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Out Of This World (1962)

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Gene Harris

Out of This World relies less on originals than before, concentrating on standards which sound startlingly fresh. It's the loose, flexible groove that's the key. Simpkins and Dowdy keep things on track, while Gene Harris plays -- he can be nimble, he can pound, but he keeps the music flowing at a nice, easy pace. He has a good sense of the groove, and he stays within the groove even as he plays a lot of notes; it's truly an individual style. Despite the R&B-flavored arrangements on "Girl of My Dreams" and the swinging, gospel-inflected "Sanctified Sue," Out of This World is a particularly light and breezy record from the Three Sounds. They're just as comfortable stretching out with the groove as they are with keeping things short, simple, and concise -- either way, it's thoroughly enjoyable music. But no matter how easy the group is to enjoy, they have true style, as Harris' bluesy flourishes and the rhythm section's supple support illustrate. It's hard to sound this light and easy, and the Three Sounds pull it off with grace.