Les McCann (p), Joe Pass (g), Leroy Vinnegar (b), Ron Jefferson (d), Bumble Bee Slim (added vcl)
Reference: FSRCD 764
Les McCanns On Time was the eighth album of this talented and popular jazz pianists leader career. Always a consummately swinging and distinctively soulful communicator, he displays the full extent of his honest preaching, warmth and creativity in a range embracing the impressionistic on the introduction to On Time, and an expansive chordal approach on It Could Happen to You. In the pieces here, including four excellent originals by the groups members, he is engagingly melodic over the opening of Fondue, a fine vehicle for improvisation, while Jeffersons This for Doug is a lovely piece; and Maichen, by bassist Leroy Vinnegar, has a pretty, infectious melody, warmly embraced by McCann and the featured guest, Joe Pass, whose lucid solos are among the highlights of the album, particularly his theme statement on Yours Is My Heart Alone. Ron Jefferson and Vinnegar are ideal accompanists.
The last three tracks feature the veteran blues singer and guitarist Bumble Bee Slim (aka. Amos Easton), one of the best loved bluesmen during the 30s. Accompanied by the Les McCann Ltd., these were part of an album titled Back in Town!, recorded by Slim in 1962, after a long period out of the studios, and they make a nice addition to this collection.
01. On Time (McCann) 4:16
02. Yours Is My Heart Alone (Lehar-Herzer-Smith-Loehner) 4:47
03. This for Doug (Jefferson) 5:36
04. Fondue (McCann) 5:11
05. Bernies Tune (Miller) 3:02
06. Maichen (Vinnegar) 4:34
07. It Could Happen to You (Van Heusen-Burke) 4:59
08. Youre Driving Me Crazy (Donaldson) 4:58
09. So What (Davis) 3:01
10. Direct South (Easton) 3:29 (*)
11. Drifftin Blues (Easton) 4:27 (*)
12. Midnight Special (Scott) 2:29 (*)
(*) Bonus Tracks
Tracks #1-9, from the album "Les McCann Ltd.On Time" (Pacific Jazz Stereo-56)
Tracks #10-12, from the album "Bumble Bee SlimBack in Town!" (Pacific Jazz Stereo-54)
Tracks #1-9: Les McCann, piano; Joe Pass, guitar; Leroy Vinnegar, bass; Ron Jefferson, drums.
Recorded at Pacific Jazz Enterprises, Inc./ Rex Studios; Los Angeles, May 17 (#3,6,9)
Bonus tracks #10-13: Bumble Bee Slim, added on vocals, whistle on track #12
Recorded at Pacific Jazz Enterprises, Inc./ Rex Studios; Los Angeles, April 26, 1962
Original recordings produced by Richard Bock
Audio engineering: Richard Bock
Cover designs & photos: Woody Woodward
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
Note: On the remaining seven tracks from the Back in Town! album, Bumble Bee Slim, sings and plays guitar accompanied by a group featuring tenor saxophonist Curtis Amy, and organist Richard Groove Holmes, and they are included as bonus tracks on the Curtis Amy & Paul Bryant CD Meetin Here, FSR-767 June 22 (#5, 8), August 20 (#1, 2, 7), 1962.
"On Time (Fresh Sound 764) has the trio of McCann, Jefferson and bassist Leroy Vinnegar joined by guitarist Joe Pass. Pass' playing brings out the best in the pianist and the repertoire, which includes more originals plus such songs as "Yours Is My Heart Alone," "Bernie's Tune," and "So What," shows how strong a straight ahead pianist McCann was at that early stage in his career. As for Pass, although his famous Virtuosi albums were a decade away, he was already a master.
As a bonus, the three selections that featured the quartet accompanying the personable blues singer Bumble Bee Slim on his Back In Town album are also included."
Scott Yanow -Jazz Around Town, May 2013
Los Angeles Jazz Scene