Javon Jackson and Les McCann, Swiss Movement Revisited, Monday, October 29, 2012


Javon Jackson and Les McCann
Swiss Movement Revisited

Monday, October 29, 2012
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… earthy, soulful, funny, intense…” – Becca Pulliam, WBGO Jazz

It has been over 40 years since the release of Swiss Movement by Les McCann and the late Eddie Harris. Recorded in-concert on the shores of Lake Geneva, Swiss Movement introduced two soul jazz classics to the world:  Compared To What and Cold Duck Time. The Montreaux Jazz Festival was the occasion and this serendipitous meeting of minds would go down in the jazz history books, in spite of the fact that the group had, quite literally, never rehearsed. The updated Swiss Movement Revisited reprises the music of that landmark recording, but this time with Javon Jackson and his youthful cohorts interjecting new material alongside the classics by McCann and Harris. Deeply rooted in gospel and blues, McCann’s gravelly vocals and Javon’s muscular tenor saxophone, matched with an energetic rhythm section, make for a joyful, cross-generational partnership that faithfully delivers the “old school” tradition directly to the “new school.”

Born in Kentucky, in 1935, Les McCann learned just enough about playing the piano from a next door neighbor to continue teaching himself. By the early fifties, a stint in the Navy placed him in California where he was able to soak up the music happening in the San Francisco jazz clubs. Miles Davis and Erroll Garner were among McCann’s major influences at the time. Once out of the Navy, he relocated to Los Angeles and formed Les McCann, Ltd, a trio. Les soon gained a wide following, and his talents as a pianist/vocalist were impressive enough to warrant an invitation to join Cannonball Adderley’s group. But, he decided in favor of staying with his trio. The gospel and blues influences in McCann’s style fit right in with the  “soul jazz” movement of the late ’60s. Les was also very socially aware during those turbulent times, an awareness that was often reflected in the lyrics of his music, as heard in his signature hit tune Compared To What. His partnership with saxophonist Eddie Harris at the 1969 Montreaux Jazz Festival resulted in the much acclaimed Swiss Movement recording, now considered a classic example of soul jazz.

Tenor saxophonist Javon Javon’s first major gig was with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, from 1987 until 1990, an experience he considers crucial to his development as a musician. His time with Blakey was followed by tours and recordings with numerous other jazz luminaries, including the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Hammond B-3 wizard Dr. Lonnie Smith, and mallet legend Bobby Hutcherson.  Jackson is now a tested veteran of the highest rank, and for the past five years, has been McCann’s chief collaborator. With the help of heavy-hitting saxophonist Javon Jackson, McCann’s ‘Swiss Movement Revisited’ recaptures the spirit of that moment, over forty years later. Jackson’s sparse, punchy phrasing and McCann’s ‘freight train’ approach to rhythm qualify this appearance as a new jazz legend in the making.

Javon Jackson and Les McCann
Swiss Movement Revisited

DATE: Monday, October 29, 2012
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $25/Adv $28/Door; 9PM: No Jazztix or Comps
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org
MORE INFO: http://www.kuumbwajazz.org or 831-427-2227 

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan


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