Quincy Jones: This Is How I Feel About Jazz + The Great Wide World Of Quincy Jones

This Is How I Feel About Jazz was Jones' debut as big-band leader and drew on top NYC session men who happened to be stellar soloists

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Both of these albums received a well-deserved five-star rating in Downbeat just after their release. This Is How I Feel About Jazz was Quincy Jones’ first date as a big-band leader and a glance at the personnel reveals that the real heavy-hitters of the New York studio scene – who just happened to be stellar soloists – were on hand to interpret the charts.

Walkin’ had already become a jam-session favourite thanks to the 1954 Miles Davis recording when it was credited to the infamous Richard Carpenter. It was originally titled Gravy by Jimmy Mundy and was introduced on a 1950 Gene Ammons date. It’s notable here for Lucky Thompson, whose mastery of chromaticism adds an elegant gravitas to his five choruses.

Stockholm Sweetnin’, based on You Leave Me Breathless, was premiered on a 1953 Clifford Brown date and Jones has transcribed Brown’s original solo as a personal tribute. Zoot Sims is at his most delicate on a lyrical Evening In Paris then Budd Johnson and Jerome Richardson really let rip on Lester Leaps In. For added interest the leader has transcribed Lester Young’s famous solo for the tenors to play in unison.

Cannonball Adderley’s gospel-styled Sermonette has a suitably two-beat feel, which inspires Art Farmer, Milt Jackson and Gene Quill during some soulful choruses. The amazing Jimmy Cleveland has Caravan all to himself and Julius Watkins makes light of the problems posed by the French horn on Everybody’s Blues. Airmail Special is notable for a stunning saxophone soli along with some fine solos from Porter Kilbert and the young Lee Morgan.

Just as an aside, Les Double Six revisited Stockholm Sweetnin’, Evening In Paris, Boo’s Blues and Walkin’ on their RCA Victor album which featured vocalese lyrics by the hugely talented Mimi Perrin.

Discography
[This Is How I Feel About Jazz] (1) Walkin’; Stockholm Sweetnin’; (2) Evening In Paris; Sermonette; (3) A Sleepin’ Bee; Boo’s Blues; [The Great Wide World Of Quincy Jones] (4) Lester Leaps In; Ghana; Caravan; Everybody’s Blues; Cherokee; Air Mail Special; They Say it’s Wonderful; Chant Of The Weed; I Never Has Seen Snow; Eesom; (5) Air Mail Special (77.21)
(1) Collective personnel: Art Farmer, Bernie Glow, Ernie Royal, Joe Wilder (t); Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, Frank Rehak (tb); Phil Woods (as); Bunny Bardach, Lucky Thompson (ts); Jerome Richardson (ts, f); Jack Nimitz (bar); Hank Jones (p); Paul Chambers (b); Charlie Persip (d); Quincy Jones (arr). NYC, 29 September 1956.
(2) as (1) omit Glow, Royal, Wilder (t); Green, Rehak (tb); Gene Quill (as) replaces Woods; Zoot Sims (ts) replaces Bardach; Herbie Mann (ts, f) replaces Richardson; Charles Mingus (b) replaces Chambers. NYC, 14 September 1956.
(3) as (2) Woods (as) replaces Quill; Billy Taylor (p) replaces Jones. NYC, 19 September 1956.
(4) Collective personnel: Royal, Jimmy Maxwell, Farmer, Lee Morgan, Nick Travis, Lennie Johnson (t); Cleveland, Rehak, Green, Billy Byers (tb); Julius Watkins (frh); Woods, Porter Kilbert (as); Jerome Richardson (ts, f, picc); Budd Johnson (ts); Sahib Shihab (bar); Patti Brown (p); Les Spann (elg, f); Buddy Catlett (b); Don Lamond (d); Bill Potts, Al Cohn, Ralph Burns, Ernie Wilkins (arr). NYC, 4 & 9 November 1959.
(5) Benny Bailey, Freddie Hubbard, Rolf Ericson, Paul Cohen (t); Curtis Fuller, Melba Liston, Ake Persson (tb); Julius Watkins (frh); Woods, Joe Lopes (as); Eric Dixon, Budd Johnson (ts); Shihab (bar, f); Patti Bown (p); Spann (elg, f); Catlett (b); Stu Martin (d). Zurich, Switzerland, 10 March 1961.
Poll Winners Records PWR 27305