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Gene Harris

One of the most accessible of all jazz pianists, Gene Harris' soulful style (influenced by Oscar Peterson and containing the blues-iness of a Junior Mance) was immediately likable and predictably excellent. After playing in an Army band (1951-1954), he formed a trio with bassist Andy Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy which was, by 1956, known as the Three Sounds. The group was quite popular, and recorded regularly during 1956-1970 for Blue Note and Verve. Although the personnel changed and the music became more R&B-oriented in the early '70s, Harris retained the Three Sounds name for his later Blue Note sets. He retired to Boise, ID, in 1977, and was largely forgotten when Ray Brown persuaded him to return to the spotlight in the early '80s. Harris worked for a time with the Ray Brown Trio and led his own quartets in the years to follow, recording regularly for Concord and heading the Phillip Morris Superband on a few tours; 1998's Tribute to Count Basie even earned a Grammy nomination. While awaiting a kidney transplant, he died on January 16, 2000, at the age of 66. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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bob223489
Like the other poster, was lucky to see Gene a few times at the Dakota jazz club in st Paul... even had his music playing while one of sons was being born! Love you Gene.
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jayismonk450
i once heard him play the battle hymn of the republic..ne v e r heard anything since that nite that was so deeply touching.
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Absolutely incredible, Mr Harris plays piano like no one else that I've ever heard. With his playing in our house all is right with the world.
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I love that old time jazz ,but I also love that smooth jazz to,keep it real and keep it smooth jazz .p.s old time jazz will always live on.
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So stunning that I had to quit baking to see WHO this was ! The piano playing is SICK !!!:-)
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Amazing.....
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I never met Gene in person but I feel blessed to have experienced the best of him through his music. No man could make such loveable sounds without being a loving spirit. May he and all souls like him live forever.
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Didn't seem to be a fit that he lived in Boise, Idaho? Also doesn't seem right that he wasn't much more well-known?/

Saw this guy live and absolutely one of the best, if not the best Pianist i've ever heard.

Anyone in the Jazz-know, knows that there is no equal....Tru l y great!
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Love to listen to him play. one of the greatest.
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urielwilliam s 2 0 0
JUST BEAUTIFUL!!! ! ! ! !
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Saw him at the dakota in Minneapolis back in the day (saint Paul actually) and have really enjoyed his unique sound ever since
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caught him in chicago while he was waiting for his kidney. i sat thru every set. the man could play..miss him.
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Gene Harris was the man! Please find more like him! Always in the groove!!
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My all time favorite pianist!. Used to try to get to as many performances as I could at the Jazz Quarry in Portland and at Jazz festivals on the Oregon Coast
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lewismranda
Holly,
Your father's piano renditions of music I grew up with have made all the more a lover of jazz and blues and the instrument of the piano. My father in his final years wanted us to drive him through the downtown area of Des Moines, Iowa while we played it might as well be spring from the film State Fair which your dad just performed with such excellence that we measure all other performances of this classic against his.

Sure wish I had the chance to hear him live. But that's OK.
Lewis
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hfiefia
That's My Father Mr Gene Harris You will always be in my Heart and Mind I will see you on the other side, in Heaven. Thanks for the Beautiful Music I Love it!! Holly Fiefia
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jim850208
Listened to Gene often in an old Hotel in Boise Idaho. Miss him every Friday night!
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Gene's playing can be swinging and energetic, soft and delicate.All around, an incredible pianist who breathes spirit in his music. I love it.
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Great music, great talent, great artist. Love his sound.
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This man makes two hands sound like four playing all together - excellent technique - may he rest in peace.
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I have enjoyed his music for a long time. It is so intimate and reminds me of my youth.
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sp8sj66
How could you not like Gene Harris's playing.He made a bad day turn so bright in just a tinkling of the keys.
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sp8sj66
Love Gene Harris and Ray Brown.
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vkadish
There are so many wonderfully talented jazz pianists and I love them all, but I always go back to Gene Harris....ju s t can't HELP myself!!! His elegant blues-iness and joyful, soulful chops will take me out any bad mood and levitate me way beyond any good one!!The man's music is gorgeous and medicinal,fo r god's sake, no matter what he's playing.He just gives it ALL up. What a gift!


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Nice!
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I also love Oscar. But over time I find some of his riffs predictable and repetitious although brilliant. Gene touches my soul a bit more, and his riffs are always funky, new and different. What a shame to lose him at such a young age. I dig all his recordings. What a joy!
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annemataia
One of the best story tellers ever.
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I always loved Oscar and always will. But Gene Harris has found a place in my heart. He plays with such "bounce"! Every note fits right in, it is amazing. I first heard him with Ray Brown! WHAT TALENT!!!
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Oh Happy Day when I discovered Gene Harris! I bought the whole library - took some ordering from B&N. There is not one thing I have heard him do I don't love. What else is their to say?
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i'm in agreement with amusicmas70 and red213. you both right on the money.loved his three sounds lp with stanley t.
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barsang
I've been a fan since the '50's, he got to my 'Solar Plexes' . I have 3 Original Albums of the "Three Sounds" . Was lucky to see him at Yoshi's and have him autograph my albums . His wife then took a photo of us which I dearly Treasure.
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Gene Harris is an artist I could lister to all day with out getting tired of his interpretati o n s .
Sorely missed.
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red213
It makes me crazy that Gene Harris isn't more well-known. He was an amazing musician.
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Gene Harris can sure play,really hip,enjoy his version of any song..huge talent..Than k s Pandora
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I got to shake his hand - thought some of his talen would rub off on me. I listen to him all day.

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