A trio of early 60s gems from pianist Les McCann – all wrapped up here in a single set! First up is The Gospel Truth – a solid 60s smoker in which Les McCann really gets back to the roots of soul jazz
– serving up the gospel-tinged truth promised in the title – and really linking his piano back to the pulpit in the process! Les has a wonderfully firm touch on the left end of the keyboard – which makes for a rollicking groove on just about every track, augmented by super-tight drum work from the great Paul Humphrey, who almost gets a tambourine vibe out of his snare and cymbal! Stanley Gilbert plays bass, and Charles Kynard plays guest Hammond on a few tracks – and titles include "Get That Soul", "The Preacher", "The Gospel Truth", "Oh The Joy", and "Didn't It Rain". Soul Hits is a really hard-hitting groover from the great 60s trio of Les McCann – a set that adds in some extra guitar from Joe Pass, who definitely sounds his most soulful on the set! Joe grooves perfectly with Les' piano – and has almost a Kenny Burrell-like depth in tone throughout – one that we're not as likely to hear on other Pass sessions of this vintage, possibly because of the excellent rhythms from Paul Chambers on bass and Paul Humphrey on drums! Tunes are definitely the soul hits promised in the title – mostly numbers that were brimming up big in the soul jazz
generation of the time, but given a particular Les McCann twist. Titles include "Sister Sadie", "Bag's Groove", "Back At The Chicken Shack", "Work Song", "Sonnymoon For Two", "Groove Yard", and "Sack O Woe". McCanna is filled with a great Latin groove from the mighty Les McCann – a smoking set that adds in extra percussion from Willie Correa – who gives the record a sound that's quite a change from the usual McCann groove! The percussion is wonderful throughout – and given that the great Paul Humphrey is already playing drums in the trio, the whole thing's got a rhythmic zest that never lets up – way different than just the usual "with conga" style you'd hear on a Prestige Records piano trio record – and instead a groove that's definitely dedicated to the boldest Latin piano modes of the time! The track list includes a lot of originals, such as "McCanna", "Zulu", "Bastuto Baby", "Shaam-Pu II", and "Narobi Nights" – plus versions of "Que Rico" and "It Had Better Be Tonight".