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Another directional effort by William Fischer, strings this time. Strings in jazz? Then check out "Doin' that thing", "With these hands", "Benjamin", and "Roberta" on the Les McCann's album. Fischer was really experimental with jazz in the late 60's and this is just a continuation, but enough about him. Les McCann plays jazz piano with slight swing in his style and he really struts his stuff on several cuts. Also sings in "With these hands", but really the piano playing is what stands out. "Burning Coal" is the most rocking tune of them all, fast piano playing, back and forth swishing, strong beat.
The other album, the Mitchell-Ruff Trio is more subdued with a lot of interplay between Dwike Mitchell on piano, Willie Ruff on bass, and Charlie Smith on drums. They play tight, but again much more subdued than the other album. Charlie's brush work is a great accompaniment to Dwike piano solos. Apparently Dwike was an inspiration to Les McCann in the early days, and that is probably why his band was included in this compilation.
I'm giving this CD five stars mostly because of the first album. The second album will require more listening time to fully appreciate.
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