Reprinted from yesterday's editions.
Les McCann, who opened Tuesday at the Showboat Lounge, made his initial reputation during the early '60s, when "funky" jazz pianists (McCann, Ramsey Lewis, Gene Harris. et al) were coming out in droves. Like many of his peers in the genre, McCann has delved heavily into electronic keyboards in recent years, and his music has become slicker in the process.
The McCann quintet (with Nick Kirgo and Stewart Leibig, guitars; Jimmy Rowser, bass; and Kevin Johnson, drums) is generally a pleasant, polished lounge act. Their music includes commercial funk, soft rock and jazz.
Like most superior lounge acts, McCann's group produces "good-time" music - that is, good to move to or drink to. A listener seeking intellectual stimulation, though, is advised to look elsewhere.
McCann chooses to feature his singing and the solos of his rock-oriented guitarists as much as his own playing. This is probably a wise move, since he has usually been a rather pedestrian soloist.
Throuhg the years, however, McCann has displayed hints of what could be a more interesting talent. Tuesday night's hint was a pretty jazz original, done as an opener in perfunctory fashion. They'll be at the Showboat through Sunday.