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Les McCann: How’s Your Mother

This live piano trio session captures Les McCann on the cusp of great moments. The recording was made at the Village Vanguard in July 1967, when McCann traveled back east.

Already established on the west coast, and with some fine records out on the Pacific Jazz label, McCann was about to reach a new plateau the following year, with the “Swiss Movements” LP and its monster soul hit “Compared To What”, a new deal with Atlantic Records, and trail blazing electronic and popular effects of his 70’s bands.

This concert, while just a regular nightclub piano trio engagement, is a great example of McCann’s soulful attack. The band, with Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Frank Severino on drums, is crisp and crackling, and lays down a solid beat. McCann’s piano is biting and percussive, allowing him to bring a funky but elegant groove to Cole Porter songs, some bluesy originals, and, with a nod to the times, treatments of pop hits “Goin’ Out Of My Head” and “Sunny”, that presaged the great popular ascent to come.

The CD is not a reissue, but a recording by legendary engineer George Klabin that is just now seeing the light of day, but which has a soulful message for our times as well.

Originally Published