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Albert Ammons biography



Albert Ammons (September 23, 1907 — December 2, 1949) was an American pianist. Ammons was a player of boogie-woogie, a bluesy jazz style popular from the late 1930s into the mid 1940s. Life and career Born Albert C. Ammons in Chicago, Illinois, his parents were pianists, and he had learned to play by the age of ten. He also played percussion in the drum and bugle corps as a teenager and was soon performing with bands on the Chicago club scene. After World War I he became interested in the blues, learning by listening to Chicago pianists Hersal Thomas and the brothers Alonzo and Jimmy Yancey. During that time he played with a five piece unit that included Guy Kelly, Dalbert Bright, Jimmy Hoskins, and Israel Crosby. Ammons also recorded as Albert Ammons's Rhythm Kings for Decca Records in 1936. The Rhythm Kings' version of "Swanee River Boogie" sold a million copies. Ammons moved from Chicago to New York, where he teamed up with another pianist, Pete Johnson. occasionally joined by Meade Lux Lewis, and performed with other noted jazz artists such as Benny Goodman and Harry James. In 1938 Ammons appeared at Carnegie Hall with Johnson and Lewis, an event that helped launch the boogie-woogie craze. Ammons played himself in the movie, Boogie-Woogie Dream (1944), with Lena Horne, and Pete Johnson. Although the boogie-woogie fad began to die down in 1945 Ammons had no difficulty securing work. He continued to tour as a solo artist and between 1946 and 1949 recorded his last sides for Mercury Records with bassist Israel Crosby. Ammons's played at President Harry S. Truman's inauguration in 1949. and was interred at the Lincoln Cemetery, at Kedzie Avenue in Blue Island, Worth Township, Cook County, Illinois. Legacy Ammons has had wide influence on countless pianists such as Dave Alexander, Dr. John, Hadda Brooks, Johnnie Johnson, Ray Bryant, Erroll Garner, Katie Webster, Axel Zwingenberger, and the German pianist Joerg Hegemann. The latter honoured Ammons, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Ammons's birth in 2007, with his album A Tribute To Albert Ammons. Album discography Year of release Album title Record label 1948 King of Boogie Woogie (1939-1949) Blues Classics 1951 Boogie Woogie Classics Blue Note Records 1992 The First Day Blue Note 2004 The Boogie Woogie Trio, Vols. 1-2 Storyville