The experiences of singing sacred music in church and listening to modern jazz in clubs were blended to produce in pianist Les McCanns style a reflection of these seemingly contradictory influences.
As the critic Leonard Feather pointed out: Aside from any polemics concerning its nature and origin, the vital factor in McCanns music is the ability of the trio to establish a jubilant rapport with the audience. Through an amalgamation of several forces the music itself, the visual impact of the trio and Les mordantly witty personality there has been a consistent ability to get across to the public.
Some of the most potent evidence of this power was gathered in these performances recorded at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, where McCann, bassist Herbie Lewis, and drummer Ron Jefferson played for two and a half successful weeks in December 1960.
01. Oh, Them Golden Gates (McCann) 3:54
02. Red Sails in the Sunset (Williams-Kennedy) 8:18
03. Big Jim (McCann) 6:57
04. I Am In Love (Porter) 4:45
05. Jeepers Creepers (Warren-Mercer) 6:06
06. Gone On and Get That Church (McCann) 6:04
07. Well See Yawll After While, Ya Heah (McCann) 1:17
08. Frankie and Johnnie (Traditional /Adapted by Les McCann) 6:09 *
09. Medley: 7:47 *
-But Beautiful (Burke-Van Heusen)
-It Could Happen to You (Burke-Van Heusen)
10. Taking a Chance On Love (Duke-Fetter-Latouche) 4:23 *
11. Love Letters (Young-Heyman) 4:07 *
Tracks #1-7, from "Les McCann Ltd. in San Francisco" (Pacific Stereo PJ-16)
Tracks #8-11, from "From The Top of the Barrel" (Pacific Jazz ST-20120)
(*) These tracks come from the same set of recordings but were not on the original LP configuration.
Les McCann (piano), Herbie Lewis (bass), Ron Jefferson (drums).
Recorded live at the Jazz Workshop, in San Francisco, December 1960
Original recordings produced by Dick Bock
Audio engineering: Reece Hamel
Original cover design & photo by Bernard Yeszin
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Stereo · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered