Reference: FSRCD 764
Bar code: 8427328607643
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Les McCann's 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 (a.k.a. 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.
"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