Hittin' The Jug – Gene Ammons
A sultry, sinuous slow blues. A transcription of Gene's solo is available, with detailed articulations and dynamics.
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- Recording: Gene Ammons - Boss Tenor
- Recorded on: June 16, 1960
- Label: Prestige (PRLP 7180)
- Concert Key: B-flat
- Vocal Range: , to
- Style: Swing (slow)
- Tenor Sax - Gene Ammons
- Piano - Tommy Flanagan
- Bass - Doug Watkins
- Drums - Art Taylor
- Congas - Ray Barretto
Click on the Solos tab for a description of Gene's solo.
The "Boss Tenor" album is underrated in favor of its sequel, ""Boss Tenors," which is among the best-known of the Gene Ammons-Sonny Stitt quintet albums. Recorded in August 1961, "Boss Tenors" includes a slow blues, Counter Clockwise, credited to Stitt and very much a response to Hittin' The Jug. It differs from Hittin' The Jug in having three hits in the beginning of the riff instead of two, with Ammons and Stitt alternating response lines; Gene's are a variation of the Hittin' lines but Sonny's are improvised.
Hittin' The Jug has also been recorded by tenormen Eric Alexander, Grant Stewart and pianist Peter Zak, among others.
Our transcription has detailed dynamics and articulations for a close-up look at Gene Ammons' unique style. He uses all of his trademark phrasing and tone coloring in this solo, including side D fingering in the first and third choruses and his signature overtones and tongue muting going into the last chorus.
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...