Gene HarrisGene (*1933 in Benton Harbor, MI) was a jazz pianist. At the age of nine, Gene learned to play the piano self-taught. He had his first performances with local bands and played in US Army bands from 1951 to 1954. In 1956 he founded the band The Four Sounds, which in 1957 became the trio The Three Sounds with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy. The group initially worked in Washington, D.C., then came to New York in late 1958. With his soul-oriented music, the pianist was in the tradition of Ahmad Jamal. Harris was also influenced by the style of Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson. During this time, Gene's trio also recorded records with guest soloists Nat Adderley, Lou Donaldson, Anita O'Day, and Stanley Turrentine.
In the 1970s, his music received little attention - despite its more commercial orientation. The songs he played with the band The Three Sounds during this time had a high degree of funk and groove and only used a few harmonies. Harris retired to Boise, Idaho, and performed at the Idanha Hotel there. In the 1980s, bassist Ray Brown persuaded him to return to the jazz scene. He then played with Brown's trio for eight years (including in Europe in 1985) and led his own groups, with whom he regularly recorded for Concord Records in a style that mixed gospel, blues and hard bop. He also recorded several albums with the Philipp Morris Big Band, which he led. Gene died in 2000.
Blue Note BST 84248
recorded October 1966 in Englewood Cliffs, NJ/USA
Gene Harris, piano, organ
Andrew Simpkins, bass
Kalil Madi, drums
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