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JFS #130 The Les McCann Interview…..


I given love in every way, everyday. Through the arterial vessels of life we surge with love, choosing to do so by reaching out and seeking wisdom and knowledge from those who express melodic invention.

There's a real something to be said for the bluegrass state where my guest is from. When he was growing up, there was both a Chitlin circuit and a rhythm and blues circuit that rumbled through Lexington. Cats like BB King, Dizzy Gillespie, Richard Groove Holmes and Jimmy Smith all game through and helped the parishioners wash away the dust of everyday life.

From those circuits my guest headed west starting out in San Francisco with Herbie Lewis and eventually heading down to LA where he merged his gospel roots of the south with an aggressive west coast jazz sound with Wilton Felder, Joe Sample, Paul Humphrey, Donald Dean and Gerald Wilson.

My guest talked to the people. He is the only artist I have interviewed who communicated like Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and Smokey Robinson and combined his messages with the soul jazz and bucket O' grease chops of Jimmy McGriff, Gildo Mahones and Hampton Hawes.

Quoting Joel Dorn

"His perfect marriage of church and swing captured the spirit of the times in the same way that Ray Charles' mixture of gospel and blues heralded the arrival of soul."

He has been a leader on dozens of albums dating back to the late fifties with Teddy Edwards to studio work with John Liftin to his partner the Love Lee Hartley who he will be performing with @ Vitello's in Studio City on November 9th.

Les McCann welcome to the JFS