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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon pleasures, December 2, 2006
By 
Read-Only (New York City) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
This is a DVD of two fantastic concerts by a little-known big band led by Quincy Jones in 1959-61. The liner notes tell the story of how the band was originally formed to play for a show in Paris and then London but became unemployed when the show closed. Jones took the band on tour, with a combination of his and bandmembers' arrangements. Because the band played almost entirely in Europe, it has not become well known in the US (except via legend) and does not have a recording history.

The music here is "typical" big-band music of the time (reminiscent of Count Basie more than any other band), except that it is far better than most. The arrangements are both surprising and satisfying, going beyond cliches of the big-band style. The soloists are fantastic. Well known musicians such as Phil Woods (before he put on his cap), Quentin "Butter" Jackson, Budd Johnson, and Clark Terry play just as well as you expect them too. But for me the most interesting aspect of the DVD is the lesser known musicians who are captured here. Benny Bailey plays beautifully; after the band broke up, he stayed in Europe, and America was denied one of the great trumpet players of his generation. Melba Liston is best known to us now as an arranger, especially for Randy Weston. She is captured here playing in the trombone section and on a gorgeous solo on "My Reverie." I have read her name a hundred times but have never actually heard her play before (a search on Amazon gives zero hits to her name in the music category). The wonderful Sahib Shihab is another expatriate who spent most of his playing life in Europe and therefore is little known in the US. But his baritone sax work here is extraordinary. Julius Watkins on french horn, Ake Persson on trombone, and Jerome Richardson are three other excellent musicians that you have never seen in concert.

I am emphasizing the historical importance of this disk--the fact that it captures many important musicians who are not widely available elsewhere. However, the music is just fun and beautifully played. You won't feel as if you are doing homework by watching it.

The sound quality was very good, even though mono. The videotape has suffered some loss over the years: halos around people's heads, blurring and artifacts during fast movement, occasional video noise of various kinds. But this does not detract from the enjoyment of the concerts. My initial expectation of the DVD was somewhat low. I thought it might be a workaday big-band outing. Instead, it is an extraordinary document of one of the best bands to play in that era.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Quincy in his prime, December 3, 2006
This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
Before settling into a long and lucrative career as a Hollywood composer, record mogul and pop producer, Quincy Jones flashed across the jazz horizon as a bright new light, a dynamic composer and arranger worthy, perhaps, of Ellington's mantle. In the late 1950s, he moved to Paris, and toured Europe with a punchy, modernized big band, combining the sleek, coordinated power of the classic bands with the hip, streamlined. poppy melodic punch of Mancini and his generation.

Of the films in the "Jazz Icons" series, this is the best produced and visually most arresting... Perhaps because Jones was living in Europe at the time, he had the opportunity to work closely with the filmmakers -- this show is full of obviously well thought-out, staged sequences and precise blocking, reminiscent in some ways of those old Cab Calloway shorts that used the grandeur of Busby Berkeley-style choreography... It's also more solidly "jazz" than a lot of Jones's later work, giving modern audiences a chance to see what all the fuss was about with this budding musical giant. Cool film.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great, December 16, 2006
By 
C.A. Arthur (Tacoma, Washington) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
This is one of the least of the glorious Jazz Icon series on DVD. Yes, it's worth the money, and jazz fans will want to own it. But there are flaws. The picture is okay, in general. The sound is only adequate. Worse, the director had a score and irritatingly flicks between the sections and soloists whenever they are featured. Soloists down front got the camera almost up their nose.

The band itself was pretty good, but not the best you've seen and heard. The rhythm section was quite mediocre (the guitar can rarely be heard). French horn player Julius Watkins was given a lot of time to show off his boring chops. On the other hand, no one could complain about Phil Woods, Quentin Jackson, Jerome Richardson, Benny Bailey, and Clark Terry. This tape may contain the only example of a Melba Liston solo. Quincy's arrangements are well above average. The band leader himself just stands in front of the band, wiggling a lot through the numbers, displaying a truly ill-fitting jacket.

So buy it. If only for Phil Woods. But the film does not compete effectively with the other entries in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent big band jazz, July 5, 2011
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This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
These two 1960 performances by the Jones big band are top-notch, especially the one in Switzerland. Personnel vary between the two, but Phil Woods is the standout soloist on both, although Melba Liston, Clark Terry, Patti Bown, Jerome Richardson, Julius Watkins, and Benny Bailey are among the other musicians offering satisfying improvisations as well. Worthwhile listening, especially for fans of big band jazz. Very good audio and video quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must -Own For Modern Big Band Fans, January 28, 2009
By 
Rob Keil (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
This is apparently the only known footage of Quincy Jones' legendary big band of 1960. The music is stellar, absolutely top-notch stuff. Innovative and beautiful arrangements, great solos. If you love big band music, get this. Anybody who doubts that this band was as good as (or better) than Basie's band of the time needs to see this. You will rarely if ever find a better band with better material than this one. I only wish more people knew Quincy Jones for his genius as an arranger and bandleader.

The quality of the recording itself is quite good. The first half looks like a filmed studio date with no audience, shot with 3 cameras on (maybe) 16mm black and white film. The picture quality I give an A, sound quality a B. The second half is a live concert situation, probably also shot with 3 cameras, 16mm black and white film. The picture quality of this second half gets a B and the sound quality an A.

It is really rare to see a band of this quality presented so well on DVD. A real treasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME', July 12, 2007
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This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
FINALLY I GET TO SEE WHAT I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO FOR OVER 40'S YEAR'S. WHAT A BIG BAND! PHIL WOODS,
BENNY BAILEY,JEROME RICHARDSON,SAHIB SHIHAB,JIMMY CLEAVELAND 18 MUSICIAN'S OR MORE.
THE PLAYING IS JUST AS GOOD AS THE RECORD'S. 17 TUNES;"STOCKHOLM SWEETNIN',"MOANIN",
"WALKIN","BIRTH OF A BAND","I REMEMBER CLIFFORD" ETC. 80 MINUTES OF GREAT JAZZ. A MUST!!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quincy is the man !!, January 8, 2007
By 
Philip Brice (Boynton Beach, Florida, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
I received this DVD as a gift and it is fantastic.You do not get music and professionalism like this today. What a wonderful series. I will order some of the others.

Hats off to Jazz Icons for doing these discs.

You will enjoy this DVD.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars quincy jones- live in 60 (jazz icons), January 5, 2007
This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
I've enjoyed the album of this group for 40 years. To see it on dvd is incredible and totally "cooking".
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quincy Jones Live in '60, January 29, 2007
This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
What a great band Quincy put together. Of all the bands of that era that was one of the best.

Ron Chambers
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality of DVD, January 9, 2007
By 
This review is from: Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) (DVD)
Two of the three videos are of excellent quality, but one looks to be a kinescope copy, and the video is blurry and very contrasty. In all three, the audio quality is good, however.
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Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons)
Quincy Jones - Live in '60 (Jazz Icons) by Quincy Jones (DVD - 2006)
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