Personnel: Les McCann (piano, electric piano, Moog synthesizer); David Spinozza (guitar, electric guitar); Cornell Dupree (electric guitar); Corky Hale (harp); Yusef Lateef (flute, oboe, tenor saxophone, temple bell); Jodie Christian (electric piano); Bill Salter (electric bass); Bernard Purdie, Alphonse Mouzon, Donald Dean (drums, percussion); Buck Clarke, Ralph McDonald (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Peter Relic; Ron Neal; Joel Dorn; Pat Thomas .
Recording information: Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, NY.
Arranger: Les McCann.
Les McCann's INVITATION TO OPENNESS is extremely atmospheric and dreamy. But due to the powerful drumming by Bernard Purdie, it also rocks pretty hard too. The idea with this album was rather simple. McCann essentially set out here to entrance listeners with contagious grooves and colorful keyboard, guitar and horn textures. In fact, INVITATION TO OPENNESS really translates to mean invitation to zone out.
When this album was made in the early 1970s, this style of music was not uncommon. The confluence of jazz and rock and the lingering psychedelic movement encouraged these types of experimental releases. However, unlike some of the other albums from this era, this CD does not sound dated. In fact, it sounds fresh even decades removed.
All three tunes on INVITATION TO OPENNESS are marked by funky backbeats and cosmic sound effects. Each piece is really a one chord modal jam. However, McCann, who performs almost exclusively on an electric piano, floats bi-tonal chord clusters overtop Purdie's "phat" beats. Rich percussion tapestries also enwrap the music, and even when the musicians move into abstract territory, the percussionists maintain the time so that the listener doesn't get, well, too lost in space.
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