Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

9

Les McCann: Invitation to Openness

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
It is a simple matter of acid-base stoichiometry like that learned in any quantitative chemical analysis or medicinal chemistry course. If one treats the acid element of Parliament Funkadelic's Maggot Brain (Westbound, 1971) with the sweet bass of Leroy Vinnegar, then infuse as with juniper with gin, with honey and morphine: Les McCann's monumental Invitation to Openness would result. Ornette Coleman may have detonated a nuclear music device with Free Jazz; A Collective Improvisation (Atlantic, 1961), but it was McCann that brought that same spirit to funk, with much better results

Invitation to Openness is a free-form exploration of simple themes infused with the same spirit of McCann and Eddie Harris' 1969 performance of "Compared to What" at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, except more laid back. That piece is only bested by Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddamn." But this is not where McCann is coming from on Invitation to Openness. No, he has mellowed and transcribes that mellowness into an early 1970s love vibe. Stream-of-Conscience so far beyond Faulkner and Wolff and we cannot imagine life without it.

McCann's themes are developed slowly and fully elaborated upon in these lengthy presentations. McCann reprises a 1970s "Compared to What" but the original found on YouTube remains the definitive thought of the period. Invitation to Openness is hypnotically cannabinoid like UB40's Signing Off (Graduate Records, 1980): to be enjoyed with Absinthe and like company.

Track Listing: The Lovers; Breux J. Poo Boo; Poo Pye McGoochie (and his friends); Compared to What.

Personnel: Les McCann: keyboards; Yusef Lateef: tenor saxophone, oboe, flute pneumatic flute, flute, David Spinozza: guitars; Cornell Dupree: guitar; Corky Hale: harp; Jodie Christian: electric piano; Bill Salter: bass; Jimmy rowser: bass; Bernard Purdie:; drums and percussion Al Mouzon: drums and percussion; Donald Dean; William Clark: percussion; Ralph McDonald: percussion.

Title: Invitation to Openness | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Omnivore Recordings

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Building a Jazz Library
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read These Wicked Things Album Reviews
These Wicked Things
By Mark Sullivan
March 26, 2019
Read The Silent Wish Album Reviews
The Silent Wish
By Don Phipps
March 26, 2019
Read Day After Day Album Reviews
Day After Day
By Mark Corroto
March 26, 2019
Read Gnomes and Badgers Album Reviews
Gnomes and Badgers
By Doug Collette
March 26, 2019
Read Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II Album Reviews
Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 26, 2019
Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
Influences
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019