Newman takes a lyrical muted solo on SATIN DOLL, a most relaxed performance. Perhaps best is Ammons's composition DOWN THE LINE, a 24-bar blues with an aaa/bbb format in the theme that has the feel of a blues march. It's a great tune and everyone plays well on it.

1960-62 was the most prolific period in Gene's career and this CD brings together two of his better sessions from that time. Definitely worth checking out.
Unadulterated Gene
P. A. Hogan | Providence RI USA | 11/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Seventy-nine blissful minutes of pure Gene Ammons, nine given over to a throat-catching "Angel Eyes". Music so fresh you'd think it was recorded not over 40 years ago but yesterday. Twelve tunes total (the legendary Rudy Van Gelder, engineer; digitally remastered at Fantasy in 1992): the first six, with Jack McDuff on organ, the popularly underrated Joe Newman on trumpet, and Wendell Marshall, Walter Perkins and Ray Barretto rounding out the rhythm section; seven through twelve has Johnny "Hammond" Smith on organ, with Doug Watkins (bass), Arthur Taylor (drums),and Frank Wess (tenor and flute.) Bob Porter's liner notes tell us that Gene "didn't care for organists . . . he complained they didn't know any changes." Since the tenor/organ combination has always been my favorite, I tend to doubt that he came down quite so hard on organ players (he worked with them often). But giving Porter the benefit of that doubt, this CD makes me grateful at last for having not-so-big ears."