Les McCann – Another Beginning (1974/2011) [HDTracks 24-192]

Les McCann – Another Beginning (1974/2011)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 42:30 minutes | 1,45 GB  | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: HDTracks | @ Rhino Atlantic
Recorder, West Los Angeles, CA, May 20-23, 1974

Packed full of McCann’s raspy vocals and funky riffs, Another Beginning finds jazz pianist/vocalist in top form. The soulful album released in 1974 peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums. Included on the album are the extraordinary “Someday We’ll Meet Again,” “My Soul Lies Deep” and “Maybe You’ll Come Back.” This mind-bending recording has never sounded better.

Les McCann reached the peak of his career at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival, recording “Compared to What” and “Cold Duck Time” for Atlantic (Swiss Movement) with Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey. Although he has done some worthwhile work since then, much of it has been anticlimactic.

McCann first gained some fame in 1956 when he won a talent contest in the Navy as a singer that resulted in an appearance on television on The Ed Sullivan Show. After being discharged, he formed a trio in Los Angeles. McCann turned down an invitation to join the Cannonball Adderley Quintet so he could work on his own music. He signed a contract with Pacific Jazz and in 1960 gained some fame with his albums Les McCann Plays the Truth and The Shout. His soulful, funk style on piano was influential and McCann’s singing was largely secondary until the mid-’60s. He recorded many albums for Pacific Jazz during 1960-1964, mostly with his trio but also featuring Ben Webster, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Blue Mitchell, Stanley Turrentine, Joe Pass, the Jazz Crusaders, and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.

McCann switched to Limelight during 1965-1967 and then signed with Atlantic in 1968. After the success of Swiss Movement, McCann emphasized his singing at the expense of his playing and he began to utilize electric keyboards, notably on 1972’s Layers. His recordings became less interesting to traditional jazz fans from that point on, and after his Atlantic contract ran out in 1976, McCann appeared on records much less often. However, he stayed popular and a 1994 reunion tour with Eddie Harris was quite successful. A mid-’90s stroke put him out of action for a time and weakened his keyboard playing (his band began carrying an additional keyboardist) but Les McCann returned to a more active schedule during 1996 and was still a powerful singer. His comeback was solidified by 2002’s Pump It Up, a guest-heavy celebration of funk and jazz released on ESC Records. –Artist Biography by Scott Yanow

1 Maybe You’ll Come Back 3:58
2 The Song Of Love 3:14
3 When It’s Over 10:28
4 Somebody’s Been Lying ‘Bout Me 3:32
5 Go On And Cry 5:23
6 My Soul Lies Deep 5:19
7 The Morning Song 3:38
8 Someday We’ll Meet Again 6:58

Jon Faddis, Danny Moore, Joe Wilder – trumpet, flugelhorn
Garnett Brown, Kiane Zawadi – trombone
Bill Slapin – clarinet, saxophone
Seldon Powell, Harold Vick, Frank Wess – saxophone
Sanford Allen, Selwart Clarke, Harry Cykman, Max Ellen, Paul Gershman, Emanuel Green, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malin, David Nadien, Matthew Raimondi – violin
Julien Barber, Al Brown – viola
Kermit Moore, George Ricci – cello
Les McCann – piano, electric piano, synthesizer, Clavinet, vocals, arranger
Roy Gaines – guitar
Herb Bushler – bass
Chuck Rainey – electric bass
Paul Humphrey – drums
Buck Clarke – percussion
Carmen Bryant, Cathy Collier, Bob Esty, Jim Gilstrap, Vennette Gloud, Norma Holmes, Cissy Houston, Marti McCall, Sandy Merrill Smolen, Rennelle Stafford, Sally Stevens, Deidre Tuck – backing vocals
Tamiko Loving, Laurence Moore – backing vocals -2
Morgan Ames – backing vocals, vocal arranger
William Eaton – arranger, conductor, vocal arranger –2