Walking In Space
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Everybody knows that Quincy Jones is the world's greatest pop producer, but if you're under 30, you might not know about his jazz work with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, and Frank Sinatra. This brilliant 1969 disc combines the precision music making you'd find on a movie soundtrack with the lively blowing of a soul-jazz jam session. Of course, when Q calls, people come to play, and this date is chock full of stars. On the title track, vocalist Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson) graces Ray Brown's deep-bottomed bass lines with an airy alto, topped by Hubert Laws's fluent flute work and Rahsaan Roland Kirk's multisax solo. Jones's spirited take on the gospel standard "Oh, Happy Day" retains the Sunday soul vibe of Ray Charles, and "Dead End" rolls with an urbanized juke-joint vibe. Jones's arrangement of Benny Golson's "Killer Joe" is a classic, with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's bravura solo lent nuance by Jones's magic touch. --Eugene Holley Jr.
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