Les McCann mit BARTON PERREIRA CUTRONE

LES MCCANN
To know Les McCann Is to Know Love.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text VITTORIO CARETTI

Listen to him here

My personal journey with Les began as a young boy. A lonely childhood was soothed by his piano. A restlessness was caressed by his voice. After thirty years of listening to him, collecting his records, and watching him perform, his smile, graciousness, and inimitably talented voice continues to be the force that most strongly connects me to this beautiful thing we call jazz.

Les McCann mit BARTON PERREIRA CUTRONE
Les McCann mit BARTON PERREIRA CUTRONE

It was not until I met Les in person, armed with an original copy of “The Gospel Truth” that I finally knew why his music had been so important to me. Minutes before an upcoming show, a few thousand people, a grand piano and a sun setting Los Angeles night waiting, I met him in the corridor and asked him to sign my album. “Boy where did you get this…” he asked me as I fumbled around for a sharpie for him to sign an album he recorded somewhere around 1963. “Mr. McCann, I have everything you have ever recorded,” I remember saying. We shared a moment, and a smile that I will never forget.

As we walked out towards the stage, Les was greeted with a standing ovation… and this before he had even played a note. I watched him play that night, a little boy, clenching a piece of plastic, knowing that his smile, pure and genuine, poured into every note he was playing on his piano. So when people ask me what love is, I tell them it is Les McCann on the keys.

Les McCann is one of the greats. Through his extraordinary piano playing, composition, and silky voice, the jazz musician, now in his eighties, has built his career around his supernatural ability to connect with audiences like no other.

He started blending his unique sound right out of the US Army when he discovered the late night jazz clubs in San Francisco. He fell in love with jazz and spent the rest of his life making the music that has won him fans all across the world. Les McCann started his recording career at the age of 24 on the tiny Pacific Jazz label with his first recording, “The Shout.” A self-taught pianist, Les started working in studio sessions back then and produced a string of successful records in the 60s and 70s. Over the years, his music found a new audience with the Hip Hoppers that were looking for original beats to sample. His music has been sampled by everyone from Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Eric B. & Rakim and hundreds of others.

In 1969 at The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Les along with Eddie Harris and Benny Bailey recorded “The Swiss Movement,” a hit album that went on to sell millions of copies. This year marks the 50th anniversary of what many jazz critics and fans alike consider one of the most influential jazz albums ever recorded. Les McCann will be at Montreux himself to commemorate this celebration.

MerkenMerken

MerkenMerken

Nouveau Wave from Brooklyn

Producer JESUS MARTINEZ
Editor MARCELO ESPINOLA

Headquartered in Berlin, a global mecca for music, we regularly get to meet fantastic musicians from all over the world. In this, the first ever from our new VIDEO INTERVIEW series called “4SEE 9Q,” we introduce innovative, emerging, and provocative musicians whose music and style we believe will have a huge impact and deserve to be seen and heard.

Our first guest, Dead Leaf Echo, is a Brooklyn-based band consisting of LG (guitar, vox), Ana (guitar, vox), Steve (Bass), and Kevin (drums). Their signature sound is hazy, reverb-soaked guitars and haunting ethereal vocals, which are super refreshing. We recently caught up with them in Berlin during their European tour and enjoyed having a beer together while taking a look at some of their favorite eyewear of the moment.

Dead Leaf Echo

Kevin in GREY ANT Embassy
Kevin in GREY ANT Embassy
Steve in SALT. Elihu
Steve in SALT. Elihu
LG in GREY ANT Inbox
LG in GREY ANT Inbox

Featured Eyewear:
SALT. Resin
SALT. Webb
GREY ANT Inbox

Brooklyn’s Savior of Soul Music

Brooklyn born and of Haitian-Puerto Rican descent, self-taught musician Maxwell began composing music at 17. He started performing the New York City club scene a year later, only to see his career take off at warp speed, signing with Columbia Records in 1994, then dropping his legendary debut album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite two years later. The album put Maxwell on the map, earning praise from critics who lauded it for its fresh take on 70’s-inspired R&B—dubbed “neo soul”—an effort which helped to revive the entire genre. Heralded as the “savior of soul music,” the singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor has captivated music lovers for over two decades. He has released an additional 4 studio albums and is the recipient of 3 Grammy awards, 2 NAACP Image Awards, and 6 Soul Train Music Awards.
On the heels of his photo shoot with fellow Brooklynite Marc Baptiste, 4SEE takes you behind the scenes with Maxwell.

Photography MARC BAPTISTE
Interview CHRISTINE TOMAS

Thinking back on the artist you were when you first started, to the success of Urban Hang Suite, to blackSUMMERS’ night… where are you now? What has changed? What’s stayed the same? What’s next?
I’m coming back home. I feel my journey has led me from the roots of my first opportunity and now in the ever-changing playing field of the music business. It’s almost a time to reflect and create from past, present and future.
You’re known to pride yourself in taking your time. You once told Rolling Stone, “People do too much. Fame is a very precarious thing. I better really live something and write something.” That’s a great philosophy that’s refreshingly counter to today’s growing culture of impatience and instant gratification.

What got you to this point?
I look at artists like Sade and I can see the weight of her wisdom. I also—and to be brutally honest—suffer from creative anxiety. With so much out there, it’s hard to feel like you will make an impact, but I always felt that way and probably always will. I will not stop being creative, but my world experience is in God’s hands.

Let’s talk favorites: favorite thing about NY?
NYC is fast. You can’t sleep on time and on opportunity. It’s where all the world walked in to first know America.

Favorite things to wear?
I love being in jeans, t-shirt and jacket. It’s my go to. But a nice suit never hurts!

Favorite person or people at the moment?
My favorite people are my friends and family; those who know me and have been there to remind me not to forget who I was meant to be.

What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened at one of your concerts?
I split my pants on stage and had to walk out backwards while facing the crowd for a quick change. Another time, I spilled tea all over me in Zurich just before the curtain came up for the first song. Very funny, but hey! I work with it.

Tell me about a cause that’s important to you.
Education and healthcare for all, especially women all over the world, but especially in Haiti and Puerto Rico.

Why should others think about supporting that cause, and how can they help?
When you have knowledge—and I don’t mean gossip or Google—I mean knowledge of books that create imagination, then you have the keys to the future of your own creativity.

What are you listening to right now?
I’m listening to “NIGHT,” the last installment of the trilogy. And funny enough, to the demos that got me signed when I was 19!

Last question: Tell me something about Marc Baptiste that only you would know.
If you know Marc, you know he is kind. The subjects who have been shot by him love him. He is loyal and he will help you fix anything you might have messed up while shooting with him.

About Marc Baptiste
Haitian-American Marc Baptiste brings a unique flair, sensuality and cinematic beauty to his images, making him one of the most in-demand photographers in Hollywood, fashion, and the music industry. Marc’s client list is a “who’s who” of A-listers, creatives and legends like Barack Obama, Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé, Yoko Ono, and Maxwell—a repeat subject of Marc. He has released 3 books celebrating the female form: Beautiful—Nudes by Marc Baptiste; Intimate; and Innocent. His love for Haiti is evident in his work and in his support of numerous Haitian charities, like Cine’ Institute and NOAH NY, a not-for-profit organization. Since 2012, Marc has traveled with NOAH NY to support their medical mission, which provides free medical care to thousands in Fort-Liberté, Haiti. Following the devastating 2010 earthquake, Marc partnered with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen on the “Hope, Help & Relief Haiti” initiative.

Doe Paoro in MIU MIU SMU04S

Doe Paoro’s soothing meditations on solitude

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text VITTORIO CARETTI

Doe Paoro has the uniqueness of sound and surprise on her side. With an angelic, almost operatic voice, she seduces listeners. This seductiveness stems from her deeply felt, personal and timely song writing, which has already caught the attention of both record labels and some of the most talented song writers and producers around. Doe Paoro collaborated with the likes of Bon Iver’s Justin Veron, Sean Carey and BJ Burton (Tallest Man on Earth, Sylvan Esso), on her acclaimed second album, After.

Doe Paoro is the stage name of Syracuse-born, Los Angeles-based artist, singer, and composer, Sonia Kreitzer. She blends musically an eclectic sound that soothes and moves, bringing together R&B, pop, soul and electronic. Doe Paoro came to be recognized for her arty, soulful sounds after her self-released LP Slow To Love dropped in 2012, following a string of previously released singles that won her rave reviews and fans as well.

Doe’s music has that uber-sly quality of hooking you in with the subtlety of her voice, somehow shadowy and loving, leaving with you a desire to hear just a little more. Her music propels listeners to her world… a wonderful world, and a personal one. A few years back, Doe, while traveling to Tibet, spent time in silent meditation, leading to her reflections on “space between silence and sound…” She touches the listeners authentically, a voice both personal and connected to that stuff all around us that helps us feel we are part of something larger. She plays off sound, silence, connection throughout her music. Doe Paoro has gone on to catch the attention of Stereogum, NPR’s All Songs Considered, and was featured on Season 4 of Girls. One play of her music quickly becomes another and another. Rightfully so, she has a voice that needs your ears.

Doe Paoro in MIU MIU SMU04S

Mor Elian wears KBL The Grant

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Interview JUSTIN ROSS

DJs as: Mor Elian
Labels: Prime Numbers, Hypercolour, Finale Sessions
Nationality: Israeli / American
Lives in: Berlin / LA
Favorite place to play: Into The woods parties in LA (My party)
Favorite glasses: Tom Ford, Oliver Peoples, Ray-Ban

How would you describe your sound?
I play mostly house and techno with some Electro, Italo and other touches

When did you start DJing and what got you into it?
I started in 2009 and what got me into it was the desire to share music with people.

What are some of your favorite places to DJ, and why?
I love DJing Tel aviv clubs, where I grew up, The scene there is vibrant and been going for a long time, I also love to play in the undergrounds of LA where the scene is more young but also very magical.

Mor Elian wears KBL Steve
Eyewear by KBL STEVE
Coat by IVY & OAK

What motivates you when you are playing in front of so many people? How does it feel?
What motivates me is people dancing freely, if that’s lacking, then i find the one craziest dancer and play for him.

Is there anything you would like to say about being a female DJ? Is it any different, should it be? Is that important to you?
I never defined myself so much that way, I just love music and love playing music, and if that inspires more women particularly then thats wonderful.

Mor Elian wears KBL Steve
Eyewear by KBL STEVE
Coat by IVY & OAK, Top and pants by Uniqlo, Boots by JR

How do you handle all the travel?
I try to take care of myself when im traveling and when im not, that also includes not drinking in most gigs, after so many years of doing this drinking doesn’t add much to the life style.

What are some of your favorite glasses/sunglasses that you own?
I love my Oliver Peoples, Raybans and just got a pair of Tom Ford cat eyes. I like to have a variety!

Mor Elian wears KBL The Grant
Eyewear by KBL THE GRANT
Black shirts and white pants by DJ’s own

 

 

 

 

 

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