The Three Sounds

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The Three Sounds
Birth nameThe Three Sounds
GenresSoul jazz
Hard bop
MembersGene Harris
Andrew Simpkins
Bill Dowdy

The Three Sounds (also known as The 3 Sounds) were an American jazz piano trio that formed in 1956 and disbanded in 1973.

The band formed in Benton Harbor, Michigan, United States, as the Four Sounds. The original line-up consisted of Gene Harris on piano, Andrew Simpkins on double bass and Bill Dowdy on drums, along with saxophonist Lonnie "The Sound" Walker, who dropped out the following year. The group moved to Washington and then New York, where, as the Three Sounds, they cut a record for Riverside Records, before signing an exclusive contract with Blue Note.

Between 1958 and 1962, the group released nine albums for Blue Note. They toured nationally during this period, building a large following in jazz clubs across the country. The trio played and recorded with the likes of saxophonists Lester Young, Lou Donaldson, Stanley Turrentine and Sonny Stitt, cornet player Nat Adderley, singer Anita O'Day, and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, among others.

Samples in hip hop[edit]

The Three Sounds song "Put On Train", from the 1971 Gene Harris album The 3 Sounds was featured as the prominent background sample in the hip hop group Beastie Boys song "What Comes Around" on their 1989 album Paul's Boutique.[1] It previously stated here that this sample came from the Three Sounds album Live at the It Club, recorded in 1970, however this was not released (on Live at the It Club Vol. 2) until 2000.


(Source: [2])


  1. ^ Benjamin, Brad. "What Comes Around — Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique Samples and References List". Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  2. ^ The Three Sounds Catalog - album index accessed January 25, 2018

External links[edit]