Gene Ammons

Late Hour Special

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Originally released by Prestige while tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons was serving a long prison sentence for possession of drugs (the label effectively kept Ammons' name alive by regularly coming out with "new" material), this album was reissued on CD in 1997. The distinctive tenor is heard on three numbers with a quartet/quintet also including pianist Patti Bown, bassist George Duvivier, drummer Walter Perkins, and sometimes Ray Barretto on conga, and on four cuts as part of a ten-piece group arranged by Oliver Nelson. Flugelhornist Clark Terry gets a couple of choruses on "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," and Bown has several solos, but Ammons is the main star throughout. In addition to performing his own "Lascivious" (a blues), he sticks to standards, infusing each tune with soul and swing. A fine outing, although with brief (35 & 1/2 minutes) playing time.

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