Personnel: Gail Brockman (trumpet); John "Raps" Dungee (alto and baritone sax); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); Junior Mance (piano); Gene Wright (bass); Ellis Bartree (drums)
Mercury 8080 was released in May 1948.
Billboard reviewed the disc in its Race Records section on May 8th, 1948. "Odd-En-Dow" was a "light bop riffer, with string of fair solo rides" while "Dues In Blues" received the slightly off hand comment: "instrumental with more bop touches."
Gene Ammons was the son of renowned boogie woogie piano man Albert Ammons. He played tenor sax in his school band, and got his first professional gig with the King Kolax band. His subsequent spell with Billy Eckstine's bop-leaning big band shot him to fame, most memorably on the searing tenor sax battle with Dexter Gordon, "Blowing The Blues Away." In 1947 he left the Eckstine outfit to start a solo recording career on Mercury. He had a hit with "Red Top" (Mercury 8048) and recorded a series of fiery bop sides for the label in 1947 and 1949 before signing for Chess for whom he had another big chart hit in 1950 with "My Foolish Heart." He had brief spells with Woody Herman and Count Basie before forming the legendary Gene Ammons - Sonny Stitt combo. But that may be another story for another post.
With many thanks to El Enmascarado for ripping these sides from an original 78 rpm disc and for the label scans.