Gene Ammons – Funky
Label: Prestige – LP 7083, Prestige – PRLP 7083
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop, Soul-Jazz



Funky is an album by saxophonist Gene Ammons recorded in 1957 and released on the Prestige label.

Gene Ammons – Funky
Label: Prestige – LP 7083, Prestige – PRLP 7083
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Genre: Jazz
Style: Bop, Soul-Jazz

Track listing
“Funky” (Kenny Burrell) – 9:01
“Pint Size” (Jimmy Mundy) – 12:23
“Stella by Starlight” (Ned Washington, Victor Young) – 8:57
“King Size” (Mundy) – 9:16

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ammons studied music with instructor Walter Dyett at DuSable High School.Ammons began to gain recognition while still at high school when in 1943, at the age of 18, he went on the road with trumpeter King Kolax’s band. In 1944, he joined the band of Billy Eckstine (who bestowed on him the nickname “Jug” when straw hats ordered for the band did not fit), playing alongside Charlie Parker and later Dexter Gordon. Performances from this period include “Blowin’ the Blues Away,” featuring a saxophone duel between Ammons and Gordon. After 1947, when Eckstine became a solo performer, Ammons then led a group, including Miles Davis and Sonny Stitt, that performed at Chicago’s Jumptown Club. In 1949, Ammons replaced Stan Getz as a member of Woody Herman’s Second Herd, and then in 1950 formed a duet with Sonny Stitt.

The 1950s were a prolific period for Ammons and produced some acclaimed recordings such as The Happy Blues (1956). Musicians who played in his groups, apart from Stitt, included Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Mal Waldron, Art Farmer, and Duke Jordan.

His later career was interrupted by two prison sentences for narcotics possession, the first from 1958 to 1960, the second from 1962 to 1969. He recorded as a leader for Mercury (1947–1949), Aristocrat (1948–1950), Chess (1950–1951), Prestige (1950–1952), Decca (1952), and United (1952–1953). For the rest of his career, he was affiliated with Prestige. After his release from prison in 1969, having served a seven-year sentence at Joliet penitentiary, he signed the largest contract ever offered at that time by Prestige’s Bob Weinstock.

Ammons had the first of two records released by Leonard Chess on the newly-formed Chess Records label in 1950, titled “My Foolish Heart” (Chess 1425); Muddy Waters was the second record, “Rolling Stone” (Chess 1426). Both records were released simultaneously.

Ammons died in Chicago in 1974, at the age of 49, from bone cancer. He was buried in Section 33, Lot 693, Grave N3-E 1/2 of Lincoln Cemetery (Cook County), Blue Island, Illinois.

As leader
The Happy Blues – Hi Fidelity Jam Session (Prestige, 1956)
All Star Sessions (Prestige, 1956)
Jammin’ with Gene (Prestige, 1956)
Jammin’ in Hi Fi with Gene Ammons (Prestige, 1957)
Funky (Prestige, 1957)
Blue Gene (Prestige, 1958)
The Big Sound (Prestige, 1958)
Soulful Saxophone (Chess, 1959)
Boss Tenor (Prestige, 1960)
Groove Blues (Prestige, 1961)
Nice an’ Cool (Moodsville, 1961)
Jug (Prestige, 1961)
Up Tight! (Prestige, 1961)
Bad! Bossa Nova (Prestige, 1962)
Twisting the Jug with Joe Newman, Jack McDuff (Prestige, 1962)
Ca’ Purange (Prestige, 1962)
Just Jug (Argo, 1962)
Preachin’ (Prestige, 1963)
Soul Summit Vol. 2 with Etta Jones, Jack McDuff (Prestige, 1963)
The Soulful Moods of Gene Ammons (Moodsville, 1963)
Velvet Soul (Prestige, 1964)
Late Hour Special (Prestige, 1964)
Angel Eyes (Prestige, 1965)
Boss Soul! (Prestige, 1966)
The Boss Is Back! (Prestige, 1969)
Brother Jug! (Prestige, 1970)
The Chase! with Dexter Gordon (Prestige, 1971)
My Way (Prestige, 1971)
The Black Cat! (Prestige, 1971)
Jug & Dodo with Dodo Marmarosa (Prestige, 1972)
Free Again (Prestige, 1972)
Got My Own (Prestige, 1973)
Chicago Concert with James Moody (Prestige, 1973)
Gene Ammons and Friends at Montreux (Prestige, 1973)
Big Bad Jug (Prestige, 1973)
Brasswind (Prestige, 1974)
Goodbye (Prestige, 1975)
Swinging the Jugg (Roots, 1976)
Gene Ammons in Sweden (ENJA Records, 1981)
Blue Groove (Prestige, 1982)
Night Lights (Prestige, 1985)
With Sonny Stitt

Kaleidoscope (Prestige, 1957)
Boss Tenors in Orbit! (Verve, 1962)
Boss Tenors: Straight Ahead from Chicago August 1961 (Verve, 1962)
Dig Him! (Argo, 1962)
Soul Summit (Prestige, 1962)
You Talk That Talk! (Prestige, 1971)
Together Again for the Last Time (Prestige, 1976)
As sideman
David Axelrod, Heavy Axe (Fantasy, 1974)
Richard B. Boone, I’ve Got a Right to Sing (Nocturne, 1968)
Miles Davis, Bopping the Blues (Black Lion, 1987)
Billy Eckstine, Billy Eckstine Together (Spotlite, 1972)
Bennie Green, Soul Stirrin’ (Blue Note, 1958)
Bennie Green, The Swingin’est (Vee Jay, 1959)
Richard “Groove” Holmes, Groovin’ with Jug (Pacific Jazz, 1961)
Richard “Groove” Holmes, Tell It Like It Is (Pacific Jazz, 1966)
Jack McDuff, Brother Jack Meets the Boss (Prestige, 1962)
Jack McDuff, Rock Candy (Prestige, 1972) compilation
Howard McGhee, House Warmin’ (Argo, 1963) originally issued in 1962 for Winley Records as Nothin’ But Soul under Ammons’ name.
Charles Mingus, Charles Mingus and Friends in Concert (Columbia, 1973)
Andrew White, Red Top (Andrew’s Music, 1977)
“Gene “Jug” Ammons”. Findagrave.com. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
Doc Rock. “The 1970s”. The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook’s Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. p. 12. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
Rosenthal, David, H. Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505869-0.
Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who’s Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
“Gene Ammons Biography”. Musicianguide.com. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
Scott Yanow. “Gene Ammons | Biography”. AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-03-07.
“Gene “Jug” Ammons (1925-1974) – Find A Grave…” Findagrave.com. Retrieved July 23, 2021.