Today's Sounds

The Three Sounds

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Today's Sounds Review

by Ken Dryden

This Limelight LP was the first by the Three Sounds following the departure of longtime drummer Bill Dowdy and the arrival of Kalil Mahdi. The new member stays pretty much in the background behind pianist and leader Gene Harris and bassist Andy Simpkins, barely making his presence felt. The group's brief sojourn onto the label marked a turn to a more rock and pop influence in their repertoire, as is evident in many of the poor choices for this live recording, made at the London House in Chicago in early 1966. In spite of the presence of time-tested standards like "Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You" and "Old Folks," as well as strong jazz compositions by Sacha Distel ("The Good Life") and Ray Brown ("A.M. Blues") current hits by Petula Clark ("Downtown") and Charlie Rich ("Mohair Sam," which sounds as if it is played on a battered upright piano) hardly proved to be viable jazz vehicles. Even the pianist's two originals are a bit disappointing. Most fans will likely prefer the Three Sounds' earlier Blue Note releases or Harris' many outstanding quartet recordings during his long association with Concord during the final decades of his life over this long-out-of-print record.

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