The brain trust of soul jazz in the early 60s – led by tenorist Gene Ammons on both albums! Soul Summit Volume one features Ammons and Sonny Stitt on tenor, plus Jack McDuff on Hammond – a definite soul summit for the time – with 3 top-shelf players in the lead, all getting plenty of room to do their thing! Both Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt are on tenor in the front, working with the respect and confidence they'd forged together on other co-led sessions from the time – and Jack McDuff's a great addition to the set, playing Hammond with his newly-lean tone, and really helping things move along nicely. Drummer Charlie Persip has a nicely booming style here – one that gets the group out of the box from the get-go, and McDuff's handling all the bass work on the organ, which always makes for a tight rhythmic romp! Most tunes are in that great raw Prestige mode from the old days, as you'd guess by titles like "Tubby", "Dumplin", and "Shuffle Twist" – alongside other numbers that include "Sleeping Susan" and "Out In The Cold Again". Soul Summit Vol 2 is a set that's less a "summit" than a great collection of groovy work for Prestige Records in the 60s – tracks that didn't make it onto other full albums of the time, but which feature material by some of the most soulful talents on the label
! Tenorist Gene Ammons is the main star here – stretching out wonderfully on most numbers on the record – although the set also features added tenor work from Red
Holloway, George Barrow, and Harold Vick! The mighty Jack McDuff lends his Hammond to a few tunes, Etta Jones sings on three numbers, and the record even features trumpet from Clark Terry, alto from Oliver Nelson, and congas from Ray Barretto too – on cuts that include "Scram", "Cool Cool Daddy", "Ballad For Baby", "If You Are But A Dream", "But Not For Me", and "Love I've Found You".