Throughout Les McCann's incredible jazz career, he took hundreds of photos — at clubs, studios, and festivals around the world — and unwittingly documented a side of the vibrant cultural life of jazz and soul between 1960 and 1980 that includes a very young Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sammy Davis Jr., John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, B.B. King, Errol Garner, Stanley Clarke, Bill Evans, Lionel Hampton, and other seminal African-Americans, such as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Muhammed Ali, and Stokely Carmichael to name but a few. These photos are characterized by their intimacy, and the cross-section of names listed is merely the tip of the iceberg. The book features candid commentary by McCann himself and is curated by Pat Thomas (Listen, Whitey!: The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975) and maverick music producer Alan Abrahams (Pure Prairie League, Joan Baez, Stanley Turrentine, Kris Kristofferson, Taj Mahal).
Jazz erupted onto the American music landscape in the 1900s, evolving rapidly and spreading internationally like wildfire. Les McCann, an American soul jazz musician whose first major album Swiss Movement was a huge Billboard pop chart success, always had a 35mm camera close at hand to capture candids of dozens of jazz artists, both on stage and off. This never-before-seen treasure trove of images provides a unique insider's perspective into the world of jazz and is collected here in Invitation to Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann 1960-1980.
Curated by Pat Thomas and Alan Abrahams, Invitation to Openness includes a foreword by A. Scott Galloway, an interview with McCann, and plenty of additional commentary, footnotes, and captions besides. We've included the full foreword, the first two pages of Thomas' interview, and a half dozen examples of McCann's photography in our 19-page downloadable excerpt.
The new book featuring his photographs comes out at the same time as rerelease of Les McCann's Invitation to Openness album from Omnivore Records. The Invitation To Openness album (originally from Atlantic Records) has "remained a landmark statement in free-form improvisation mixed with soulful grooves, featuring a 26-minute continuous track with expressive instrumentation from the likes of Yusef Lateef, Ralph McDonald, Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and Alphonse Mouzon." These beautiful photographs still resonate to this day, an un-diminished harmony of beautiful black and white.
Invitation to Openness is coming soon from Fantagraphics, a refrain you'll read and hear often until, it's March release striking a chord within the hearts of photography fans and lovers of jazz. Be one of the first to enjoy a signed edition by picking up your copy from Book Soup on March 27th.
Portraits shot at the right moment are like the fermata on a pitch perfect note.
Les McCann, jazz musician and photographer, was able to capture such moments of intimacy from legendary jazz singers and musicians. Feast your eyes on the first look of our finished cover art to McCann's retrospective, Invitation to Openness, curated and introduced by Pat Thomas (Listen Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975). Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Dean, and Nina Simone (as well as comedian Redd Foxx) grace the cover, a tiny sampling of the vast array of photographs that McCann took throughout his career.
Invitation to Openness is coming soon from Fantagraphics, a refrain you'll read and hear often until its March release, striking a chord within the hearts of photography fans and lovers of jazz alike.
Seattle, WA - We're teaming up with our favorite video store non-profit, Scarecrow, to present the deeply influential film, Wild Style. Released in 1983, Wild Style captured the sounds, sights, and moves, of New York hip hop during it's earliest and formative years. It also features rare footage of cats like Grandmaster Flash and Fab 5 Freddy. This special presentation tonight is also featuring the one and only Ed Piskor. He'll be presenting the film in grand fashion, and then signing copies of Hip Hop Family Tree, which will be on hand to purchase. Screening begins at 7 pm. (More Details)
Friday, November 14th
Seattle, WA - Kick off a weekend of festivities at the Fantagraphics Bookstore for the Marathon II art show, presented by Short Run, the premiere Comix and Art Festival here in Seattle. We're bringing in a slew of artists to sign, mingle and have fun. Come join Tom Neely, Josh Simmons , Ed Piskor, John Porcellino, MariNaomi, Simon Hanselmann and Pam Wishbow. The art show will be hanging at the bookstore until December 10th, but we'll only be hanging for one night, so don't miss this FREE event! All the fun starts at 8 pm, or whenever I get there. (More Details)
Los Angeles - Book Soup sounds not only delicious, but enlightening. And at Book Soup, Drew Friedman will be dicussing his latest museum quality work, Heroes of the Comics, with artist William Stout, following with a signing. The full-color, oversized, 80-page book is a force of retrospective nature, capturing candid feeling moments of some of the greatest comic heroes in history. Peep a preview of the book on its page, and then check out the real deal in person. Book Soup discussion begins at 7 PM. (More Details)
Saturday, November 15th
Seattle, WA - The love and joy of comics can be felt none deeper than at Short Run Comix and Art Festival, held at the beautiful Washington Hall. A veritable menagerie of artists, fans, and volunteers will be gathering today from 11 am - 6 pm to look, buy and chat about the wares and talent that make them. There's also a famous bake sale to keep you sustained throughout the day! Come back a few hours later and see Washington Hall transformed into a beach party, ready to warm you up with the sounds of La Luz and The Shivas. Don't miss the good times to be had at the Fantagraphics booth with artists and advanced copies making appearances! (More Details)
San Francisco, CA - Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 will present a multi-media presentaion at the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco. The event takes place at Mission High School, from Noon - 1:30 pm. Pat will be sharing the stage with Rickey Winvent, author of Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers Band. This FREE even takes place amongst a whole day of activist authors sharing their works and ideas with the public. Don't miss it!
Sunday, November 16th
Portland, OR - Making his way down the coast, Ed Piskor is making a stop at Bridge City Comics in Portland at 6 pm. New York Times Bestselling graphic novel, Hip Hop Family Tree draws the stellar connections between hip hop and comic, and tells a story about how one of the greatest art forms was born, while using the other greatest art form. Long story short, this book is a genre match made in heaven. Get your copy signed by Ed this Sunday! (More Details)
This Saturday, Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and sounds of Black Power 1965-1975will present a multi-media presentation at the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco. From noon to 1:30 pm, at Mission High School (3750 18th street) rock out to the music, spoken word recordings and images that show bizarre connections between the Partridge Family and the Black Panther Party, Timothy Leary and Eldridge Cleaver, Amiri Baraka and Motown, Bob Dylan and George Jackson.
London - Throughout the year the non-profit arts group, Comica puts on various events around London, focusing on and showcasing the works of comic greats, while promoting new works. At this year's International Comics Fest, Fanta artists Jaques Tardi and Carol Swainwill be participating in featured events. This night from 7-8:30 pm, Carol Swain will be in conversation with others under the banner, "What makes a cult comic?". Find out the answer to this question, and maybe more! when you tune into the the Comica Comics Festival. (More Details)
Saturday, November 8th
Brooklyn, NY - First it changed its name, and now it's split into two days. But one that thing that hasn't changed is the spectacular line up of artists for Comic Arts Brooklyn 2014! Presented by Desert Island, join us for the first day of the festival at Our Lady of Mount Caramel to peep all our hot new releases, like the ZAP Collection, and get your probably smaller books signed by talents like Lane Milburn, Olivier Schrauwen, Dash Shaw, and Tim Lane (who designed that seriously amazing show poster). The show floor will be open from 11 am - 7 pm and it's FREE. (More Details)
Atlanta, GA - Find out if the pirate life is for you when you jump on board this spectacular joint signing with Drew Weing and Eleanor Davis at Criminal Records. We're celebrating the re-release of Drew's book, Set to Sea, in beautiful softcover. There will also be copies of the New York Times Bestseller, How to Be Happy, by Eleanor Davis on hand and ready for signing. Drew will also be presenting on themes shared in his book about poetry, living under the stars, and the water that holds us all together. This event begins at 3 pm. (More Details)
Tacoma, WA - Get set to jet set to Tacoma for their annual Jet City Comic Show! Special guests Peter Bagge, Ed Piskor and Megan Kelso will be joining us at the Fantagraphics booth to gab and sign their respective books like Buddy Buys a Dump, Hip Hop Family Tree, and Artichoke Tales. This one day show runs from 10 am - 5 pm, tickets available at the door. (More Details)
Sunday, November 9th
Vancouver B.C. - Head to the beautiful Heritage Hall this Sunday for the last Vancouver comic show of the year. Ed Piskor and Simon Hanselmann make their way up North to join fellow writers and artists Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca, and Ed Brisson. Celebrate comics and support Vancouver Schools by donating gently used, age-appropriate books at the venue. You'll get free admission, and feel like less of a scumbag! Everyone wins! Come on down from 11 am - 5 pm. (More Details)
Brooklyn, NY - The second day of CAB dawns this Sunday with it's programming day. All programs take place at the Wythe Hotel from 11 am - 6 pm. There's great stuff all day, and we recommend checking out Charles Burns discussing Black Hole at Noon, and at 1:30Tim Lane joins Jim Rugg and Ben Marra to talk about neo noir in comics. All programs are FREE, but you'll want to pick up tickets in advance, or you might not get in. (More Details)
Monday, November 10th
Washington D.C. - Pat Thomas will be appearing at George Washington University to present a multi-media, multi-sensory presentation that combines music, images, and spoken word recordings to present a bizarre and engaging connection between the Partridge Family and the Black Panther Party; Timothy Leary and Eldridge Cleaver; Amiri Baraka and Motown; and Bob Dylan and George Jackson. Free and open to the public, events kicks off at 6:30. (More Details)
Washington D.C. - The Multicultural Student Services Center at George Washington University is hosting acclaimed journalist, music producer, and author, Pat Thomas. His premier book, Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975, is an interdiciplinary and multi-sensory look at the music, and sociopolitical atmosphere of the times that helped influence the creation of the Black Power movement.
To compliment this inspiring book, Pat Thomas is presenting a multi-media presentation that combines music, images, and spoken word recordings to present a bizarre and engaging connection between the Partridge Family and the Black Panther Party; Timothy Leary and Eldridge Cleaver; Amiri Baraka and Mowtown; and Bob Dyland and George Jackson.
Free and open to the public, this presentation takes place from 6:30-8:00 PM in the Multicultural Student Services Center on campus, room 209.
Seattle, WA: The spirit of Brandon Lee, our son of the sound, has flown home to the Northwest Film Forum this week as they present 3 nights of the best comic book film adaptation, The Crow. Presented in conjuction with the release SUPERTRASH by Jacques Boyreau, he will be presenting a special video introduction of The Crow, as well as a preview of SUPERTRASH. This is the film's 20th Anniversary, so you must go to the NWFF if you want to see Eric Draven live! (More Details)
Saturday, November 1st
St. Louis, MO: Meet the man behind the American mythological drama. Artist and thinker, Tim Lane, will be giving a presentation worthy of the history in his hometown. Lane's new sweeping drama, The Lonesome Go takes you across a vast landscape with dynamic characters and settings. To illustrate this further, Lane is inviting musicans and singers to record themselves and weave their personal sound into a tapestry of life. Event kicks off at 7 PM. (More Details)