When tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons (1925-1974) returned to the jazz world after seven years in an Illinois penitentiary, much in music from Coltrane to the Beatles to the sound of Soul had changed. But Ammons's enormous, emotional sound and his fealty to the blues, ballads and deeply-rooted swing remained constants. The two albums collected here were recorded on two consecutive days, less than a month after Ammons's release. On half of the twelve selections he is reunited with an old Chicago friend, pianist Junior Mance, who first recorded with "Jug" in 1947, while elsewhere organist Sonny Phillips and drummer Bernard Purdie (who defined funk drumming in the Sixties) assist Ammons in updating the soul-jazz idiom he helped forge earlier in the decade. Whether on his own hip blues "Ger-Ru," gorgeous ballads like "I Wonder," or then-contemporary themes such as "Son of a Preacher Man," Gene Ammons confirmed that The Boss Is Back!
Tastin' the Jug, I Wonder, Ger-ru, Here's That Rainy Day, Madame Queen, The Jungle Boss, Jungle Strut, Didn't We, He's a Real Gone Guy, Feeling Good, Blue Velvet, Son of a Preacher Man
with Prince James, Junior Mance, Sonny Phillips, Billy Butler, Bob Bushnell, Buster Williams, Bernard Purdie, Frankie Jones, Candido