The 3 Sounds

Feelin' Good

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    9
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An appropriate title for an utterly charming set from the Three Sounds. The trio works familiar territory on Feelin' Good, playing a set of swinging hard bop and classy soul-jazz, but there's a definite spark in the air. Working from a diverse set of standards, originals, contemporary jazz, and blues, the Three Sounds created a cheerful, up-tempo record. Its very ease is deceptive -- the music is so accessible and entertaining, it's easy to overlook the sheer musical mastery of the group, which performs at something of a peak on this record. Gene Harris sounds better than ever, turning in an elegant interpretation of "It Could Happen to You," but he's just as able to inject "When I Fall in Love" with unexpectedly vigorous swing and make Monk's "Straight No Chaser" a foot-tapping, danceable delight. Bassist Andrew Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy follow Harris with graceful, imperceptible ease. It captures the Three Sounds at a peak, which means Feelin' Good is an excellent example of early soul-jazz.

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