Les McCann’s long out-of-print improvisational masterpiece.
Through the chart-topping 1969 song “Compared To What”, McCann became known to thousands of people as an inspirational “soul-jazz” pianist and vocalist.
Since its first release in 1972, Les McCann’s Invitation To Openness album (Atlantic) has remained a landmark statement in free-form improvisation mixed with soulful grooves. The album features a 26 minute continuous track with expressive instrumentation from the likes of Yusuf Lateef, Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and Alphonse Mouzon.
Invitation To Openness is also now the title (via Fantagraphics Books) of a jazz and soul photography book with portraits of Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones, Tina Turner, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Count Basie, Mahalia Jackson, Eddie Harris, and dozens more. All taken between 1960 and 1980 by Les McCann!
Whether you already know this album or not, there’s two treats in store for you. First off, are the new liner notes by Peter Relic, who interviewed the key participants of this album (including producer Joel Dorn before he passed on). Here’s a chance to hear from Dorn, drummer Donald Dean, and bassist Jimmy Rowser (all of whom are also included in the collection of Les’ photography).
Secondly, with this CD loosely serving as a soundtrack to the book, how could we leave out “Compared to What?” We’ve included a rarely heard, but passionate version from Germany in 1975 featuring the legendary Buddy Guy on guitar.
The Lovers Beaux J. Poo Boo Poo Pye McGoochie (And His Friends) Compared To What(Live ’75)