Les McCann, the man who pleased so many Harvard students during his weeklong stay in Lowell House last November, has booked himself back into Paul's Mall through the weekend.
McCann was always a pretty good jazz pianist. But recently he's turned to more funky piano and, increasingly, to improvisational vocals.
Apparently, it must be working. He walked off with the "Best Male Jazz Vocalist" prize for 1975 by the National Association of Television and Radio announcers.
The 40-year old Lexington, KY. native left everybody stomping in his final stint at the Lowell House Junior Common Room last fall.
McCann is the one deviant in the Boston jazz picture for the week. Without exception the major clibs have decided to book the finest jazz guitarists playing today.
The George Benson quintet, playing at the Berkeley Performance Center at Boylston St. and Mass Ave., in Boston, is a good example.
Benson's strumming is in the spirit of Charlie Christian, that tremendous pioneer jazz guitarist. His latest album, "Breezin" shows how versed Benson is in jazz and blues. He has played with Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, and Freddie Hubbard.
Larry Coryell will present shows at 8:30 and 11 p.m. at the Jazz Workshop until the end of the week. Coryell is a straight jazz guitarist, who, in his last visit to the workshop, came in with his new group Eleventh House.
At the time, I remember hoping that Coryell would plague all eleven (the group was terrible) and he has apparently seen fit to do so.
Way out in Beverly, which really isn't all that close to Boston, Kenny Burrell will be on the case, playing all week. Burrell is a bit lost with such a large field of guitarists playing this week. But he is as old and established as all his cohorts.
In the future, Thad Jone-Mel Lewis orchestra will be playing at the Berkely Performance Center, May 15.