Les McCann

Only The Best Of Les McCann

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Only The Best Of Les McCann Review

by Thom Jurek

Simply put, this massive six-CD set contains all seven Atlantic albums that Collectables licensed and reissued on CD; all of them are solid. They are: 1969’s Much Les; 1970’s Comment; 1973’s Layers; 1974’s Another Beginning, 1975’s Hustle to Survive; and the pairing on a single disc of 1972’s Talk to the People and 1976’s River High, River Low. These recordings are important ones in McCann’s catalog because they mark the route he made as he began and cemented the successful transition from being a jazz artist to a soul artist. Among these 56 recordings are so many gems it’s superfluous to name them here, because the albums themselves are all worthy and a few -- Much Les, Comment, Layers, Hustle to Survive, and Talk to the People -- are absolutely necessary. Fans who bought most of these recordings singly will likely have to debate whether they want to purchase them again in nothing more than a shoddy slipcase as a package, but it is important for any serious McCann collector to own all six of these CDs. This is soulful jazz and jazzy funk at their very best during a very fertile period in the artist's long and distinguished career.

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