The Three Sounds – Groovin’ Hard: Live At The Penthouse 1964-1968 (2017)
DSD128 (.dsf) 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 50:17 minutes | 3,96 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 50:17 min | 872 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Digital booklet
Groovin’ Hard is a collection of previously unreleased live recordings of the legendary jazz trio, The Three Sounds, led by groove-master pianist Gene Harris. Captured live at Seattle’s Penthouse jazz club from 1964-1968, featuring longtime Three Sounds bassist Andy Simpkins and drummers Bill Dowdy, Kalil Madi and Carl Burnett, this set contains soulful originals and jazz standards such as ‘Blue Genes’ and ‘The Shadow of Your Smile,’ which was never released on any other Three Sounds album. The deluxe CD package features a 20-page book of rare photos and memorabilia including the classic image on the cover of the trio performing at the club taken by photographer Egill Gustafson plus essays by journalist Ted Panken, Seattle Jazz DJ Jim Wilke, and Resonance producers Zev Feldman and George Klabin. The Three Sounds were one of the most popular groups on the iconic Blue Note Records label during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and this album compiled from tapes originally broadcast on the radio show Jazz from the Penthouse shows why.
The old tapes hide in the archives, deep in the dark corners of record company closets, and even the occasional back yard tool shed… Finding and bringing these lost treasures to the listening public seems to have turned into an industry of its own. And praise be the effort.
Now Resonance Records, riding the crest of the wave of the undiscovered treasures game, offers up Groovin’ Hard: Live At the Penthouse, 1964-1968 by Three Sounds Featuring Gene Harris.
Harris held down the piano chair during the fifteen year life span of the group. Drummers changed; the bass changed. Gene Harris was the constant in a group that released fifteen albums on Blue Note Records, achieving the distinction of being one of the label’s top selling acts between 1958 and 1962. The group’s sound was soulful, always in the groove. This was a time when soul and groove had carved out a niche—saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Lou Donaldson were doing their part; and so was Red Garland. Harris always sounded a bit like Garland, with a shade less elegance, but like he was having a better time at it.
Groovin’ Hard stacks up well with the best of The Three Sounds discography—consistency was a big thing with Harris. Consistency and the joy of creation. He sounds like a born entertainer, someone who lived to give the people what they wanted to hear. In this set, recorded in four different stints at Seattle’s now-defunct Penthouse, the group grooves into Neal Hefti’s “Girl Talk,” the classic “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes,” given a bossa-funk feel here, and the American Songbook jewel “The Shadow of Your Smile.”
Harris had such chops, and such a flair for bringing deep soul into the proceedings, such panache, such exuberant confidence in his artistry. And the trios—The Three Sounds had a rotation three different drummers in these sets—elevated their contributions above straight accompaniment into the realm of equality that, while it may not have matched what the Bill Evans Trios were doing at this time (and that surely wasn’t the point)—they certainly matched Harris in their zest creating an assertive interplay and an engaging sound.
“Blue Genes,” a Harris original, boogie woogie’s like mad, and “Rat’s Down Front,” another offering from the Harris pen, ramps that approach up a couple of notches, while “Yours Is My Heat Alone” dances with a light step, with the trio at his most effervescent.
Another fine discovery. Kudos to Resonance Records for bringing it into the light.
01 – Girl Talk
02 – Night Has a Thousand Eyes
03 – Blues Genes
04 – The Sandpiper: The Shadow Of Your Smile
05 – Rat Down Front
06 – Yours Is My Heart Alone
07 – AM Blues
08 – Bluesette
09 – Caesar & Cleopatra
10 – The Boogaloo
Gene Harris – piano
Andy Sims – bass
Carl Burnett – drums on “1, 4, 6”
Kalil Madi – drums on tracks “2, 7, 10”
Bill Dowdy – drums on “3, 5, 8, 9”
Recorded at the Penthouse in Seattle, WA (1964-1968).
This album is a high-resolution digital transfer of material originating from an analogue master source. It may contain noise, distortion or other artifacts, and may also contain audio which is limited in bandwidth or dynamic range, due to the technology used at the time of its original creation. As such, it is offered as a high-resolution documentation of a historical release.