A pair of killers from keyboardist Gene Harris – both recorded for Blue Note, and back to back on a single CD! First up is Gene Harris/
The 3 Sounds
– the last Three Sounds
album for Blue Note – and the funkiest too – thanks to lots more electrification than usual, and some killer arrangements from the mighty Monk Higgins! Monk's really at the top of his game here – going past even his great previous work for the group, and working with a tight, sharp edge that recalls his funky 45 brilliance of the 60s – yet tuned a bit more towards the electric Cali jazz of early 70s Blue Note! Gene Harris plays loads of funky piano lines – and in addition to the trio's core electric bass and drums, the set also features some added work on percussion from Paul Humphrey – who really brings in a kick – plus added guitar, congas, and even a bit of Hammond from Higgins too! Some cuts even have a bit of vocals too – sung in this offbeat way that's a wild approach to soul. There's some killer breaks on the set – including the massive "Put On Train" and "What's The Answer" – but the whole set smokes, and other cuts include "I'm Leaving", "You Got To Play The Game", "Your Love Is Just Too Much", "Did You Think", "Hey Girl", and a mad version of "Eleanor Rigby". On the second album – Gene Harris Of The Three Sounds
– Gene really steps into the solo spotlight – moving away from his work with the Three Sounds
trio, and headed into even more righteous territory – as you might guess from the trippy image on the cover! The set features Harris mostly on acoustic piano, but amidst larger arrangements from Wade Marcus that really round things out with a warm, soulful edge – mixing guitar from Sam Brown and Cornell Dupree with Gene's lines on piano – and giving things an extra kick at the bottom with drums from Freddie Waits, and percussion from Johnny Rodriguez and Omar Clay. The record echoes Harris' older roots at some points, yet comes across with a richer 70s vibe too – a hip 70s style that's strongly due to the contributions of Marcus' arrangements. Tracks include a great remake of "Listen Here", which begins with a great funky break; a sweet steppers version of "Killer Joe"; and the tracks "Lean On Me", "Day In The Life Of A Fool", "Django", "Emily", and "C Jam Blues".
(On the Dusty Groove label.)