Out Christmas shopping yesterday, your editor lucked into Gene Ammons’s Boss Tenor for $6. Bet you’ll get gone if you go here and listen to the first track, “Hittin’ the Jug.” And here’s the rest of the gift: Amiri Baraka’s spontaneously lovely liner notes.
I suppose Gene Ammons is what you could call a real hybrid. His playing is a perfect (albeit weird) assimilation of two widely opposed ideas of playing the tenor saxophone. Gene somehow manages to sound like he comes right out of Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young, the two farthest poles in the business of playing the tenor saxophone.