One of Jazz pianist Les McCann's greatest albums, Much Les encapsulates much of what McCann did best in his early years, while adding a few novel embellishments - like a string section and Latin percussionists - that enhance his core sound. The results are winning, likable, and consistently engaging, making for an underrated classic.
McCann is joined on every cut by his trio of the time, bassist Leroy Vinnegar (who contributes "Doin' That Thing") and drummer Donald Dean, who offers solid, laid-back support. However, it's actually the string section that provides the dominant flavor of McCann's accompaniment; of the six tracks, they appear on all three slow songs, plus -- in an offbeat touch -- the laid-back soul-jazz of "Doin' That Thing," giving it an almost movie soundtrack feel.
The track listing is nicely varied, and the richer, more expanded arrangements serve to highlight - not obscure - the McCann trio's command of the groove. That's what makes Much Les such an enjoyable, essential listen.
- 180 gram audiophile vinyl