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Polular jazz pioneer, Les McCann sampled by Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Nas, dies at 88

Polular jazz pioneer, Les McCann sampled by Snoop Dogg, Diddy, Nas, dies at 88

Kofi Dekye Acquaye 2 months ago 0

Les McCann, a well-known US pianist and singer who contributed to the creation of the soul-jazz genre, passed away at the age of 88. McCann’s manager, Alan Abrahams, made his death public on Monday.

Rappers like A Tribe Called Quest, Eric B. & Rakim, Cypress Hill, Nas, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, the Notorious B.I.G., and Sean “Diddy” Combs are among the artists who have sampled his music.

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Abrahams told NBC News that McCann died on Friday at a hospital in Los Angeles, where he had been admitted with pneumonia. McCann was raised in a family of musicians and was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1935.

His career dates back to the 1950s, when he won a singing contest while serving in the US Navy. As a Navy man, he made appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the biggest variety show at the time.

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Following his release, McCann joined trumpeter Benny Bailey and saxophonist Eddie Harris in forming a trio in Los Angeles. He signed with the Pacific Jazz label and first rose to fame with his 1960 albums ‘Les McCann Plays the Truth’ and ‘The Shout.’

A cover of Gene McDaniels’ “Compared to What” was released by the musician in 1969, which was one of his biggest releases to date. He later signed with Atlantic in 1968. The song condemned war, greed, and injustice.

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McCann released more than 60 albums from 1960 to 2018. The albums “Swiss Movement” (1969), “Talk to the People” (1972), “Layers” (1973), and “Another Beginning” (1974) were among his releases. Last month’s deluxe reissue of his album “Never a Dull Moment! Coast to Coast Live 1966-67” was the most recent.

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