Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Joe Sample, Ray Brown, Shelly Manne - The Three (1975)

One of the most successful Japanese piano trio recordings of the 70s -- a super-session performed by a a trio of Americans that includes Joe Sample on acoustic piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Shelly Manne on drums! Given that Sample's best known during the era for his electric keys with the Crusaders (and on countless studio sessions), it's a real treat to hear him tickle the ivories in an acoustic way -- and a genuine surprise to hear how strong his work is in such a format.

Joe manages to swing the tunes with plenty of creative improvisation, but also keeps a strong focus on the groove too -- making for an album that's got some of the rhythmic flourishes of the best work of the Oscar Peterson trio in later years, but with some of the added freedoms of the Japanese scene and a tight swinging sound that's very much in the soul jazz tradition of the LA scene that spawned all three players.

Joe Sample - Piano
Ray Brown - Bass
Shelly Manne - Drums

Track listing:
1 Yearnin'
2 On Green Dolphin Street
3 Satin Doll
4 Mañha de Carnaval
5 'Round About Midnight
6 Funky Blues

Vinyl rip in 24-bit/96kHz | FLAC | East Wind 10001 Nippon Phonogram Tokyo Direct-to-disc recording