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Peter Friedman

Best Three Sounds Album

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30 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Jim can tell you about Coldwater Flat with arrangements by Oliver Nelson

That shit swings hard and has no pretensions or ambitions to do anything else.

Face value is wonderful when it's a face that is honest, forthright, and countenances a benevolence of spirit 

Let's not overthink this..

https://youtu.be/QG6QMNLaNlU

Any questions? About what? For crissakes, WHY? 

 

 

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That's a fine track. I don't know that record. But I have a feeling I should.

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15 hours ago, Late said:

Horace Silver was gigging in Cleveland circa 1957 when he heard The Three Sounds. He befriended Gene Harris and introduced him the next year to Alfred Lion. Before The Three Sounds signed to Blue Note, they played an extended gig in Washington D.C. backing Sonny Stitt. Both Kenny Burrell and Miles Davis heard that gig and supported their move to New York. Lion heard them play at The Offbeat Club in NYC and signed them soon thereafter. Francis Wolff took photos of the trio at The Offbeat, but to my knowledge there's no recording of that gig.

The trio broke up in 1967. Dowdy left first, to be replaced by Donald Bailey. Simpkins then took a gig with George Shearing in 1968, which lasted through 1974. The Three Sounds left Blue Note in 1962, recorded albums for Mercury and Verve, and then returned to Blue Note in 1966. Of their return, Michael Cuscuna wrote that "success had diluted the trio's original impact, and their repertoire had become overrun with fanciful, inferior pop tunes of the day." Can't disagree with that. But the 1958-1962 recordings are tight. I don't really hear a comparison with Red Garland, but I do hear a parallel with, say, Horace Parlan. For my own listening, however, I almost always choose The Three Sounds over a Parlan record.

Ranking The Three Sounds albums isn't exactly useful, and I haven't heard them all, but if I had to rank those that I know, it'd look like this:

1. Good Deal
2. Moods
3. It Just Got To Be
4. Feelin' Good
5. Black Orchid (with bonus tracks)
6. Babe's Blues (this album is actually bonus tracks from Hey There)
7. Here We Come
8. Bottoms Up!
9. Standards

(Those are all that I've heard. That's either just enough or perhaps too many.)

Very interesting story, didn´t know that. 

Anyway, for me looking chronologically at the BN Story (and again I mention I´m a player, not a colletor) I always thought that some of those things in the early 60´s were a step back, I mean you had new artists for BN, you had older artists who started to explore new areas, and then you had a batch of very very straight ahead swing albums with let´s say Tommy Turrentine, with the Three Sounds, with Horace Parlan (and I love Parlan, but much more in the Mingus context and with drummers like Danny Richmond ). 

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19 hours ago, JSngry said:

So you don't have any Three Sounds records at all, correct? If so, why?

I do have the Stanley Turrentine & The Three Sounds - Blue Hour album. 

Over the years, I have had a couple of Three Sounds (trio) recordings, but did not keep them. To my ears they were a bit dull and uninteresting. Yet, I have many Gene Harris albums - Trios, Quartets with guitar, and sessions with various horn players. For me, Harris swings harder and is a more interesting soloist when he was not a member of the Three Sounds.

I realize that many here are fans of the Three Sounds, but they just don't do it for me.

 

With regard to Horace Parlan, his work with Mingus was terrific.

 I very much like his trio recordings on  Steeplechase.

As both leader and sideman on Blue Note ( and other labels) he is damn fine.

 

 

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I'd pick "Soul Symphony" as my favorite Three Sounds album.  I even spent $2 for a Walmart frame....pIH43ZwaVfzbkmNb9LNCwkr_iUc5mjfHvuidNH-Y

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12 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

 

 

 

I realize that many here are fans of the Three Sounds, but they just don't do it for me.

 

With regard to Horace Parlan, his work with Mingus was terrific.

 I very much like his trio recordings on  Steeplechase.

 

 

 

I somehow became much lesser interested in trio albums with the years, but that Horace Parlan on Steeplechase I have, I like it very much, mostly because it´s not such a dull trio album where bass and drums only have a supporting role. It has Danny Richmond on drums and I think that´s the reason why I bought it and love it so much. 
It has "Like Someone in Love" on it, and Mingus´ "Duke Ellingtons Sound of Love". 
 

As for Gene Harris, is it possible that he belonged to other jazz-cliques that those where I was part of ? 

I mean, until around 40 I didn´t know who Gene Harris was, none of my fellow musicians or musical mentors ever mentioned him. 
Same with let´s say Houston Pearson: I don´t know why but I didn´t even hear his name until a guy who was maybe 13 years older than me mentioned Gene Harris and Houston Pearson as some of his favourites. 

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Haven't spent too much time the 3 Sounds over the years, but listening now to "It Just Got To be" reminds me (in a good way) of John Wright's Prestige albums ("South Side Soul" and cie)

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15 hours ago, Gheorghe said:

I somehow became much lesser interested in trio albums with the years, but that Horace Parlan on Steeplechase I have, I like it very much, mostly because it´s not such a dull trio album where bass and drums only have a supporting role. It has Danny Richmond on drums and I think that´s the reason why I bought it and love it so much. 
It has "Like Someone in Love" on it, and Mingus´ "Duke Ellingtons Sound of Love". 
 

As for Gene Harris, is it possible that he belonged to other jazz-cliques that those where I was part of ? 

I mean, until around 40 I didn´t know who Gene Harris was, none of my fellow musicians or musical mentors ever mentioned him. 
Same with let´s say Houston Pearson: I don´t know why but I didn´t even hear his name until a guy who was maybe 13 years older than me mentioned Gene Harris and Houston Pearson as some of his favourites. 

This is true for some older jazz fans whom I know too. I mentioned the Three Sounds to my aunt who is a lifelong jazz fan, and she had never heard of them.

Perhaps Blue Note didn't sell them into Europe, and perhaps concentrated on other audiences?

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1 hour ago, Rabshakeh said:

This is true for some older jazz fans whom I know too. I mentioned the Three Sounds to my aunt who is a lifelong jazz fan, and she had never heard of them.

Perhaps Blue Note didn't sell them into Europe, and perhaps concentrated on other audiences?

They definitely got over here. I have several early original Three Sounds LPs with UK import stickers on the back of them.

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I'm having a Three Sounds renaissance of sorts this summer. My appreciation for the unit only grows. While I'm not necessarily enamored of Dowdy as a drummer, within the context of the trio ... he's just right. The Three Sounds had some formulas that they used on repeat, but to their credit they always seemed to ignite some blue sparks. Gene Harris couldn't not swing. I'm glad there're as many albums as there are, even if I know perhaps only half of them. Ruth Lion was right.

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9 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

This is true for some older jazz fans whom I know too. I mentioned the Three Sounds to my aunt who is a lifelong jazz fan, and she had never heard of them.

Perhaps Blue Note didn't sell them into Europe, and perhaps concentrated on other audiences?

It also must have to do with the environment I grew up. My mentors were active musicians or listeners of more demanding music like Trane, Mingus, Ornette etc. and of course also "back to Bird". 
Decent trios were the bass and drum have more suportive roles, like those Oscar Peterson trios or those Erroll Garner trios you mostly saw in not strictly jazz upper middleclass households, oh yeah and usually they also had those Jaques Louissiere "Play Bach" .....
And even after the re-birth of BN with all those RVG-Series albums starting to come out in the late 90´s I don´t remember there was "Three Sounds" included..... so even then I didn´t have no idea who Gene Harris is....

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9 hours ago, Late said:

 The Three Sounds had some formulas that they used on repeat, but to their credit they always seemed to ignite some blue sparks...I'm glad there're as many albums as there are, even if I know perhaps only half of them.

and that's one of their secrets right there - they made a lot of records that, superficially, "all sounded the same", but - every record had different songs on it. So if you wanted to groove on the Sounds playing one song, that's on one record. If you wanted to hear them play another song, that would be on that record. And so on. You can quite innoncently end up with a bunch of records just for that reason.

I don't even know that you need to listen to both sides of the record to get the flayva. Each LP side was a nifty little 15-20 minute drop-in radio show, almost, a mid-whatever refresher brought to you by the ebullient swing company, the one that that is always true, so join us now for the always sparking musical infusions of Gene Harris and The Three Sounds.

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I find 3 Sounds to be all about chemistry. I take strongly to or against specific records, for no reason that is immediately clear to me, except that it sounds like the group is clicking on this one and not on the other. Sorry to spout drivel of this sort, but I love roughly a third of their records and don't really click with the other two thirds, and I see no logical reason why.

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Chemistry, pocket, is really a matter of physics and timing, micro-measurements of sound and time. Your being is (or can be) quite subconsciously sensitive to these factors. The difference between a groove and an almost-groove is literally micro-seconds.

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That reminds me of what George Clinton said about Bootsy in that he basically lived in the pocket. It was/is just part of his nature. 

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Can't fake the funk.

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7 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I find 3 Sounds to be all about chemistry. I take strongly to or against specific records, for no reason that is immediately clear to me, except that it sounds like the group is clicking on this one and not on the other. Sorry to spout drivel of this sort, but I love roughly a third of their records and don't really click with the other two thirds, and I see no logical reason why.

This is the most interesting comment by the "not really fans or not really big fans" group.  Could you please give an example or two of the 1/3 that you love and 2/3s that you don't?

Working into that perspective is the fact that its been said (and Bill Dowdy verified to me) that the group was so tight they barely ever did second takes of anything in the studio.  So if the musicians were around they might be surprised to hear that there's a perception of them not clicking here, but clicking there. They always clicked.  Came from the years spent playing together, including Gene and Bill from around the age of 6 or so (and definitely as early teenagers where they played in clubs, and Gene's dad got free drinks for it.)

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

This is the most interesting comment by the "not really fans or not really big fans" group.  Could you please give an example or two of the 1/3 that you love and 2/3s that you don't?

Working into that perspective is the fact that its been said (and Bill Dowdy verified to me) that the group was so tight they barely ever did second takes of anything in the studio.  So if the musicians were around they might be surprised to hear that there's a perception of them not clicking here, but clicking there. They always clicked.  Came from the years spent playing together, including Gene and Bill from around the age of 6 or so (and definitely as early teenagers where they played in clubs, and Gene's dad got free drinks for it.)

 


The 1/3 is:

Introducing…

Bottoms Up

Here We Come

Out of this World

Elegant Soul

Clearly there’s the first two in there. Beyond that, no real theme. Sometimes they just sound more switched on, and crackle a little more, and sometimes less so.

With the 3 Sounds the quality I look for comes from such tiny little decisions of rhythm and emphasis, that I think this sort of gut reaction is intensified, in a way that it would not be with their peers.

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13 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:


The 1/3 is:

Introducing…

Bottoms Up

Here We Come

Out of this World

Elegant Soul

Clearly there’s the first two in there. Beyond that, no real theme. Sometimes they just sound more switched on, and crackle a little more, and sometimes less so.

With the 3 Sounds the quality I look for comes from such tiny little decisions of rhythm and emphasis, that I think this sort of gut reaction is intensified, in a way that it would not be with their peers.

OK ... personally can't imagine Elegant Soul  on any list of top recordings let alone for being more switched on considering that the original trio is gone (and the drummer isn't even the same across all tracks) and you've got the strings added. That one is really the start of the drop-off in quality for the group.

Wondering the bottom 1 or 2 for you?

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3 hours ago, Dan Gould said:

OK ... personally can't imagine Elegant Soul  on any list of top recordings let alone for being more switched on considering that the original trio is gone (and the drummer isn't even the same across all tracks) and you've got the strings added. That one is really the start of the drop-off in quality for the group.

I guess this probably isn't the time and place to say that 'Elegant Soul' is the only Three Sounds album I've heard and I really like it...

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Elegant Soul is an outlier. It isn't really a three sounds record in the same way but I do like it. 

I don't have a bottom 1 or 2. The rest are records that I simply don't like as much.

 

Just now, mjazzg said:

I guess this probably isn't the time and place to say that 'Elegant Soul' is the only Three Sounds album I've heard and I really like it...

I think it's basically a soul record, and a nice one. I'm with you here.

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On 6/21/2022 at 4:12 PM, Peter Friedman said:

For me, Horace Parlan recordings would be my choice every time over a Three Sounds album.

Easy for me too.

On 6/21/2022 at 4:20 PM, Late said:

I like Parlan a lot as a sideman, but as a leader I find his albums somewhat grating. (I recognize I'm probably in the minority with that opinion.) 

That said, Happy Frame of Mind is a small masterpiece. (I guess I'm thinking about albums without horns. Those I haven't been able to get with.)

Yes, Happy Frame of Mind is indeed a small masterpiece (maybe larger.)  Anytime Parlan teamed with the Turrentine brothers (or anywhere they appeared together) was always a winner for me, On the Spur of the Moment being an example. I can understand sentiments towards Parlan's piano trios, but Us Three, I still do like it very much. 

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Horace Parlan's Blue Note recordings are very good.

His albums below on Steeplechase are also favorites of mine.

Arrival (Trio/Quintet) Idrees Sulieman, Bent Jaedig, Hugo Rasmussen, Ed Thigpen

Frankly Speaking (Quintet) Frank Foster, Frank Strozier, Lisle Atkinson, Al Harewood

Glad I Found You (Quintet) Thad Jones, Eddie Harris, Jesper Lundgaard, Aage Tanggaard

Musically Yours (Solo Piano)

The Maestro (Solo Piano)

No Blues (Trio) Wilber Little, Dannie Richmond

Blue Parlan (Trio) Wilber Little, Dannie Richmond

Like Someone In Love (Trio) Jesper Lundgaard, Dannie Richmond

Hi-Fly (Trio) Doug Raney, Wilber Little 

 

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