Drummer from Atlanta, Georgia, born Eugene Seldon Gammage, who did a stint in the United States Air Force before ever beating on a drum.
In spite of his late start, it did not take him long to find professional work, playing a regular gig with Teddy Charles at an L.A. night club. He was also busy in the recording studios, as a member of The Quartet & The Quintet with Jack Sheldon.
Other artists he worked with included Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Kenny Clarke, Herb Geller, Hampton Hawes, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Barney Kessel, Andre Previn and Max Roach. He replaced Herb Ellis in The Oscar Peterson Trio for a short time, but long enough to be heard on Oscar Peterson Plays My Fair Lady, recorded in November 1958.
In 1961, he was active in the St. Louis music scene, Sittin’ in with Johnny Hartman & The Andrew Hill Trio, accompanying Shirley Horn on Gonna Rain in a Minute, and performing a live set entitled Webster Young Plays and Sings the Miles Davis Songbook, Volume 3.
He performed and recorded with Bobby Short in the 1970s. On 2nd May 1979, he and Bobby and Beverly Peer had the privilege of playing at a White House dinner whose guest of honour was Japan’s Prime Minister Ohira. On a lesser note, but nevertheless immortalized on CD, DVD and VHS, Beverly and Gene also performed with Bobby Short at the Cafi Carlyle.
There are several opportunities to hear Gene’s drumming technique on CDs such as Johnny Hartman’s You Came a Long Way from St. Louis, The Best of Oscar Peterson, Piano Moods: The Definitive Oscar Peterson and Verve Masters 37: Oscar Peterson Plays Broadway.
He’s on drums here in a performance of “Get Out of Town” by the Jack Sheldon Quartet…