THE REVIEW: Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nostra

Quincy Jones has really done it this time! Soul Bossa Nostra links the old school with the new in a seamless collage of today’s pop, R&B, and hip hop artists harmonizing over his timeless hits. This artistry is truly a master-piece, offering a little bit of something for everyone and featuring such artists as Usher, Ludacris, Akon, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, and T-Pain just to name a few.

The album includes Quincy’s unforgettable hits “Strawberry Letter 23,” originally performed by The Brothers Johnson in 1977 and flawlessly rendered with Akons’ unique vocals, “Give me the Night,” originally performed by George Benson in 1980 and equally mastered here with David Banner and Jamie Foxx’ rendition, and Tevin Campbell’s everlasting “Tomorrow” performed by John legend, just to name a few.

Akon was apparently in accord with the Bossa Nostra saying, “Quincy Jones is a musical legend and an incredible mentor. Just being around him and watching him work over the years has taught me how to develop as an artist and grow as a producer. When Quincy called and told me about this album, I said you have to let me do “Strawberry Letter 23″ and the funny thing is that’s the song he was thinking about already. We brought a new modern feel to this classic and I think everyone’s going to really enjoy it.”

If you’re wondering why you feel that homely, soulful feeling while you peruse the records, it’s likely because you grew up with a great deal of these songs when you were younger; the timeless essence of each rhapsody penetrates the ages.

My personal favorite is “Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me.” This is of course an electrifying record. Relive those titillating guitar strums, that funky bass, and the incredibly creative and melodic keys by Cuban jazz sensation Alfredo Rodríguez as Mary sings her heart out and Q-tip adds his two cents. This is a seven-minute track, savored right down to the last dripping riff and chord.

According to the Bossa Nostra himself, he was “honored that everyone wanted to be a part of this celebration of these songs. They all made them their own, and knocked them out of the park.” He continues, saying, “Each of these songs had incredible artists and unique stories from when we originally recorded them. I think that these new interpretations will not only introduce these songs to a whole new generation of music fans, but inspire them to seek out the original recordings and show that these songs really stand the test of time…that’s the ultimate mark of a great tune,” as taken from his official website:

This album is chock full of amazing artists and amazing remakes of classics. These artists really held their own. This is an album you sit down and listen to; feel smooth jazzy tones and seamless harmony, while getting a history lesson at the same time. Don’t sleep!

BUY: Q – Soul Bossa Nostra – Quincy Jones


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