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WBGO remembers Les McCann, the innovative soul jazz pianist and composer, who died at the age of 88

 Les McCann
Les McCann

The noted pianist and composer (and vocalist) Les McCann died on Dec. 29 at the age of 88 years old. We will share a complete obituary soon. Here are some interviews, performances and stories about McCann from wbgo.org:

On June 17, 2009, Les McCann talked to WBGO’s Michael Bourne about the 1969 live recording of the Swiss Movement album at the Montreux Jazz Festival, featuring McCann (piano and vocals), Eddie Harris (saxophone), Leroy Vinnegar (bass) and Donald Dean (drums). They added trumpeter Benny Bailey just before the show. There was no rehearsal. The song "Compared to What" from that album became a generational anthem. Listen to an excerpt of their conversation, above.

Listen to this performance from 2008, when saxophonist Javon Jackson brought McCann to the Kennedy Center Jazz Club for a concert to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his iconic Swiss Movement album.

Listen to this recent interview by WBGO's Pat Prescott with McCann and Joe Alterman, who collaborated on the album Big Mo and Little Joe earlier this year.

Read Joe Alterman's thoughtful remembrance of his friend and mentor here.