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Gene Ammons album

The soulful moods of Gene Ammons

By Tony Pothitos

The soulful moods of Gene Ammons, (Moodsville 28 / Analogue Productions, APJ 039 Limited Edition)

This morning I woke up in a good mood. It was raining, and last night happened to be more exiting than I thought she could be... so lazily getting out of bed I grabbed a few albums I had placed to the side and went to Tasos Syrigos's home to have a listen and compare notes on a record mat which Christos P. Skaloumbakas had given us to test on our systems. This week you will be able to read about the tests we both did and how much more you can get out of your turntable with so little money. Tweaks, no matter how simple they are, find their way into our hearts from time to time and this matt is definitely one of the these items.

The album of the week is nothing more than a favorite of John Ziannis, a brother to me who introduced me to 'The soulful moods of Gene Ammons' (not to mention Quads)

Sound reproduction, the album is a 7.5 to 8 out of ten, or 4 out of 5 in the least. Having George Duvivier playing bass, certainly helps the rest of the album come forward, since he is one of the most recorded bassists in the jazz scene. As for the drummer Ed Shaughnessy the brush in his fingers seems endless and seemingly blissful to anyone who can appreciate the intricacies of a brush solo. I personally do not like Patti Brown because the use of the piano seems to be more of a science to the specific artist rather than an art form on this album.

Two different worlds, on side A, if anything proves, once more that Gene Ammons is not a "honker" as once upon revered upon since a coalition with Sonny Stitt provoked some ear aching solos undeniably. This was indeed not his taste, but rather a need to show how powerful the tenor sax could throw its tunes in a live audience. 'But Beautiful', song two is a charming melody, but song three, 'Skylark' is very well performed and tuned to the mood the producer wants this album to have. The sax is by far the clearest and highest coordinator in this song, and it is here where the group decides to show off with timing and support beyond exception. Patti Bown (pianist) probably just had a bad day when they recorded the album, but on Skylark, it seems someone had enough coffee to start the groove.

To the readers sake, I will not comment on every song on this album, but just mention that every song on this album has its certainties and strong points, presenting a natural hindrance of not being able to take the LP off and listen to something else.

This album is for when the sun goes down. It is like sex, when you have it in the morning you are thankful, at night it's a new discovery every time. I would not turn the lights on and ruin the atmosphere given by the musicians and the engineer.

The album was recorded in 1962 and I could only wish that I were a teenager during thas period of time, so that I could go to clubs and listen to tunes like this with my woman by my side, smoking a cigar and sipping my cognac. This attempt in musical jazz has one mission in mind, and that is to soothe the mind and soul of the listener. It accomplishes its task as well as bringing rhythm to the scene. I suggest you go to your local jazz shop and pick up any edition of this album if you want something comforting and relaxing, easygoing and sexy for the ladies. It is not hard to listen to or demanding, you don't have to know about music to appreciate its particulars. 'You'd be so nice to come home to', on side B is a glorious reminder to those of us that are older than 35 meaning that music meant something else to our parents than it did to us when we were teeny boppers growing up. This song is not to fall asleep to, but rather the opposite in fact.

Conclusion

You can almost smell and taste the scenery when you listen and allow yourself to get into this album. I prefer it with some Johnny Blue, but some bourbon would do just as fine. A classic if you're into slow and nonviolent engineering jazz.

Material: ****
Performance: **** 1/2
Recording: ****

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