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Discussion Starter #1
I have been itching to get more into Ammons' stuff, but everything that folks ever seem to post on here or that's up on youtube has way too much reverb for my taste. I'm talking about stuff like "Boss Tenor" and such. I just can't handle this and cringe throughout the cuts, thinking, "turn off the reverb so we can hear his natural sound!"

To all you Ammons experts out there, what are two or three great albums of his to check out that feature more of his "straight" or "true" tenor tone (from a recent thread I know that all recordings feature effects and/or compression to some extent that is the unfortunate nature of the beast).

Thanks in advance!

BTW here's one that features more of his true sound (minus effects):

 

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I've been wondering about this although, reverb or not, 'My Romance' from 'Boss Tenor' is one of the most beautiful performances on any instrument --ever, it knocks me out every time, same with Sonny Stitt's take on 'Time after Time'
 

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The stereo recordings from the 60s made by RVG for Prestige shouldn't have too much reverb. If the tenor is in the left channel, the reverb is returned in the right channel, so if you want to hear Ammons' sound without the reverb, just turn off the right channel. You'll also be turning off the drums in the process.

The Hackensack era of Van Gelder recordings have less reverb.

Boss tenors was recorded in Chicago.
 

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I have been itching to get more into Ammons' stuff, but everything that folks ever seem to post on here or that's up on youtube has way too much reverb for my taste. I'm talking about stuff like "Boss Tenor" and such. I just can't handle this and cringe throughout the cuts, thinking, "turn off the reverb so we can hear his natural sound!"

To all you Ammons experts out there, what are two or three great albums of his to check out that feature more of his "straight" or "true" tenor tone (from a recent thread I know that all recordings feature effects and/or compression to some extent that is the unfortunate nature of the beast).

Thanks in advance!

BTW here's one that features more of his true sound (minus effects):

The problem here is the cheesey '70s recording style and Ammons is playing out-of-tune. I don't know if Ammons was having teeth problems or he was uncomfortable playing with headphones or both.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The stereo recordings from the 60s made by RVG for Prestige shouldn't have too much reverb. If the tenor is in the left channel, the reverb is returned in the right channel, so if you want to hear Ammons' sound without the reverb, just turn off the right channel. You'll also be turning off the drums in the process.

The Hackensack era of Van Gelder recordings have less reverb.

Boss tenors was recorded in Chicago.
Thanks. Would this be an example of the Hackensack era? --

http://www.amazon.com/Jammin-Hi-Fi-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000Y7H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1305401279&sr=8-1

At any rate, it (from 1957) sounds awesome--more like Ammons au natural and just what I was looking for. Just check out Pennies from Heaven for a sample.

Here's another one from the same year ('57):

http://www.amazon.com/Funky-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000YDR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305401835&sr=1-1

Again, just listening to a few notes of Stella tells me that could be worth the price of the whole album.

Finally, the Big Sound (1958) sounds pretty clean and free of echo chambers as well (plus it appears you get the added bonus of Trane as a sideman):

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Sound-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000YV3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305402276&sr=1-1
 

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The Pennies track sounds pretty dry. All the others have about a two second tail from the chamber, when hit hard. It's a little darker chamber than from the 70s 'Boss' sessions. The Boss sessions, especially tunes like 'Jungle Strut' sound like it has a delay (echo), and not just chamber/plate verb. It's also brought out by the funky, short, and punchy nature of the groove.

But, man oh MAN, that wah guitar and organ makes it soooooooooo funky, and the drum groove is KILLIN':)
 

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Thanks. Would this be an example of the Hackensack era? --

http://www.amazon.com/Jammin-Hi-Fi-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000Y7H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1305401279&sr=8-1

At any rate, it (from 1957) sounds awesome--more like Ammons au natural and just what I was looking for. Just check out Pennies from Heaven for a sample.

Here's another one from the same year ('57):

http://www.amazon.com/Funky-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000YDR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305401835&sr=1-1

Again, just listening to a few notes of Stella tells me that could be worth the price of the whole album.

Finally, the Big Sound (1958) sounds pretty clean and free of echo chambers as well (plus it appears you get the added bonus of Trane as a sideman):


http://www.amazon.com/Big-Sound-Gene-Ammons/dp/B000000YV3/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305402276&sr=1-1
Hackensack era recordings are pre-1959. Van Gelder opens his purpose-built recording studio in '59 in Engelwood Cliffs, NJ. Any Prestige LP recorded pre 1959 will be from Van Gelder's parents livingroom in Hackensack.
 

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Everything with sonny stitt
 

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Gene Ammons/Sonny Stitt: Jug and Sonny

Chess LP 1445 in Hi-Fi
1956? or so

Not much reverb on this one. I don't know if it's out on CD or iTunes, I got an LP

another one is:

LIVE! in Chicago-Gene Ammons with Eddie Buster on organ and Gerald Donovan drums. 1967-ish.
 
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