Gene Ammons is cut from almost the same cloth as Cobb, with that same sorgum rich tone that drips right out of the tree. This unique session finds him going back to the roots of jazz: the church.
With organist Clarence “Sleepy” Anderson, Slyvester Hickman/b and Derel Anderson/dr, Ammons gets in front of the pulpit and rouses up the congregation with spirituals like “Blessed Assurance” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” His take of “Sweet Hour Of Prayer” is guaranteed to get you to the church on time. As soulful as a morning at the Garden of Gethesemane.
At the peak of the gospel jazz phenomenon three decades ago, many leading musicians integrated the influence of black American church music into their work, in some cases with gratifying and enduring results. One of the purest expressions of the church tradition by a jazzman was in the little-known album by Gene Ammons, whose celebrated big sound and singer's phrasing made his tenor saxophone an ideal vehicle for the peace and passion carried by hymns. He is accompanied by an organ trio that could have come straight out of a Baptist church. . . or a Southside Chicago nightclub.
Sweet Hour, Yield Not, Abide With Me, Blessed Assurance, The Prayer, You'll Never Walk Alone, I Believe, Precious Memories, What a Friend, Holy Holy, The Light
with Clarence "Sleepy" Anderson, Sylvester Hickman, Dorral Anderson