A pair of hard-wailing tenor albums on Verve
– both of them great! Boss Tenors In Orbit is a studio album, but one that really has Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt recreating some of the bold energy of their live shows – coming across with a vibe that's much more Prestige Records than Verve
, thanks to the presence of the Don Patterson trio on the set! Backing is by Don on Hammond, Paul Weeden on guitar, and Billy James on drums – a nicely loose combo that really lets the tenorists stretch out and show their stuff. The cuts are mostly standard material – "John Brown's Body", "Walkin", "Long Ago And Far Away" – but the twin-tenor sound is great, and Patterson's free organ lines riff away nicely! On Boss Tenors, Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt go head to head in this classic album of tracks that perfectly captures the joy and fury of their live performances from years before! The record was cut in Chicago with a very hard rhythm section that includes John Houston on piano, Charles Williams on bass, and George Brown on drums – and it's way heavier than the usual Verve
"meeting of the masters" session, and feels more like a record that should have been issued on Prestige or Argo. Both players are impeccable, and the solos stretch out for a long long very live time. Titles include "Blues Up & Down", "The One Before This", and "Counter Clockwise" – but these guys even groove amazingly on standards like "Autumn Leaves" and "No Greater Love".
(Out of print and still sealed.)