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).
Johnny Ryan's utterly unpretentious taboo-tackling is an infectious and hilarious bombardment of political incorrectness, taking full advantage of the medium's absurdist potential for maximum laughs. In an age when the medium is growing up and aspiring to more mature and hoity-toity literary heights, Ryan builds on the visceral tradition that cartooning has had on our collective funny bone for over a century. Now, for the first time, all fourteen issues of Ryan's career-defining comic book series Angry Youth Comix (2000-2008) are collected in one place. All the comics, the covers, and even the contentious letters pages, in one toilet-ready brick shithouse.
"Freed from the tiny confines of the black-and-white daily strip, Crane brilliantly exploited the vastly larger canvas of the full newspaper page, wildly varying the sizes, shapes, and arrangement of the panels. His distinctive drawing style, an appealing blend of simplified realism and broad cartooniness, also set Easy apart. While not quite as large as the original newspaper broadsheets, this volume’s oversize pages fully convey the strip's formidable visual impact." – Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"Crane's art is stunning, combining simple cartoony figures with richly detailed backgrounds in clever, colorful layouts. It isn’t even necessary to read the dialogue or captions to follow the action; just scan Crane's dynamic lines, which make every panel look like a unique work of pop art. [Grade:] A-." – The A.V. Club
"Though he was one of the genre's pioneers, Roy Crane's Captain Easy is arguably the most idiosyncratic of all the adventure strips. But it's this blend of loud slapstick, young-boys-styled adventure and blatant sex appeal that make Captain Easy such a winning, fun strip to read." – Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Oh, you weren't discussing beautifully bound, large format photography books that class up your living room? Well, this first look at Invitation to Openness just might turn your conversation around. This collection of McCann's personal photography highlighting the world of jazz is elegantly packaged and designed by our own Jacob Covey. Due out in March, the book is ready for your pre-order now!
We got in our morning workout with the advance arrival of Alexander Theroux's newest and by far heftiest book, Collected Poems. At 672 pages, this is a book to take in small doses, like spare sips of a fine wine. With a huge variety in form and length, this compilation of Theroux's poetry has a diverse palate and promises to be a major literary event of 2015.
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.