The Three / Self-Titled – Our Direct Disc Copy from Way Back

Hot Stamper Pressings of The Three Available Now

Reviews and Commentaries for The Three


Hey, wait a minute, this is the direct to disc version, there is no Master Tape. How can it have Master Tape Sound?

Simple. It’s the RARE copy that actually sounds like this one. Most Eastwind pressings — like pressings on any label — do not convey all the information of the master tape that you know must exist because you HEAR it on some copies. Some Direct Discs have much more of the sound that was cut live directly onto the acetate than others. This is one of those, one of the ones with MUCH MORE SOUND! 

This is my favorite piano trio record of all time. Joe Sample, Shelly Manne and Ray Brown only made one album together, this one, recorded direct to disc right here in Los Angeles for Eastwind in the Seventies. Joe Sample for once in his life found himself in a real Class A trio, and happily for jazz fans around the world he rose to the occasion. Actually it was more like an epiphany, as this is the one piano trio album I put in a class by itself. All three of The Three are giving us the best they’ve got on this one. When it comes to piano trio jazz, there is none better.

So Many Takes

There are two takes for the Direct Disc, the second of which is terrible and the first of which we are offering here. The wrong take is so bad I simply cannot stand to listen to it anymore, no matter how good the sound is. And most of the direct disc copies do not sound all that good anyway, truth be told.

The only combination of music and sound that makes any sense to us here at Better Records is take 1 of the direct disc, the 45 RPM from tape version and the 33 on Inner City.

Sides One and Two

The sound is open, airy, and so transparent. The transients are superb, conveying TONS of energy. The piano, bass, and drums — what else is there? — all sound JUST RIGHT. On both sides.

Both sides here are Right On The Money — lively and full-bodied with TONS of detail and STUNNING clarity. The piano has real weight to it just as it should, allowing you to really appreciate both the power of Joe Sample’s performance and the percussive qualities of the instrument.

The bass is SUPERB — deep and punchy with definition that defies understanding. You will not believe how real Ray’s bass sounds here. There’s plenty of extension on the top end — just listen to the sustain on the cymbals.

Overall the sound is open, spacious, and tonally correct from top to bottom with virtually no distortion.

You simply cannot ask for better sound. This is it! It’s a Must Own jazz record I tell you. It just doesn’t get any better.


Side One

On Green Dolphin Street
Satin Doll

Side Two

Manha Do Carnaval
Round About Midnight
Funky Blues