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Swiss Movement Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import

8 customer reviews

Price: £7.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 July 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0000033T6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,741 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Compared To What
2. Cold Duck Time
3. Kathleen's Theme
4. You Got It In Your Soulness
5. The Generation Gap
6. Kaftan

Product Description

Product Description

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BBC Review

Something of a happy accident, this recording from the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival has actually become one of the most talked about, exhilarating and fun live jazz performances ever captured on wax.

The session (on the last night of the festival) was a truly impromptu event - this particular line up had never played together before and at least half of the group had no idea what material they were going to play as they took the stage!

Kicking off with Gene McDaniels'; 'Compared To What', vocalist & pianist Les McCann sings this topical rant against Nixon and the Vietnam war over a funky backbeat. Horn men Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey take turns to blow some down home blues in between verses, surprisingly holding together brilliantly what was nothing more than a jam session to great effect.

The Harris original "Cold Duck Time" continues with a similar feel, an extrapolated blues vamp in the key of F. This simple good-time approach may not have pleased those with more critical ears, but the sound of the enthusiastic crowd prove that an up-tempo groove with some spirited blowing was exactly what the audience wanted to hear.

'Kathleen's Theme' swings in a more straight ahead approach and gives Harris's tenor the opportunity to investigate the intricacies of the melody - before the gospel based 'You Got It In Your Soulness' takes us right back to funky soul-jazz territory. McCann probes into the piece with his spiky, articulated piano chords and solo lines whilst drummer Donald Dean provides a sanctified back beat that reminds us of the church roots of much jazz & blues music.

The more contemplative and modal piece "The Generation Gap" provides a brief respite from the blues before the final track (not included on the original vinyl issue of the date). 'Kaftan' written by bassist Leroy Vinnegar is a pleasing if not overwhelming jaunt with a mildly afro-Cuban feel. Swiss Movement has long been a sought after collectors piece and the addition of expansive sleeve notes and anecdotes from the musicians involved makes this anniversary edition a great live recording to enjoy once again - 35 years after this very happening event. --Greg Boraman

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harlow Guthrie on 18 Sept. 2008
Format: Audio CD
They say the best parties are the unplanned ones - and this album is the living proof. The fact that Benny Bailey (trumpet) was not too keen on McCann's strutting funky jazz and Eddie Harris hardly knew any of Les's work would prepare us for a disaster when these musicians were brought together for an impromptu concert in Montreux - but Joel Dorn of Atlantic knew best and this wonderful album is the result.The audience appreciation enhances the recording and you have to be a complete stiff if you can't at least tap your foot to this great concert.

Be warned that the track list above is completely incorrect and the tracks are as follows:
1. Compared to what
2. Cold Duck Time
3. Kathleen's Theme
4. You Got it in your Soulness
5. The Generation Gap
6. Kaftan - bonus track on remastered album
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By comm88 on 19 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a live recording, it is truly awesome. These guys can really play. It's exquisite, but at a shade under 4o minutes it's just way too short. The more you play it, the more you'll love it's mellow brilliance. Don't hesitate - dive in.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By tintin on 29 Feb. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Recorded in 1969 and what a cd for true jazz enthusiasts. Les Mcann and Eddie Harris together are an explosive combination that hits all the right notes. From the first track 'compared to what' showing off Les Mcanns amazing voice and blistering piano work and Eddie Harris hitting the groove on sax and trumpet. By the third track 'Kathleens Theme' Eddie Harris is in the moment with a performance on the sax of the highest calibre. Track four 'You got it in your soulness' Has Mcann in wonderful groove With A more restrained Eddie Harris joining in mid track you just wish you were there when you hear the audience showing there appreciation for two great performers. Buy it You will not be dissapointed I promise you.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Like others I didn't know about either lead musician until I heard the opening track "Compared To What" on BBC Radio 3's "Jazz Record Requests" a couple of years ago. I searched for and bought the album "Swiss Movement" that had been recorded by Atlantic at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969.

As I understand the set was recorded by sheer capriciousness. Tenorist Eddie Harris knew nothing of Les McCann (trio), and vice versa. However they were both contracted to Atlantic who suggested an impromptu live set, also to include trumpeter Benny Bailey, who was also unfamiliar with the main artists. They arrived on stage without rehearsal or familiarity with the music to be played.

The following forty minutes was a "happening", something exciting and fortuitous and recorded!

Not every track is a masterpiece, but the majority of the set is magnificent, a coming together of true jazz musicians to produce a set of great emotion and spontaneity.

The opening number "Compared To What" is a vocal sung, not composed, by Les McCann and is an anti-Vietnam War protest. Considering the musicians hadn't known each other five minutes earlier, this is a remarkable performance from everyone.

Each of the following five tracks are as exciting: passionate, funky, exuberant, joyous music. The whole atmosphere of an exciting live performance is captured on this album.

Awarded five stars by Allmusic upon its original release, I am limiting it to four stars simply because, however entertaining this is, it isn't ground breaking stuff.
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