Quincy Jones (arr, dir), with collective personnel including Freddie Hubbard (tp), Hubert Laws (fl), Toots Thielemans (hca), Bob James, Joe Sample, Jimmy Smith (p, org), Milt Jackson (vib), Jim Hall, Eric Gale (g), Chuck Rainey (b), Grady Tate (d)
This is where a lot of serious jazz purists get off the train but for the rest of us, this is an exciting journey into Quincy Jones territory where labels are meaningless. Though Q takes us deep into Hollywood and TV with his themes to Ironside, The Anderson Tapes and the first Bill Cosby Show (with humorous vocals from the Cos' himself), his jazz base remains intact in these fascinating charts, and stellar friends like Freddie Hubbard, Milt Jackson, Toots Thielemans, and Jim Hall are left alone to shine. The centerpiece, "Guitar Blues Odyssey: From Roots to Fruits" is the first of many attempts by Q to summarize musical evolution in one fell swoop. Moreover, this ambitious collage actually works and it's great fun to hear Thielemans, Hall, Eric Gale and Joe Beck try to mimic guitarists from Robert Johnson to Wes Montgomery to Jimi Hendrix. One can't be quite as enthusiastic about Q's rather weak-kneed vocals on two tracks, but that's about the only stumble in this hugely enjoyable project.
Richard S. Ginell - AMG
01. Smackwater Jack (3:27)
02. Cast Your Fate to the Wind (4:33)
03. Ironside (3:59)
04. What's Going On (10:00)
05. Theme from the Anderson Tapes (5:21)
06. Brown Ballad Brown (4:25)
07. Hikky-Burr Cosby, Jones (4:08)
08. Guitar Blues Odyssey: From Roots to Fruits (6:45)
Recorded at A&R Studios, New York City in 1971. Produced by Quincy Jones, Ray Brown and Phil Ramone.