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- The album "Talk To The People" was originally released in 1972 as Atlantic 1619. "River High, River Low" was originally released in 1976 as Atlantic 1690.
- Released: March 14, 2006
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Collectables Records
- Original Album #1: Atlantic 1619 (1972)
- Original Album #2: Atlantic 1690 (1976)
Description by OLDIES.com:
Highlights of these two Atlantic releases from the 1970s include Les McCann's treatment of "What's Going On" (which features background vocals by The Persuasions) and Stevie Wonder's "Seems So Long."
- 1.What's Going On?
- 3.Seems So Long
- 4.She's Here
- 5.North Carolina
- 6.Let It Lay
- 7.Talk To The People
- 8.You Little Cheat
- 9.I'm Back Home
- 10.Loved You Full In Every Way
- 11.A Hand From The Crowd
- 12.I'm A Liberated Woman
- 13.River High, River Low
- 14.I've Been Thinking About My Problems
- 15.What Is It That We Have To Do To Let Our Children Grow
2 LPs on 1 CD: TALK TO THE PEOPLE (1972)/RIVER HIGH, RIVER LOW (1976).
Includes liner notes by Ron Neal, John Dorn, and Rev. B.
TALK TO THE PEOPLE:
Personnel: Les McCann (vocals, piano); Keith Loving (guitar); James Rowser (bass); Donald Dean (drums); Buck Clarke (percussion); The Persuasions, Eugene McDaniels, Susan McDaniels, Sister Charlotte, Billy Barnes, Joel Dorn (background vocals).
Producer: Joel Dorn.
Recorded at Regent Sound Studios, New York, New York. Originally released on Atlantic (1619).
RIVER HIGH, RIVER LOW:
Personnel: Les McCann (vocals, keyboards); John Mayer (piano); Stewart Liebig (guitar, bass); Miroslaw Kudykowski (guitar); Jimmy Rowser (bass); Harold Davis, Paul Humphrey (drums).
Producer: Les McCann.
Engineer: Kelly Kotera.
Recorded at The Record Plant, Los Angeles, California. Originally released on Atlantic (1690).
Personnel: Les McCann (vocals, piano, keyboards); Keith Loving, Miroslaw Kudykowski (guitar); John Mayer (piano); Harold Davis, Paul Humphrey , Donald Dean (drums); Buck Clarke (percussion); Sister Charlotte, Gene McDaniels, Susan McDaniels, Joel Dorn, Billy Barnes (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Ron Neal; Joel Dorn.
Recording information: Regent Sound Studios, NYC, NY, Unites States; The Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA, Unites States.
Les McCann reached the apotheosis of his funk odyssey with these two dates for Atlantic. 1972's Talk to the People borrows heavily from the transcendent Motown efforts of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, and even if he's not in their same league as a vocalist, McCann nevertheless invests covers of their "What's Going On" and "Seems So Long" with soulful grit and impassioned honesty. He does rival Wonder for sheer funkiness, however. "Shamading" is an absolute monster groove that will turn your ass to jelly. And his keyboard playing is, as usual, top-notch. With River High, River Low McCann completes his transformation from jazz to soul. While elements of fusion still creep in, this is first and foremost a straight-up funk album that shines the spotlight on deep, hard-hitting grooves and McCann's gritty vocals. The cosmic mind-funkery of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective seeps into cuts like "I've Been Thinking About My Problems" and "Woman Come Home." McCann is a master of rippling keyboard melodies and evocatively cinematic textures, and even if his vocals lack technical finesse, his passion and emotion carry the day. Jazz purists will recoil in disgust, but there's no denying the sheer vitality and energy of the music herein. ~ Jason Ankeny
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