They called it The Paisley Underground. A 1980s, Southern California sound that mixed pure-pop sensibilities with psychedelic overtones, the term was coined by Michael Quercio, leader of one of that scene s biggest bands, The Three O Clock. The Three O Clock eventually signed to I.R.S. Records and even made an LP for Prince s Paisley Park imprint, but it is their early material that is not only adored, but which has never been properly compiled and re-introduced. Until now. The Hidden World Revealed is a 20-track collection from the years 1981-1986. In addition to hits from their tenure on Frontier Records like Jet Fighter and With A Cantaloupe Girlfriend, the CD features rare singles, demos and alternate takes/mixes. It helps tell the story of where the band started (as The Salvation Army) and what they would achieve recording for major labels and opening for bands like R.E.M. on national tours. It s quite a trip.
This CD from the European Classics label has the entire recorded legacy of the Three Peppers (other than obscure sets in 1947 and 1949), 24 selections in all from six recording sessions. Consisting of Oliver "Toy" Wilson on piano, guitarist Bob Bell and bassist Walter Williams, the Three Peppers (which had Wilson, Bell and maybe Williams indulging in group vocals) preceded the Nat King Cole Trio and played hot swing and novelties with plenty of spirit. This CD includes a previously unreleased recording of "The Sheik of Araby" and is highlighted by such tunes as "Swingin' at the Cotton Club," "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" (one of four numbers with singer Sally Gooding, trumpet, clarinet and drums added), two versions of "Swing Out, Uncle Wilson" and "Pepperism." Recommended for lovers of small-group swing.
Two very obscure series of recordings, both featuring singer Bon Bon (George Tunnell), are reissued in full on this intriguing CD. Bon Bon is best-known for his stint with Jan Savitt's orchestra during the late 1930s/early '40s. On the first 16 selections, he is heard as a pianist-vocalist with the Three Keys, a group also featuring guitarist Slim Furness and bassist Bob Pease; all three musicians sing together. The music is enjoyable jive although not as creative as the Mills Brothers or the Spirits of Rhythm. Among the better selections are "Someone Stole Gabriel's Horn," "Nagasaki," and "Oh By Jingo." Also on this CD are the six surviving selections from two dates by Bon Bon and his buddies during 1941-42…
All the rave reviews about this album are justified; this is a superb, sizzling, and very soulful live recording from 1970. According to the liner notes this recording was made "almost as an afterthought" by Blue Note. But afterwards, the label decided not to release the show, keeping it in the Blue Note vaults until it finally saw the light of day in 2000. But patience is rewarded; this is a fantastic album.
Recorded in 1970 but not released until 1996, Live At the "It Club" shows the Three Sounds pulling out funky, gritty rhythms out of their basic bluesy hard-bop sound. The group's funky influences are most noticeable in the rhythm section of drummer Carl Burnette and bassist Henry Franklin, who had been playing with Harris for only a short time when this set was recorded. The rhythm section pushes Harris, making the music loose and swinging – the groove matters more than anything on the album. Occasionally, the energy of the Three Sounds lags, but Live at the "It Club" is an enjoyable piece of grooving soul-jazz.