Q - 10/96, pp.183-1843 Stars
- Good - "...when McCann hit a churcy groove...something inexplicable happened and the live session, as documented here, caught fire..."
The 1996 reissue of SWISS MOVEMENT includes "Kaftan," which did not appear on the original LP or CD.
Personnel: Les McCann (piano, vocals); Eddie Harris (tenor saxophone); Benny Bailey (trumpet); Leroy Vinnegar (bass); Donald Dean (drums).
Producer: Nesuhi Ertegun, Joel Dorn
Reissue producer: Joel Dorn.
Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland on June 21, 1969. Originally released on Atlantic (1537). Includes liner notes by Mike Hennessey and Joel Dorn.
Personnel: Les McCann (vocals, piano); Eddie Harris (tenor saxophone); Benny Bailey (trumpet); Leroy Vinnegar (bass); Donald Dean (drums).
Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland on June 21, 1969.
Personnel: Les McCann (vocals, piano); Joel Dorn (vocals, piano); Eddie Harris (tenor saxophone); Benny Bailey (trumpet); Donald Dean (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Gene Paul.
Audio Remixer: Gene Paul.
Liner Note Author: Joel Dorn.
Recording information: Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland (06/22/1969).
Photographer: Giuseppe Pino.
Unknown Contributor Role: Joel Dorn.
The rambunctious R&B punch of "Compared to What," the tune pianist Les McCann and saxophonist Eddie Harris use to open their 1969 Montreux Festival set, signals that this won't be your average jazz concert. With the song's topical lyrics about the Vietnam War and social concerns, sung by McCann in a gravelly, soulful voice, "Compared to What" rocks more than it swings. In fact, "Kathleen's Theme," with its straight 4/4 rhythm and knotty solo from Harris, and "The Generation Gap," with its modal progressions, are about the only straightforward jazz pieces here.
Elsewhere, the ensemble, which includes Benny Bailey on trumpet, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Donald Dean on drums, helps the two leaders keep things in a driving, soul-jazz mode. "You Got It in Your Soulness" has funky piano breaks from McCann and a laid-back solo from Harris. The head-bobbling rhythm of "Cold Duck Time" keeps things simmering, and proves McCann and Harris's skill with rhythmic tension and release. This extremely popular set (one of the best-selling jazz albums of its time) represents the soul-jazz craze nicely, providing plenty of tasty, technically advanced licks for jazz fans and lots of smoking groove for everyone else.