He said he learned chords by marking the keys with pencil. Ammons was childhood friends with another boogie woogie master, Meade Lux Lewis. Photo Copyright Charles Peterson. Every swing orchestra from Count Basie to Woody Hermann had at least one boogie woogie number in their play list. The hot blues piano style known as boogie woogie was around long before it became a national fad in the s. In the early s "juke joint" piano players in the logging camps of east Texas were expected to be one-man dance bands.
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Born in Chicago on September 23, , he learned the rudiments of piano from his parents and neighbors and began cultivating an ability to play the blues when he was 12 years old. The two men honed their skills by pounding the ivories on an upright at the depot and by gigging publicly after hours, sometimes doubling up for boogie-woogie piano four hands. In the four created a sensation at the Spirituals to Swing concert in Carnegie Hall, establishing boogie-woogie as a crowd-pleasing trend that made good money for most of the popular big bands in the nation, including those led by Benny Goodman, who actually jammed with Ammons, and Tommy Dorsey, who never hesitated to take advantage of a good thing.
On April 7 he recorded several blues and boogie improvisations in the company of guitarist Teddy Bunn, bassist Johnny Williams, and drummer Sidney Catlett as the rhythm section of a quintet alternately led by trumpeter Frankie Newton and trombonist J. Higginbotham, then with both horns to form a sextet presented by Blue Note as the Port of Harlem Jazzmen. Ammons recorded a passel of duets with Pete Johnson for Victor in , but then ceased performing for a while after accidentally severing a fingertip while fixing up a sandwich.
In Ammons recorded for Commodore as a soloist and with a solid little band that had a front line of trumpeter Hot Lips Page, trombonist Vic Dickenson, and tenor saxophonist Don Byas. During the years he returned to Chicago, held down a steady gig at the Bee Hive, and periodically recorded for Mercury, backing legendary blues woman Sippie Wallace, collaborating with guitarists Lonnie Johnson and Ike Perkins, and, on April 8, , sharing a memorable session with his son Gene Ammons. Illness forced Albert Ammons off the scene and when he passed away on December 2, , he was only 42 years old.
Albert Ammons. Related Artists. Meade Lux Lewis. Pete Johnson. James P. Spotify Facebook Email. Thank you for signing up! Thank you for registering!
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Boogie Woogie Man Albert Ammons Vol 2
Albert Clifton Ammons March 1, — December 2,  was an American pianist and player of boogie-woogie , a bluesy jazz style popular from the late s to the mids. Ammons was born in Chicago , Illinois. His parents were pianists, and he had learned to play by the age of ten. His interest in boogie-woogie is attributed to his close friendship with Meade Lux Lewis and also his father's interest in the style. Both Albert and Meade would practice together on the piano in the Ammons household. From the age of ten, Ammons learned about chords by marking the depressed keys on the family pianola player piano with a pencil and repeated the process until he had mastered it.