"Compared to What? That funkmaster Les McCann tools out a most festive holiday collection on A Time Les Christmas. How awesome it is that such an unlikely artist would deliver such an unlikely recording. With many guest soloists including tasteful piano solos in that McCann tradition from Michael Wolff, Ricky Peterson and Joja Wendt. A spry 83-years old, McCann brings a deeply soulful neighborhood to "Merry Christmas, Baby," one that is so in the groove, one can't see its head, with B3 from Roy Hargrove, Snarky Puppy and Prince alumnus, Bobby Sparks and a loose, bluesy guitar solo from Josh Sklair, who did the same for Etta James for almost 20 years. Just when you think that there is no way McCann can pull off "Let It Snow" he pushes the listener through an infectious hard bop cum soul jazz romp. Produced by Alan Abrahams and Nic. tenBroek, McCann is given a soft, even plush, soundscape in which to perform, with special appearances by bassist John Patitucci and drummer Stix Hooper, all the other tracks are nailed down by the solid drumming of Kenny Elliott. Spacious and precise, the sound is tastefully adult contemporary. Tasteful.. that is what McCann's and Maxayn Lewis' "Baby, It's Cold Outside fun and meaningful. McCann pens his own additions to the Christmas Canon with the smooth "The Gift," and the piece we were expecting all along, the eclectic and funky instrumental "My Christmas Heart." McCann closes with a brief tender "Away in a Manger,' bringing this celebration of a proper end. Next year is the 50th anniversary of McCann's and Eddie Harris' essential recording Swiss Movement (Atlantic, 1969). What better way to celebrate than with this grand Christmas offering."
"A Time Les Christmas" is streaming now on all plaforms.