We lost pianist, vocalist, and composer Les McCann at the end of 2023 at the age of 88. McCann was a prolific recording artist with over 50 albums to his name over the years. His most famous recording was an impromptu session recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival with Eddie Harris. The song “Compared to What” received extensive radio play including recently on KUVO.

In tribute to McCann, the next Vinyl Vault will feature his 1977 album “Music Lets Me Be” which was released on the ABC record label. The album is primarily instrumental, but McCann does sing a bit. McCann liked to record in different contexts, often with just a bass and drums to form the classic jazz piano trio. “Music Lets Me Be” was a sextet recording with Miroslaw Kudykowski and Steuart Liebig on guitars, Jimmy Rowser on bass, Kevin Johnson on drums, and Paulino Decosta on percussion.

It’s a soul-inflected album, but you’ll also hear heavy influences of jazz and jazz fusion. All of the tracks are originals, penned either by McCann or one of his bandmates.

Check out the Vinyl Vault with Geoff Anderson on Tuesday, January 9 at 8:30 pm, as we remember Les McCann on KUVO JAZZ.

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