Personnel: Gene Ammons (tenor saxophone); John Coltrane (alto saxophone); Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Jerome Richardson (flute); Mal Waldron (piano); George Joyner (bass); Arthur Taylor (drums).
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on January 3, 1958. Includes liner notes by Joe Goldberg.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1992, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Personnel: Gene Ammons (tenor saxophone); Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor saxophone); John Coltrane (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Paul Quinichette (tenor saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Mal Waldron (piano); Art Taylor (drums).
Liner Note Author: Joe Goldberg.
Recording information: Hackensack, NJ (01/03/1958).
Photographer: Don Schlitten.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Gene Ammons; Jerome Richardson; John Coltrane; Mal Waldron; Paul Quinichette; Pepper Adams; George Joyner.
On January 3, 1958, Gene Ammons had a good day-a very good day. Recording sessions from that date resulted in two albums with his All Stars, GROOVE BLUES and the equally impressive THE BIG SOUND. On GROOVE BLUES, the All Stars stretch out on four tunes: Ammons' own "Jug Handle," two numbers by pianist Mal Waldron, and one song by Rogers & Hammerstein.
The All Stars boast four saxophonists and represent the cream of the post-bop crop. John Coltrane's alto, Pepper Adams' baritone, and Paul Quinichette's tenor trade off with Ammons' tenor with fire and grace. Their massed sound, along with Jerome Richardson's flute, is a dazzling force as it flies over the piano and rhythm section gently pushing "Groove Blues." The closing ballad, "It Might as Well be Spring," is built around the lush tones of Ammons' solitary horn and the piano-anchored trio, its 11 minutes of passionate romanticism drifting by like a hypnotic reverie.