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The Three Sounds: Groovin’ Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968 (Resonance)

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The Three Sounds: Groovin’ Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968
The Three Sounds: Groovin’ Hard: Live at the Penthouse 1964-1968

Sometimes you feel closer to certain minor artists than to towering giants. Perhaps it is easier to claim them. Gene Harris was no Keith Jarrett, but, as Resonance producer Zev Feldman says, “he played for the people.” His music was warm, accessible, life-affirming and blues-drenched. His swing was bulletproof. The Three Sounds had a notable run from the late 1950s through the 1960s. Between 1958 and 1962, this piano trio, with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy, outsold every other act on the Blue Note label.

The 10 tracks here, all new to the world, were recorded live at the Penthouse in Seattle between 1964 and 1968. Jim Wilke, best known as the former host of Jazz After Hours, is also a recording engineer who has preserved thousands of hours of live jazz in Seattle clubs over the last 50 years. Groovin’ Hard comes from Wilke’s tape holdings. The sound is up-close and serviceable. The classy CD package, rich with photographs, memorabilia and intelligent documentation, is typical of archival releases on the Resonance label.

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