Monday, November 9, 2015

Gene Ammons Heavy Sax Review

Let’s talk a little jazz today, Gene Ammons “Heavy Sax” is a record that was initially released in 1974. This was on Olympic Records, and you can definitely find it floating around for a buck or two in vinyl record bins. I saw it at Amoeba Records for a dollar in the used jazz section back in Los Angeles. I didn’t get it then, but I should’ve. Right now, you can pick it up dirt cheap on vinyl, or you can download it cheap too. Ok, so Gene Ammons is a stellar musician, but on this record you get a bit more than just his jazz solo work. There’s a guitar in here, and a trumpet amidst the saxophone improvisation that is going on. There’s a good mix of elements making up this record across 4 tracks. I’m always impressed by how jazz records can put together so much in just 4 tracks. With “Heavy Sax”, Ammons creates a nice layered approach to the music, with some great movements across “House Warmin”, “Jivin’ Around”, and “Nothing But Soul”. Of course, “Jug-n-McGhee” is good, but to me, it’s the third track that really stands out. There’s so much sax it’s, well, heavy! All kidding aside, I read that this isn’t the best of Gene Ammons career, but if you ask me, it’s really good. It’s a playful 34 minutes of jazz and blues. I like the mix of sax and trumpet here, and how they each dance alongside some simple blues guitar and simple drumming. A good overall record, and one that you can get cheap.

Pick up Gene Ammons “Heavy Sax” on wax, download, or CD remaster by going here.

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