Wednesday, October 08, 2014

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Richard Holmes & Gene Ammons

Artist:Richard Holmes & Gene Ammons
Song:Hittin' The Jug
Album:Groovin' With Jug

Richard "Groove" Holmes was one of several organists who built on the success of Jimmy Smith in the 60s. This album with sax player Gene Ammons was one of his early recordings. He went on to commercial success in the mid-60s. Holmes was born May 2, 1931 in Camden, NJ. I assume he played organ in church. As a teen he played local clubs in Philadelphia and this led to a record deal with Pacific Jazz. His 1961 debut album The Dynamic Jazz Organ of Richard Groove Holmes featured legendary sax player Ben Webster. His second album Groove was supposed to be a Les McCann album also featuring Webster. But while recording it, the musicians decided to turn it into Les McCann Presents Richard "Groove" Holmes. Holmes continued to work frequently with McCann. When news about Holmes reached other musicians, they wanted to work with him. Gene Ammons had just had success with the 1960 album Boss tenor. Holmes went to Los Angeles to record Groovin' With Jug. His usual band of Gene Edwards on guitar and Leroy Henderson on drums came with him. Three songs were recorded in the studio on Aug. 15, 1961 and the rest of the album was recorded later that day live at The Black Orchid in Los Angeles. When Blue Note released Groovin' With Jug on CD in 1989, Hittin' The Jug was one of three added bonus tracks. Holmes moved from Pacific Jazz to Prestige in 1965 and charted with the single Misty. He continued to have success in the 70s working with guys like Jimmy McGriff and Houston Person. Richard "Groove" Holmes died on June 29, 1991 of prostate cancer. Here's a video of Hittin' The Jug by Richard Holmes & Gene Ammons.

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