Brandon Allen Quartet Plays Gene Ammons
Brandon Allen - tenor saxophone
Ross Stanley - piano and Hammond organ
Arnie Somogyi - acoustic and electric bass
Lloyd Haines - drums
Ammons was one of the founders of the Chicago style of tenor saxophone playing but was often in the shadow of his tenor-playing contemporaries, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, and Sonny Stitt. Despite this he forged a lasting partnership with Stitt, recording some classic tenor battles in the 1950s.
While adept at the technical aspects of bebop, in particular its love of harmonic substitutions, Ammons more than Young, Webster or Parker, stayed in touch with the commercial blues and R&B of his day. In 1950 the saxophonist's recording of "My Foolish Heart" made Billboard Magazine's black pop charts. The soul jazz movement of the mid-1960s, often using the combination of tenor saxophone and Hammond B3 electric organ, counts him as a founder.
The project focuses on music spanning Gene Ammons' entire career, from 1943 to 1974 - tunes written by him or just songs that he recorded.
"Brandon Allen is arguably the most exciting tenor player in Britain today. His phrasing is unashamedly emotional, soaked in the blues tradition."
Tony Hall (JAZZWISE)
"His four-octave range and flawless command of the altissimo register was nicely offset by his full-bodied yet raucous tonal quality offering something for fans of the entire history of the instrument - from Hawkins to Brecker - he's got em covered."
Frank Griffith (London Jazz News)