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Invitation to Openness


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About the Author

Born in 1935 in Lexington, Kentucky, pianist/singer/songwriter Les McCann moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s (after a stint in the Navy), where he formed a popular trio. Miles Davis urged him to work with Cannonball Adderly, but McCann chose to remain independent, and began recording "soul-jazz" albums for the Pacific Jazz label in 1960. His socially conscious album Swiss Movement, recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, has sold millions of copies and reached #1 on the Billboard chart. McCann's work continued to chart throughout the '70s: he has collaborated with many noteworthy musicians, and he is frequently sampled. McCann is also a painter, and has exhibited his photography. He continues to tour. Pat Thomas has appeared on the BBC & NPR as the author of Listen, Whitey! -- he was a consultant to the PBS documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. He has lectured at USC, Evergreen State and the Universities of Copenhagen, Oslo & East London. He curated the book Invitation To Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann 1960-1980 and compiled an Allen Ginsberg box set: The Last Word on First Blues. He lives in California.


If McCann never touched a piano in his life, he'd likely still have become famous as a photographer. The proof is in his new book, Invitation to Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann, which collects many of his best pictures. Looking at McCann's photographs, one gets the distinct sense of being in the room with the subjects. ... In each case, McCann's lens strips these icons of pretense, brushes away the dust of history, and leaves them not naked, not vulnerable, but open.--Travis Atria "Red Bull Music Academy"
One of the most thoroughly enjoyable parts of the book Invitation to Openness, alongside his insightful pictures, is McCann's personal remembrances of his photographic subjects...--Chris M. Slawecki "All About Jazz"

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