Ger-ru – Gene Ammons
This simple minor-key swinger really grooves in the classic Ammons style. Our lead sheets include the two-horn harmonies at the end of the head.
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- Recording: Gene Ammons - Brother Jug!
- Recorded on: November 10, 1969
- Label: Prestige (PR 7792)
- Concert Key: C minor
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (medium)
- Tenor Sax - Gene Ammons, Prince James
- Piano - Junior Mance
- Bass - Buster Williams
- Drums - Frankie Jones
- Conga - Candido Camero
Our lead sheets show the two-horn harmonies in the last phrase of the melody, which is voiced in fourths and fifths.
Ger-ru has been recorded several times in tribute to Gene Ammons, for example by Spanish saxophonist Toni Sola in 2003 and English saxophonist Brandon Allen in 2016.
The other songs Gene Ammons recorded on November 10th, 1969, including Madame Queen and Tastin’ The Jug were issued on "The Boss Is Back!" The rest of the "Brother Jug!" album was recorded the following day, including Jungle Strut. Many other Prestige albums of the ‘60s contain one song from a different session than the other songs.
Tenor saxophonist Prince James, who plays on two songs from this session including Ger-ru, is not known from any other recordings. He is in the background of the mix, a little hard to hear behind Ammons, but audible enough to tell that the two tenors’ phrasing is tight together on the unison parts of the melody.
This song was named for Geraldine Marshall, who was a friend of Gene's during this period.
April 14, 1925 – July 23, 1974
Gene Ammons is the son of the great boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Born in Chicago, Gene studied music at Du Sable High School under Captain Walter Dyett. He left Chicago at 18 to tour with King Kolax. On September 5, 1944, at the age of 19, he made his first recording with Billy Eckstine and his Orchestra. The Eckstein band was truly legendary, with Dexter Gordon on tenor sax, Leo Parker on baritone, Dizzy Gillespie in the trumpet section, Art Blakey on drums, Tommy Potter on bass, Sarah Vaughan singing with the band, and Tadd Dameron as one of the arrangers. It was a hothouse of talent and creativity and an immense opportunity for the young Gene, whom Billy nicknamed “Jug” when the straw hats ordered for the band were too small for his head. Read more...