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Saturday 9 July 2016

Gene Ammons & Leo Parker - Red Top

Side 1:
01. El Sino - Leo Parker's All Stars
02. Ineta - Leo Parker's All Stars
03. Wild Leo - Leo Parker's All Stars
04. Leaping Leo - Leo Parker's All Stars
05. Just Chips - Gene Ammons
06. Street Of Dreams - Gene Ammons
07. Good Time Blues - Gene Ammons

Side 2:
01. Travellin' Light - Gene Ammons
02. Red Top - Gene Ammons
03. Fuzzy - Gene Ammons
04. Stairway To The Stars - Gene Ammons
05. Jim Dawgs - Gene Ammons
06. Big Slam Part One - Gene Ammons
07. Big Slam Part Two - Gene Ammons

Download from:

The title of this collection is slightly misleading as none of the tracks were recorded by Gene Ammons for Savoy as the named artist. The first four tracks were recorded for Savoy in 1947 and constitute a Leo Parker session, with Gene as a sideman.

The rest of the tracks on the LP were recorded by Gene for the United label of Chicago in 1952-53. These sides were later purchased by Savoy for LP release. See the session and release details below for the facts, Jack!

Savoy renamed "Jim Dog", which became "Jim Dawgs", "The Beat", which became "Good Time Blues", and on this LP considerably altered the two-parter "Big Slam", removing the dubbed on crowd noise from the original single release, and also re-editing the material into a different form. As you can read below, your intrepid blogger acquired a considerable headache through multiple listenings of "Big Slam" in its various forms.

However, solace was found on the Red Saunders Research Foundation website where I read up on Gene Ammons' United releases. Scrolling through the site reminded me of the brilliant sax tracks released by United in the early '50s - tracks by the likes of Jimmy Forrest, Eddie Chamblee and Tab Smith as well as Gene.

Included in the download is a homemade alternative front cover for this LP - a cover which gives prominence to Leo Parker and uses a vintage photo of Gene rather than the one on the official cover.

Session and original release details:

Leo Parker Savoy session, 1947:

Side 1, tracks 1-4, recorded in Detroit, October 4th, 1947. Leo Parker's All Stars: Howard McGhee (trumpet); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); Leo Parker (baritone sax); Junior Mance (piano); Gene Wright
(bass); Charles Williams (drums)

El Sino / Wild Leo released on Savoy 912, December 1947.

Wee Dot / Leaping Leo released on Savoy 950, c 1948.

Running Water (Stan Getz) / Ineta released on Savoy 954, c 1948.

Gene Ammons United Sessions, 1952-1953:

Side 1, tracks 5-7, Side 2, track 1, recorded in Chicago, November 18th, 1952. John Coles (trumpet); Lino Murray (trombone); Gene Ammons (tenor sax); McKinley Easton (tenor sax, baritone sax); John Houston (piano); unknown (guitar); Benny Stuberville (bass); George Brown (drums)

Side 2, track 2 recorded in Chicago, April 15th, 1953. Personnel as in November 1952 session.

Side 2, tracks 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 recorded in Chicago, June 8th, 1953. Personnel as in previous two sessions.

United releases were credited to "Gene Ammons, His Golden Toned Tenor and Orchestra."

Street Of Dreams / The Beat (renamed "Good Time Blues" on Savoy releases), released on United 137, January 1953.

Red Top / Just Chips released on United 149, May 1953.

Stairway To The Stars / Jim Dog released on United 164, January 1954. On later releases "Jim Dog" was listed as "Jim Dawgs" but it is unrelated to the original track of this title by Ike Quebec on Savoy from 1947.

Big Slam Part 1 / Big Slam Part II released on United 175, April 1954. There is a difference between the two parter as presented on this LP and the original two part release on 78 rpm.

The track listed as "Big Slam Part One" on the LP has a running time of over 4 minutes 20 seconds, too long for one side of a 78 rpm single, yet well under the combined running time of the two sides of the original 78 which was well over 5 minutes.  The running time of the original 78 rpm release of "Big Slam Part 1" was 2 minutes and 35 seconds.

The track listed as "Big Slam Part Two" on the LP has a running time of 2 minutes and 35 seconds. The running time of the original 78 rpm release of "Big Slam Part II" was 2 minutes and 55 seconds.

There are two YouTube clips of the 78 rpm release, one from "cdbpx", the other from "ShellacHeaven." Comparing the LP tracks with these clips reveals that "Big Slam Part Two" on this LP seems to be the same as the original version of "Big Slam Part II."

The original 78 rpm disc has dubbed crowd noise to give the impression that it is a live recording of an onstage jam session. This probably accounts for the slightly longer running time of the 78 version of Part II. "Big Slam Part One" on the LP contains material from both the original 78 rpm sides, ending exactly the same as "Big Slam Part Two." It appears to be a shortened edit of the combined sides 1 and 2 of the 78 rpm single release.

Fuzzy / Traveling Light released on United 185, November 1954. No complications, as far as I can see!

Information sources - LP sleevenotes by Bob Porter, Bruyninckx, Billboard, The Red Saunders Research Foundation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

got it this time;
thanks for the kind re-up.
- Jay from the North.