Les McCann and Eddie Harris Swiss Movement

One of the things that I work very hard on with my speaker designs is the "get up and boogie" factor. I believe that music is appreciated not just with our ears, but that we listen to and appreciate music through our bodies. Movement and feeling are as much a part of music as are the notes and timing. As part of my "design tools", I use a set of music that has this boogie factor. This is one of my key albums.

The Les McCann Trio and the Eddie Harris Quartet performed with great success at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Towards the end of the festival, Eddie and Les felt like they wanted to play together. They recruited Benny Bailey to join them on trumpet, Leroy Vinnegar on bass, and Donald Dean on drums, and recorded this joyous impromptu jazz concert. The energy of this jam session is incredible and the album was one of the most successful jazz albums of the period - certified Gold in the US - fantastic rhythm and boogie with all the energy and excitement of good friends jamming together.

The album is jazz at its live, raw best - but the stand-out on this album is the first track "Compared to What". It is a funky breakout to mainstream music - and emblematic of the time, the Vietnam War. The lyrics contain a rant against the Vietnam War and President Nixon, but they seem just as relevant today "The president, he's got his war / Folks don't know just what it's for / Nobody gives us rhyme or reason / Have one doubt, they call it treason."

The album is easily available used as millions were sold. There were also a couple of re-issues, notably on Rhino Records in 1996 and 2010 and on 4 Men with Beards in 2001. The few copies of the original 1969 pressing have been excellent, so I have not explored the re-issues. Of course, the original 1969 pressings I own are all promos.......

Mono & Stereo friend Gary Koh of Genesis Advanced Technologies, Inc.