Music of the Week: October 13, 2023: Compared to What

Les McCann & Eddie Harris   Compared To What

Les McCann & Eddie Harris Compared To What

Our Music of the Week revisits one of the choicest pieces of jazz that has ever seen the light of day, featured on Solari before. Catherine regards it as her favorite jazz performance ever: Les McCann and Eddie Harris playing “Compared to What.”

This is the legendary performance at the 1969 Montreux Jazz Festival at Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The festival has been taking place annually since 1967 and today draws some 200,000 visitors. But it was this song that put the Montreux Festival on the map.

The performance includes Les McCann on vocals and piano, and Eddie Harris on the tenor saxophone, joined by Benny Bailey with two remarkable trumpet solos. The band used this song as their opening piece, and they took the original song (first recorded by Roberta Flack) to new heights of improvisational virtuosity.

It is startling how timely and penetrating the lyrics are today, as ever more people begin to see the fundamental discrepancies within official narratives, whether concerning plandemics, “wild” fires, climate change, or terrorists crossing unprotected borders: “Trying to make it real … compared to what?”


Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Live at Montreaux Jazz Festival 1969 – Compared To What

This Song Was Born At Montreux

Compared to What (Wikipedia)

Eugene McDaniels’ website featuring Compared to What

The Montreux Jazz Festival

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