I’ve taken on the task of cataloging an entire record collection for a guy I met at the gym. He’s usually coming into the pool as I’m leaving and at some point or other (probably in the shower) we got to talking about records and he mentioned his collection and before you know it, I have about 170 records stuffed into enormous Tupperware bins stashed in the back of my car. You know how it goes…
Anyone, while I work through this stack of dusty vinyl I’m taking the opportunity to listen to a few – I mean, I may as well right? – beginning with this ‘I Heard That!!‘ album by Quincy Jones.
This 1976 two-LP set was supposed to contain a monumental suite tracing the evolution of black music but since Jones needed more time to work on it (it has yet to emerge!), he put out this stopgap set. One LP contains new material, the other is a retrospective of his previous A&M albums.
The first LP is dominated by the generic soul vocals of a Quincy Jones-sponsored creation known as the Wattsline, which is largely saddled with routine soul material after a brief, promisingly funky start (‘I Heard That!!‘). Of the instrumentals, ‘Midnight Soul Patrol‘ doesn’t quite make it despite the presence of heavyweight funksters like George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham and Alphonso Johnson, but ‘Brown Soft Shoe’ again has Toots Thielemans delivering some classy cameo harmonica. The “greatest hits” disc astutely pulls eight key tracks from all six of Q’s earlier A&Ms (though ‘Gula Matari‘ and ‘Walking in Space‘ are heavily edited) – and frankly, they blow his 1976 music away.
It’s an interesting listen anyway, and this will likely be what I hear in my head every time I bump into the guy in the shower now.
Nope, nothing weird about that.