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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Big Band Bossa Nova +
The Quintessence

Essential Jazz Classics
EJC 55583



Big Band Bossa Nova
1. Soul Bossa Nova
2. Boogie Bossa Nova (aka Boogie Stop Shuffle)
3. Desafinado
4. Manha de Carnaval (Morning of the Carnival)
5. Se Tarde, Me Perdoa (Forgive Me if I'm Late)
6. On the Street Where You Live
7. Samba de Uma Nota S (One Note Samba)
8. Lalo Bossa Nova
9. Serenata
10. Chega de Saudade (No More Blues)
11. A Taste Of Honey
Quincy Jones - Conductor, arranger
Phil Woods - Alto sax
Paul Gonsalves - Tenor sax
Clark Terry - Trumpet, flugelhorn
Roland Kirk - Flute, alto flute
Jerome Richardson - Flute, alto flute, woodwinds
Lalo Schifrin - Piano
Jim Hall - Guitar
Chris White - Bass
Rudy Collins - Drums
Jos‚ Paula, Carlos "Bala" Gomez, Jack del Rio - Percussion
The Quintessence
12. The Quintessence
13. Robot Portrait
14. Little Karen
15. Straight, No Chaser
16. For Lena And Lennie
17. Hard Sock Dance
18. Invitation
19. The Twitch
Collective personnel
Quincy Jones - Conductor, arranger
Jerome Kail, Clyde Reasinger, Clark Terry, Joe Newman, Thad Jones, Al DeRisi, Snooky Young, Freddie Hubbard, Ernie Royal - Trumpets
Billy Byers, Melba Liston, Paul Faulise, Rod Levitt, Curtis Fuller, Tom Mitchell - Trombones
Phil Woods, Frank Wess, Oliver Nelson - Saxes
Jerome Richardson - Alto sax, baritone sax, flute, alto flute
Eric Dixon - Tenor sax, clarinet
Bobby Scott, Patti Bown - Piano
Gloria Agostini - Harp
Buddy Catlett, Milt Hinton - Bass
Stu Martin, Bill English, Jimmy Johnson - Drums
Julius Watkins, Earl Chapin, Ray Alonge, James Buffington - French horn
Harvey Phillips - Tuba
Bonus session
20. A Taste Of Honey (alternate Version)
21. Dyna-soar
22. Sermonette
23. Shag Nasty
Personnel similar to that on Big Band Bossa Nova,
plus Major Holley on bass


I have already reviewed an album by Stan Getz which was also called Big Band Bossa Nova and was also recorded in 1962. So the first LP on this CD might be regarded as Quincy Jones jumping on the bandwagon. Even if that was the motivation for Quincy's LP, we can be grateful that he was moved to record it, as he had a magic touch in arranging for big bands.

Quincy is rather like Duke Ellington, as both men picked musicians with individual voices to give their arrangements personality. Jones actually used two Ellingtonians on this album: Clark Terry and Paul Gonsalves, whose distinctive sounds are evident in such tracks as Boogie Bossa Nova. This tune is not actually a bossa nova but an adaptation of Charles Mingus's Boogie Stop Shuffle. Another distinctive musician is Roland Kirk, whose instantly recognisable flute adds a down-to-earth solo in the opening Soul Bossa Nova. This track became a British hit in 1998, probably because it was used in the first of the "Austin Powers" films.

Quincy Jones made sure that the best-known bossas were included, four of them duplicating numbers from the Stan Getz album: Desafinado, Manha de Carnaval. One Note Samba and Chega de Saudade. Sadly, not all the soloists are listed, but there is mellow flute on Manha de Carnaval (Jerome Richardson?) and serpentine alto sax (probably by Phil Woods) on Chega de Saudade. But Quincy also turned other tunes into bossa-style tracks such as On the Street Where You Live and A Taste of Honey.

The soloists are not the only attraction on this album. Quincy's orchestrations also demand attention: for the punchy brass and the inventive use of all the musicians.

The same applies to the other LP, The Quintessence, which was recorded in 1961 by three different groups. The presence of Julius Watkins on French horn fills out the sound, and on three other tracks he is joined by three extra French horn players. Phil Woods shines again in the title-track, and Robot Portrait includes a muscular tenor-sax solo from Oliver Nelson, who was equally well-known as an arranger. Both Woods and Nelson contribute notable solos to Invitation. Benny Golson's Little Karen has the relaxed feel of a performance by Count Basie's band.

As a bonus, this CD contains four tracks recorded in 1962 by a line-up similar to that on Big Band Bossa Nova. Roland Kirk's flute reappears forcefully on Dyna-Soar, and Major Holley does his Slam Stewart-style humming along to the double bass on Shag Nasty.

This album illustrates Quincy Jones's powers not only as an arranger but also as a composer. And the well-chosen musicians add something to every track to create a sound different from the conventional big band.

Tony Augarde

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