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Les McCann: Live at Montreux

Track List

>Price You Gotta Pay To Be Free
>What's Going On
>North Carolina
>Carry On Brother
>With These Hands
>Compared To What
>Get Yourself Together
>Home Again

Album Notes

Personnel: Les McCann (piano, Clavinet, percussion); Rahsaan Roland Kirk (saxophone); Jimmy Rowser (bass); Donald Dean (drums); Buck Clarke (percussion).

Recorded live at The Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland in June, 1972. Originally released on Atlantic Records in 1973.

Having rocketed the Montreux Jazz Festival to prominence in 1968 with Swiss Movement, Atlantic naturally thought they could score again four years later with the super-funky electric edition of Les McCann Ltd. While there were no major hits this time, Atlantic got enough from McCann's set to put out a hot double album loaded with gritty vocals, gospel-drenched electric piano, cooking instrumentals, plenty of his popular protest songs, and a few new numbers such as the driving "Cochise." Backed with stone-tough grooves by Jimmy Rowser (bass), Buck Clarke (congas, percussion), and Donald Dean (drums), most of McCann's performances are at least the equal of his studio recordings, though the inevitable return of "Compared to What" falls short of the pacesetting version of 1968. Eddie Harris didn't turn up this time at Montreux, but Rahsaan Roland Kirk did, wandering in on the middle of "Get Yourself Together," doing a wailing thing like an air raid siren and a funky impromptu encore. For a vivid snapshot of Les McCann at the high noon of his career, this double-LP set is worth scouring the used racks for. ~ Richard S. Ginell


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