The Quincy Jones Abc : Mercury Big Band Jazz Sessions (2007)

The Quincy Jones Abc : Mercury Big Band Jazz Sessions (2007)
Artist: Quincy Jones
Album: The Quincy Jones Abc : Mercury Big Band Jazz Sessions
Genre: RnB, Soul, Big Band
Origin: USA
Released: 2007
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

CD 1 – The ABC/Impulse Sessions:
Walkin’ (A3) 10:39
A Sleeping Bee (A2) 4:38
Sermonette (A1) 5:54
Stockholm Sweetnin’ (A3) 5:38
Evening In Paris (A1) 4:05
Boo’s Bloos (A2) 5:10
The Quintessence (B3) 4:19
Robot Portrait (B2) 5:24
Little Karen (B2) 3:42
Straight, No Chaser (B3) 2:24
For Lena And Lennie (B1) 4:16
Hard Sock Dance (B2) 3:18
Invitation (B3) 3:33
The Twitch (B1) 3:49

CD 2 – The Birth of a Band:
The Birth Of A Band (G) 2:55
Moanin’ (G) 3:03
I Remember Clifford (F) 3:42
Along Came Betty (F) 3:17
Tickle Toe (F) 2:56
Happy Faces (E) 2:40
Whisper Not (F) 3:22
The Gypsy (F) 4:04
A Change Of Pace (D) 3:20
Tuxedo Junction (C) 2:43
Daylie Double (F) 5:59
Moanin’ (alternate version) (E) 3:10
Happy Faces (alternate take) (E) 2:43
After Hours (D) 3:31
Choo Choo Ch’Boogie (D) 2:26
The Hucklebuck (D) 2:25
The Midnight Sun Will Never Set (D) 2:41
The Preacher (D) 2:53
Marching The Blues (D) 2:41
Blues In The Night (D) 3:56
Syncopated Clock (C) 2:44

CD 3 – The Great Wide World of Quincy Jones:
Lester Leaps In (H) 3:33
Ghana (H) 4:35
Caravan (H) 3:28
Everybody’s Blues (H) 4:13
Cherokee (H) 3:09
Air Mail Special (H) 2:33
They Say It’s Wonderful (H) 3:21
Chant Of The Weed (H) 3:13
I Never Has Seen Snow (H) 3:08
Eesom (H) 5:03
Pleasingly Plump (J) 2:15
G’wan Train (J) 6:20
Moonglow (I) 2:47
Tone Poem (J) 3:38
You Turned The Tables On Me (J) 2:29
Chinese Checkers (I) 2:40
Love Is Here To Stay (I) 3:11
The Midnight Sun Will Never Set (I) 4:31
Trouble On My Mind (I) 2:30
A Sunday Kind Of Love (I) 2:32
Parisian Thoroughfare (I) 3:47
Pleasingly Plump (first version) (I) 2:26
G’wan Train (short version) (J) 2:57

CD 4 – The Zurich Concert:
Solitude (K) 4:27
Stolen Moments (K) 13:44
Bess, You Is My Woman Now (K) 5:45
Moanin’ (K) 2:58
Air Mail Special (K) 3:51
Banja Luka (K) 9:23
Billie’s Bounce (L) 7:10
Scrapple From The Apple (L) 9:59
Blue ‘N Boogie (L) 10:12

CD 5 – The Newport Concert:
Ghana (M) 4:03
Meet B.B. (M) 3:59
The Boy In The Tree (M) 5:03
Evening In Paris (M) 5:21
Air Mail Special (M) 4:21
Lester Leaps In (M) 6:10
G’wan Train (M) 6:05
Banja Luka (M) 5:56
I Had A Ball (N) 5:02
Almost (N) 4:20
Addie’s At It Again (N) 5:03


Quincy Jones, a 2008 NEA Jazz Master, stood out from his fellow honorees when they gathered in Toronto at this year’s IAJE conference. For unlike trumpeter Joe Wilder and the rest, “Q” traveled with a security detail. He is among the hugest of pop-music celebrities, but as the NEA has rightly acknowledged, nothing can elide his early achievements as a jazz arranger and bandleader. Mosaic’s five-disc Quincy Jones box set is well timed, therefore. The fact that Wilder, perhaps the least widely known NEA Jazz Master to date, appears on several of these historic sessions is a delicious irony.

In his booklet essay (illustrated by Chuck Stewart’s classic photographs), Brian Priestly takes the measure of Quincy Jones, the sought-after arranger for James Moody, Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie and more, who defied the economic odds and launched his own working big band, long after the close of the big band era. Jones’ group was predominantly African-American-still unusual at that time, Priestly notes-though one of the most prominent solo voices was Phil Woods, whose mellifluous bop alto gilds this box from start to finish.

Disc one lands us in 1956 with music from This Is How I Feel About Jazz, featuring a hungry Charles Mingus, not to mention Herbie Mann, Hank Jones, Lucky Thompson, Art Farmer, Milt Jackson and so on. The encounters are just that eye-popping, all the way through. Thad Jones and Freddie Hubbard trade blues choruses a bit later on “Hard Sock Dance.” Jackson returns on disc five, bringing the set full-circle with an all-star 1964 session (We Had a Ball) that features Gillespie alongside Roland Kirk, J. J. Johnson, Art Blakey and others, playing burning Benny Golson arrangements from an obscure musical.

The bulk of the material ranges from 1959 to 1961, the period that spawned The Birth of a Band, The Quintessence, I Dig Dancers and several other titles. (Some of this repertoire appears on Live in ’60, the Jazz Icons DVD release of 2006.) Many things stand out, but the work of two women, pianist Patti Bown and trombonist Melba Liston, cannot be overlooked. Liston contributes the forward-looking “Tone Poem” and has a beautiful feature on “Solitude.” Bown seizes the spotlight on “They Say It’s Wonderful” and holds her own at a Zurich jam session with Woods, Hubbard and Curtis Fuller. She also offers the ambitious swinger “G’wan Train,” marked by the finely wrought textures of Les Spann on guitar, Sahib Shihab on baritone and Julius Watkins on French horn. Jones’ attention to the artistry of Bown and Liston reflects superb judgment.

This box is not without its hokey numbers (“Syncopated Clock,” “The Hucklebuck”), complicating the notion that “Q” turned to pop only later. But on these 18 recording dates-produced by the likes of Creed Taylor, Bob Thiele and Jack Tracy, arranged not only by Jones but also Billy Byers, Ralph Burns and more-the abundant treasures far outweigh the isolated duds.
By David R. Adler

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