"Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance? The further off from England, the nearer is to France." Contrarywise, continued Tweedle Dum, "If it was so, it might be; and, if it were so, it would be; but, as it isn't, it ain't. And that's logic." Now, that sounds like Les McCann to me--Libra--kind, artistic, and logical!!
It has taken a number of things, events and people to bring my friend to the awareness that he should sing. The voice is really quite good--it is good because it is real, honest, sincere and, even in a strange way--pure.
Les has the unique ability to be his basic honest self all the time and he comes on like "Wow! So here I am." He simply "unzips" and lets his real thing come through and he does this in his singing ability. He just sings--"Wham--There it is," or in the words of his producer, Joel Dorn, "Faaaantastic!"
There is no complicated, imitative stylizing involved. He has always been a singer, people have told him so. Recently, some of his friends have kinda jacked him up in a rather inspirational fashion and prevailed upon him to get on with it. His lovely wife, Charlotte, Morgan Ames (a fantastic lyricist), Helen and Kay Lewis (two talented young ladies who get credit for four tunes in this album and who, by the way, met Les when they went to take piano lessons from him), Bill Fischer, who wrote the string and horn arrangements and introduced Les to the beautiful children who join him in singing the title tune for the album, and Miles Davis who came upstairs at the Village Gate to have him sing With These Hands every night because Les really sings that tune. Now Les knows that he must sing--he knows because he has logically deduced that the time is right now!
Before I sat down to write these notes I had a long talk with Les who was working in Chicago at the time and he told me several things about the way he feels a song and about singing just words and I think this quote from Kahlil Gibran puts it where it's at with Les, "In the depths of my soul there is a wordless song--a song that lives in the seed of my heart. It is a song composed by contemplation, and published by silence, and shunned by clamour, and folded by truth, and repeated by dreams, and understood by love, and hidden by awakening and sung by the soul."
-- Roberta Flack
If all men are truly brothers
Why can't we love one another
Love and peace from ocean to ocean
Somebody please second my motion
If all men are born to be free
(Then what about you)
And what about me friend
A world full of hate
There's nothing left
You enslave me
You'll never rescue yourself