Gene Ammons on TV

It’s distressing how many masters lack video representation in the archives, but once in a while something turns up. Mark Stryker has alerted me to a newly-rediscovered tape of Gene Ammons, AKA “Jug.”

According to Stryker, the Chicago band includes King Kolax, George Freeman, Wallace Burton, Chester Williamson, and Bob Guthrie. At times Jug is hooked up to a Varitone, which is — actually kind of cool? Purists may dismiss such a move but I kind of dig it. At any rate it was a conscious way to keep up with the times. (It’s always worth remembering that these masters didn’t regard their styles as immutable.)

Josh Redman told me that Dewey Redman gave a lot of credit to Ammons. I really see that in this video: The abstract phrasing on the opening ballad, the hunt and peck on “Jungle Strut.” Total Dewey!

Nothing beats the jazz tenor saxophone. NOTHING!

Related DTM: Mark Stryker and the Saxes.