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Hustle to Survive

Les McCann

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iTunes Review

Hustle To Survive is the first album Les McCann recorded for Atlantic without Joel Dorn, the producer who played a huge part in facilitating the creative triumphs McCann achieved in the early ‘70s. Dorn’s replacement is Tony Silvester, and the changing of the guard is immediately evident. Silvester — a founding member of the Harlem harmony group the Main Ingredient — embraces the mainstream conventions that Dorn famously ignored. Dorn’s productions were so damp that you could grow fungus in them — that’s what made them great. The sound here is more sterilized, but McCann is in fine form. “Us” is a tight piece of fusion, while the title track bridges the boogaloo of McCann’s early career to the brawny funk of his '70s work. As usual, the pianist’s yearning, openhearted baritone saves “Will We Ever Find Our Fathers” and “Let Your Learning Be Your Eyes” from becoming maudlin. McCann’s sound didn’t really benefit from Silvester’s reining-in, but the producer did give him “Well, Cuss My Daddy,” a buoyant, funky should-have-been-a-hit that spins like a jazzy version of the Jackson 5.


Born: September 23, 1935 in Lexington, KY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Les McCann reached the peak of his career at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival, recording "Compared to What" and "Cold Duck Time" for Atlantic (Swiss Movement) with Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey. Although he has done...
Full Bio
Hustle to Survive, Les McCann
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: 1975

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