LES MCCANN — Invitation to Openness (review)

LES MCCANN — Invitation to Openness album cover Album · 1972 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Miler72
I don't know a whole lot about Les McCann, apparently he's associated as a soul/R&B-influenced jazz musician, but 1972's Invitation to Openness is very much a straight-up fusion album, and a wonderful album. It's very much in the post-In a Silent Way/Bitches Brew type of fusion, and perhaps reminders of Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi Band-era albums. There's only a few faces I'm familiar with helping out on this album, including Alphonse Mouzon (who played on Weather Report's debut), Yusef Lateef, Bernard Purdie, and David Spinozza (who I was previously familiar with on Julian Priester's Love Love album). The others I am not as so familiar with.

The 26 minute "The Loves" is nothing else than the best of fusion. It starts off mellow so I get reminded of In a Silent Way-era Miles Davis, but then they really got going. I really dig the harp being used, played in a rather trippy manner. Soprano sax playing gets me thinking of Karl Jenkins' sax playing in Soft Machine. "Beaux J. Poo Poo" does show a bit of the soul influenced that McCann is known for, but it's still very much fusion, and is also another winner. "Poo Pye McGoochie (And His Friends)" starts off with a nice dreamy electric piano that makes me think of those Canterbury jazz rock albums, before the music takes off. Here McCann also includes a nice synth melody he repeats several times throughout, where in between is improvisation. This is simply fusion of the first order and any fusion fan needs this album!
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