The Three Sounds were pianist Gene Harris, bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Bill Dowdy, and they swung in-the-pocket. Although they were not as acclaimed as the Modern Jazz Quartet
, the Ramsey Lewis
Trio, and other marquee combos, their streamlined sound bridged Count Basie
and bebop into a modern yet grooving sensibility. This two-CD set features the trio's entire 1960 Blue Hour
sessions with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. With Turrentine's robust, storytelling tenor sound, these dates are no-nonsense straight-ahead numbers and ballads, including "Willow Weep for Me," Andy Razaf's "Gee Baby, Ain't I Been Good to You," and Oscar Pettiford
's "Blues in the Closet." Harris's lyrical ivory ticklings, Dowdy's zesty drum work, and Simpkins's deep and delicious bass lines get Turrentine's driving tenor as a topping and show that this ensemble was the real deal. --Eugene Holley Jr.