Les McCann and Eddie Harris ‘Swiss Movement’ 5/5

Atlantic Japanese edition re-issue series.

If any single recording typifies the soul-jazz sub-genre, then it is surely this superlative live album from the 1969 Montreux jazz festival. It has rightly entered into legend and always sounds as fresh as the evening that it was recorded. The anthemic ‘Compared to what’ is a fabulous slice of soul-jazz from start to finish with piano vamp intro and bluesy vocals and the following number, ‘Cold Duck Time’ is virtually as good with another incredibly catchy riff and an extended solo from tenorist Eddie Harris. Elsewhere the gospel-inflected hues of ‘You got it in your soulness’ allows pianist McCann the opportunity to undertake an expansive solo and his ability to accompany was honed on sideman duties for the likes of Lou Rawls. A mid-tempo waltz, ‘The generation gap’, takes matters into a more relaxed mode and as a bonus a track not originally on the vinyl ‘Kaftan’ is included and once again repetitive, yet intoxicating riffs dominate. Tim Stenhouse