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Jazz - Released January 1, 1962 | Verve

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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R&B - Released January 1, 1989 | Universal Music Enterprises

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Having let eight years pass since his last A&M album, Quincy Jones made his debut on his own label with his most extravagant, most star-studded, most brilliantly sequenced pop album to date -- which could have only been assembled by the man who put together "We Are the World." Jones was one of the first establishment musicians to embrace rap, and one of the first to link rap with his jazz heritage; it's hard not to be moved by the likes of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, James Moody, Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Zawinul, Sarah Vaughan, and George Benson electronically appearing on "Birdland" and trading brief licks with the likes of Kool Moe Dee and Big Daddy Kane on "Jazz Corner of the World." Later, jazz buffs would vilify Jones for not taking fuller advantage of this one-time constellation of jazz stars, but at the time, it seemed like a marvelous dialogue between the old and the new. Of course, as he well knew, celebrating jazz history is not the surest route to a blockbuster hit record, so there are plenty of radio-friendly urban pop productions here, with Herbie Hancock and George Duke on keyboards, and Siedah Garrett and 12-year-old Tevin Campbell on vocals. Despite the presence of an enthused Ray Charles, Chaka Khan, and the Brothers Johnson, the overly busy techno remake of "I'll Be Good to You" doesn't cut the Johnsons' original -- nor does "Tomorrow." Ultimately the most popular track would be the most tedious for the jazz listener, "The Secret Garden," with a parade of smooth soul balladeers producing make-out music at length. Yet Back on the Block remains a strikingly durable piece of entertainment, and in hindsight, a poignant signpost of the changing of the guard. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 28, 1981 | A&M

An enormous commercial success, 1981's The Dude is a cross-cultural success blending jazz, Latin music, soul ballads, and straight pop into an admittedly slick but never over-produced or soulless stew. The album opens with a surprise: "Ai No Corrida" is a synthesizer-driven yet still-funky Latin dance track written by Chaz Jankel of Ian Dury & the Blockheads, suggesting that unlike a lot of musicians his age, Quincy Jones kept his ears open to new music. The proto-rap title track accomplishes the same thing. The rest of the album is more conventional, with James Ingram and Patti Austin trading vocals on a smooth collection of tracks highlighted by the masterful love ballads "One Hundred Ways" and "Just Once," staples of adult contemporary stations, and the haunting instrumental "Velas." The Dude is an outstanding collection that was massively influential on the '80s R&B scene. © Rovi Staff /TiVo
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Jazz - Released March 10, 2011 | BDMUSIC

A musician to his core! Quincy Jones has criss-crossed trends and decades, but he has always stayed centre-stage. From the production of Michael Jackson's 1982 Thriller to the hit Soul Bossa Nova on his 1962 album Big Band Bossa Nova, the 28-time Grammy Award winner can boast of having worked with pretty much everybody. Jazz, soul, film soundtracks and pop records; he’s done it all. In his autobiography he declared that he was a be-bopper at heart and always would be. That affiliation is what is explored in this compilation of recordings, dating back to the period 1951-1959. The compilation foregrounds two memorable facets of Quincy Jones's career: as a leader and arranger for one of the finest big bands in the history of jazz (disc 1); and as an orchestrator for jazz virtuosos like Lionel Hampton, Art Farmer, Anthony Ortega, King Pleasure, Lucky Thompson, Helen Merrill, Clark Terry, Dinah Washington, Jimmy Cleveland, Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Barclay, Count Basie, Ray Charles and even Henri Salvador (disc 2)! A fascinating double volume that fizzes and sparks with swing. © Max Dembo / Qobuz
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1978 | A&M

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With ears dead set on the trends of the moment but still drawing now and then on his jazz past, Quincy Jones came up with another classy-sounding pop album loaded with his ever-growing circle of musician friends. Disco was king in 1978 and Jones bows low with the ebullient dance hit "Stuff Like That" -- which is several cuts above the norm for that genre -- along with a healthy quota of elegantly produced soul ballads. Yet amidst the pop stuff, Jones still manages to do something fresh and memorable within the jazz sphere with a gorgeous chart of Herbie Hancock's "Tell Me a Bedtime Story." Hancock himself sits in impeccably on electric piano, and violinist Harry Lookofsky painstakingly overdubs one of Hancock's transcribed solos on 15 violins. Despite the cast of hundreds that is now de rigueur for Quincy Jones, the record does not sound over-produced due to the silken engineering and careful deployment of forces. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1973 | A&M Jazz

Quincy Jones followed up Smackwater Jack and his supervision of Donny Hathaway's Come Back Charleston Blue soundtrack with this, a mixed bag that saw him inching a little closer toward the R&B-dominated approach that reached full stride on the following Body Heat and peaked commercially with The Dude. That said, the album's most notorious cut is "The Streetbeater" -- better known as the Sanford & Son theme, a novelty for most but also one of the greasiest, grimiest instrumental fusions of jazz and funk ever laid down -- while its second most noteworthy component is a drastic recasting of "Summer in the City," as heard in the Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By," where the frantic, bug-eyed energy of the Lovin' Spoonful original is turned into a magnetically lazy drift driven by Eddie Louis' organ, Dave Grusin's electric piano, and Valerie Simpson's voice. (Simpson gives the song a "Summertime"-like treatment.) Between that, the title song (a faithfully mellow version, with Jones' limited but subdued vocal lead), a medley of Aretha Franklin's "Daydreaming" and Ewan MacColl's "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," and a light instrumental, roughly half the album is mood music, and it's offset with not just "The Streetbeater" but a large-scale take on "Manteca," a spooky-then-overstuffed "Superstition" (where the uncredited Billy Preston, Bill Withers, and Stevie Wonder are billed as "three beautiful brothers"), and the "Streetbeater" companion "Chump Change" (co-written with Bill Cosby). The best here can be had on comps, but the album is by no means disposable. [Given a straight reissue in early 2009 via Verve's Originals series.] © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1974 | A&M

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At the time, Body Heat was a breathtaking leap for Quincy Jones, right into the very heart of mainstream commercial soul -- and it turned out to be very lucrative, rising to number six on the pop album charts. Jazz per se has been left far behind but the same musical sensibility, the same brilliant production skills, and the same knack for what will appeal to a wider audience are still at work, and the result is a surprisingly pleasing album. Amazingly, Jones still draws a constellation of jazz stars into his studio bands (Herbie Hancock, Frank Rosolino, Hubert Laws, Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate, Bob James), plus soul names like Billy Preston, Bernard Purdie and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous guitarist Wah Wah Watson. The emphasis, though, is first on the honeyed soul vocals from a variety of newcomers, and second on the funky grooves laced with the buzz of now-prized analogue synthesizers and wah-wah guitars. There is one reminder of Jones' big-band days, a busy electronic retro-fitting of his classic chart of Benny Golson's "Along Came Betty," where one can hear Laws blow at some length. Otherwise, to paraphrase Jones himself, if you check your jazz boots at the door, you might enjoy this. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1969 | Verve

The protean Quincy Jones returned to the recording studio as a leader after a long stretch in Hollywood with this triumphantly contemporary big band album. He re-established himself firmly with his big band jazz base while casting a keen eye on the pop scene and the world of electric instruments (even Ray Brown is caught playing superb electric bass here). The diplomat also unveils his uncanny ability to attract some of the biggest names in jazz as sidemen (Freddie Hubbard, Roland Kirk, Hubert Laws, J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, etc.), a quality that will be put to use again and again in the following decades. For jazz buffs, the long, dramatic title track from the then-raging musical Hair is the highlight; Hubbard positively sizzles on muted trumpet, and the brash Kirk blasts through the grooving rhythm section under heavy reverb. You also get Jones' classic, swaggering arrangement of Benny Golson's "Killer Joe" -- practically the definitive version -- and a rendition of Edwin Hawkins' freak hit "Oh Happy Day" that bursts with wit and sheer joy. This is one of the great peaks of Creed Taylor's A&M period, and it still sounds spectacular today. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 28, 2015 | Rhino - Warner Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Impulse!

The Quintessence is perhaps the most accurate title ever given to a Quincy Jones & His Orchestra recording. Issued in 1961 for Impulse!, this is the sound of the modern, progressive big band at its pinnacle. Recorded in three sessions, the core of the band consists of Melba Liston, Phil Woods, Julius Watkins, and bassist Milt Hinton and pianist Patricia Brown on two sessions, with bassist Buddy Catlett and pianist Bobby Scott on another. The trumpet chairs are held alternately by players like Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry, Thad Jones, and Snooky Young, to name a few. Oliver Nelson is here, as are Frank Wess and Curtis Fuller. Despite its brevity -- a scant 31 minutes -- The Quintessence is essential to any appreciation of Jones and his artistry. The deep swing and blues in his originals such as the title track, "Robot Portrait," and "For Lena and Lennie" create staggering blends. They are beautifully warm, with edges rounded, but the brass section is still taut and punchy. The reeds cool the heat enough to give the rhythmic dialogue in these tunes its inherent strolling swing. Elsewhere, on Thelonious Monk's "Straight, No Chaser," the time is speeded up to nearly dizzying intensity, and it's played like a big band popping bebop with incredible counterpointed double solos happening between trombone, muted trumpet, and Brown's piano. Though only 2:27 in length, the piece packs an entire harmonic universe into its furious pace. Benny Golson's "Little Karen," is, by contrast, held in character: lithe, limpid, and fluid, it's the ultimate laid-back, midtempo ballad. That said, with the brass charts being notched up just enough, it's got the kind of finger-popping groove that makes it irresistible. The solo spot taken by Nelson is pure knotty bop. What is beautiful about this recording -- and every second of the music -- is that because of its brevity, there isn't a wasted moment. It's all taut, packed with creativity and joy, and without excess or unnecessary decorative arrangement. It doesn't get much better than this. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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R&B - Released February 9, 1999 | A&M

Grouped together, as they are on the double-disc From Q with Love, producer/arranger/conductor Quincy Jones' love songs sound an awful lot alike, with high-gloss production, silky smooth harmonies, and lead singers who all happen to bear a strong vocal resemblance to Jones' most famous client, Michael Jackson. It helps that From Q with Love is loaded with hits from Jones' past 30-plus years, including Patti Austin and James Ingram's "Baby, Come to Me" and "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?," Ingram's "One Hundred Ways" and "Just Once," Jackson's "Human Nature," and a handful of tracks from Jones' 1989 golden showpiece, Back on the Block. © Michael Gallucci /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Verve Reissues

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R&B - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal Music Enterprises

The multi-talented Quincy Jones has excelled at idiomatic combinations in his albums since the '60s, when his mix-and-match soundtracks for television and films alerted everyone that he'd switched from a pure jazz mode to a populist trend. Q's Jook Joint blends the latest in hip-hop-flavored productions with sleek urban ballads, vintage standards, and derivative pieces; everything's superbly crafted, though few songs are as exciting in their performance or daring in their conception as past Jones epics like Gula Matari or the score from Roots. Still, you can't fault Jones for his choice of musical collaborators: everyone from newcomer Tamia to longtime stars like Ray Charles, rappers, instrumentalists, male and female vocalists, percussionists, and toasters. The CD really conveys the seamless quality one gets from attending a juke joint, though it lacks the dirt-floor grit or blues fervor of traditional Southern and chitlin circuit hangouts. But no one's more knowledgeable about the spectrum of African-American music, nor better able to communicate it via disc, than Quincy Jones. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1971 | A&M Jazz

Quincy Jones had jazz fans wondering when he released his killer Gula Matari album in 1970. That set, with gorgeous reading of Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with a lead vocal by none other than Valerie Simpson, pointed quite solidly into the direction Jones was traveling: unabashedly toward pop, but with his own trademark taste, and sophistication at the forefront of his journey. Its follow-up, Smackwater Jack, marked Jones, along with Phil Ramone and Ray Brown in the producer's chair, and knocked purist jazz fans on their heads with its killer meld of pop tunes, television and film themes, pop vocals, and big-band charts. The personnel list is a who's- who of jazzers including Monty Alexander, Jim Hall, Pete Christlieb, Joe Beck, Bobby Scott, Ernie Royal, Freddie Hubbard, Jerome Richardson, Ray Brown, Jaki Byard, Toots Thielemans, and many others. But it also hosted the talents of new school players who dug pop and soul, such as Grady Tate, Bob James, Joe Sample, Chuck Rainey, Paul Humphries, Eric Gale, and others. And yes, Simpson was back on this session in an epic reading of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On,'" that featured Carol Kaye and Harry Lookofsky on soulful, psychedelic jazz strings and a smoking harmonica solo by Thielemans. The title cut, of course, is a reading of the Gerry Goffin and Carole King number, done in a taut, funky soul style with Rainey's bassline popping and bubbling under the entire mix and James' Rhodes and Thielemans' harmonica leading the back until the funky breaks by Tate, and some tough street guitar by Arthur Adams host an enormous backing chorus and a "mysterious" uncredited male lead vocal. Other highlights include a rocking version of the television theme from Ironside, and "Hikky-Burr," the now infamous theme from the Bill Cosby Show with a guest vocal from Bill. The version of Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" is one of the loveliest tracks here, and sets in stone a gorgeous model for the meld of complex jazz harmonics and a lithe pop melody. The album's final cut is a Jones original that sums up the theme of the entire album. Entitled "Guitar Blues Odyssey: From Roots to Fruits," it travels the path of Robert Johnson and Skip James through toJimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton with stops along the way at Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, and Grant Green. Guitarists Beck, Hall, and Gale, as well as Freddie Robinson, all do their best mimicking on this lovely, musical, labyrinthine montage that moves back and forth across musical history. It works like a charm with Brown's upright and Rainey's Fender (electric) bass work (alternately), and the beatcraft of Tate. This set has provided some key samples for rappers and electronic music producers over the years -- and there's plenty more to steal -- but as an album, it is one of Q's true masterpieces, recorded during an era when he could do no wrong, and when he was expanding not only his musical palette, but ours. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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R&B - Released June 12, 2015 | ZYX Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1963 | Verve Reissues

By 1963, Quincy Jones' music was at a crossroads. Still jazz-oriented, Jones' work with a studio big band was clearly aimed at trying to sell records rather than play creative jazz. On this LP, Jones leads an orchestra through a dozen then-recent jazz "hits," including "Comin' Home Baby," "Exodus," "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," "Take Five" and "Watermelon Man." There are some fine short solos by the likes of trumpeter Joe Newman, guitarist Jim Hall, Zoot Sims on tenor, altoist Phil Woods and (on "A Taste of Honey") even Rahsaan Roland Kirk. However, the performances all clock in around three minutes, and the jazz players take solos that often only count as cameos. Pleasant but not particularly substantial music. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1969 | A&M

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At the time, Body Heat was a breathtaking leap for Quincy Jones, right into the very heart of mainstream commercial soul -- and it turned out to be very lucrative, rising to number six on the pop album charts. Jazz per se has been left far behind but the same musical sensibility, the same brilliant production skills, and the same knack for what will appeal to a wider audience are still at work, and the result is a surprisingly pleasing album. Amazingly, Jones still draws a constellation of jazz stars into his studio bands (Herbie Hancock, Frank Rosolino, Hubert Laws, Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate, Bob James), plus soul names like Billy Preston, Bernard Purdie and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous guitarist Wah Wah Watson. The emphasis, though, is first on the honeyed soul vocals from a variety of newcomers, and second on the funky grooves laced with the buzz of now-prized analogue synthesizers and wah-wah guitars. There is one reminder of Jones' big-band days, a busy electronic retro-fitting of his classic chart of Benny Golson's "Along Came Betty," where one can hear Laws blow at some length. Otherwise, to paraphrase Jones himself, if you check your jazz boots at the door, you might enjoy this. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1959 | Verve Reissues

Although this particular big band changed its personnel quite a bit before touring Europe, Quincy Jones began 1959 with high hopes. On one of his finest jazz recordings, Jones' arrangements feature such top players as trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison, Zoot Sims, and Sam "The Man" Taylor on tenors, altoist Phil Woods, and flügelhornist Clark Terry. Highlights include the title cut, "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set," "Moanin'," and three Benny Golson tunes ("I Remember Clifford," "Along Came Betty," and "Whisper Not"). This music has been reissued on CD. © Scott Yanow /TiVo
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R&B - Released January 1, 1996 | A&M

Quincy Jones has been one of the most influential and important figures in modern music for over six decades, a true renaissance man, wearing scores of musical hats, including bandleader, solo artist, session player, songwriter, producer, arranger, composer, and record label executive. It doesn't stop there. He's also been an author, motion picture producer, and television producer, and the artists he's worked with, from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis, Count Basie, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and countless others, make a truly amazing and impressive pantheon. This set collects 19 of Jones' tracks from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, ranging from jazz and blues to R&B, pop, and funk, including the disco classic "Ai No Corrida." © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 9, 2010 | Interscope

Other than a handful of one-offs, producer, composer, and arranger Quincy Jones has been busy outside of the music world, acting as a film producer and a cultural ambassador. Q: Soul Bossa Nostra is his first proper "new" album in 15 years, though it revisits tracks he either composed, recorded, or produced previously with a host of the current era's most popular artists from the R&B, pop, and hip hop worlds. Given his rep, the star power here is not surprising. They re-record classic songs with new singers, or in some cases, add vocals to tracks that never had them at all. The lead-off single is a remake of Shuggie Otis' classic "Strawberry Letter 23," which Jones produced for the Brothers Johnson in 1977. The vocal and production by Akon employ shimmering, slippery hip-hop rhythms, Auto-Tune, and layers of programmed keyboards and backing vocals. The oft-sampled hit "Soul Bossa Nova" appears here as a collaboration between Naturally 7 and Ludacris (who has sampled it himself). Q composed "Ironside" for the '70s television series; he uses the original orchestral and vocal tracks with a rap by Talib Kweli on top. "Tomorrow," with John Legend, was cut by Q and Tevin Campbell in 1990. Campbell is here on a remake of "Secret Garden"; he and Barry White appeared on the signature cut. This version keeps White's vocal, and adds Robin Thicke, LL Cool J, Usher, and Tyrese. "Get the Funk Out of My Face," with Snoop Dogg, retains the Brothers Johnson feel. "P.Y.T." is remade here by T-Pain and Thicke. Bebe Winans' reading of "Everything Must Change, is easily the classiest thing here; it stands out as utterly beautiful. Soul Boss Nostra feels more like a tribute exercise than an album, assembled more for radio play and to attract the holiday and single-track download markets. © Thom Jurek /TiVo