Quincy Jones & Bill Cosby

The New Mixes, Vol. 1 (Concord Records)

Aug 11, 2004 at 4:00 am
Earlier this year Concord released The Original Jam Sessions: 1969, a collection of remastered tape transfers bearing painlessly lethal grooves by a handful of the era's finest studio musicians. Quincy Jones produced the original music for Bill Cosby's 1969 television series, The Bill Cosby Show, and the master tapes have finally surfaced from within his vault. Aside from Cosby's puddin' sputter on the down-low strutter "Hikky-Burr," there are no vocals on any of these masterpieces of soulful jazz-funk. This collection should not be overlooked. If you don't think you're familiar with Jones' funk arrangements, check your local listings for the popular '70s television series Sanford & Son. Were it not for the theme song, "Streetbeater," many of your parents would've never mated. Yes, that Quincy Jones.

It was only a matter of time before someone had the idea to tweak and twiddle those old groove sessions, and The New Mixes, Vol.1 is the product of such thinking. The thirteen remixed tracks feature the handiwork of Mix Master Mike, Said Mrad, Mario Caldato Jr. and others, injecting sparkly new blood into some of the plumpest, most round-ass source material ever recorded. It's a winner, folks: pure jam, no jelly.

Of the many highlights on the release, the wiggle of Herbert's "Technically Amateur Mix" may be the most creative, taking the sound of the Fender Rhodes keyboard to a jaunty, carnival-steam-organ place. You may be tempted to dance like a chicken laying a dozen eggs all at once, or you can add your own vocals for extra fun (as in "root, puh-toot, puh-root, puh-toot-toot"). And don't forget to flap your wings.

Cornershop's "Valeurs Personelles" cues up sixth and shifts things into fifth (at first). I immediately donned my house shoes, scooted around the room and yelled at Lamont to bring me my Ripple, but then I almost succumbed to the Big One when a flanged, digital boo-WEEP came thrice from nowhere and crapped all over an otherwise perfect mix. The sexy French gibberish is nice, and the added tabla almost succeeds in resurrecting Curtis Mayfield, but the boo-WEEP -- obviously intended to emphasize three crucial moments in the track -- is far too high in the mix and completely incongruous. This is the one and only flaw in the disc, but at least Cornershop resisted the temptation to chant "fawty-five" over the thing.

Try to lay off the cheap fortified wine for a week. Save the accumulated spare change and buy this. Your friends will wonder when you grew a cool bone and invite you over more often.