Even if you can’t place his music right away, the name Quincy Jones is one of the most well known in the music industry. His career is of legends and as a celebration of the producer, writer, performer, etc., a 75th Birthday special concert was held at Montreux in 2008. The concert featured such talent as Patti Austin, Petula Clark, Herbie Hancock, Mick Hucknall, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Agenlique Kidjo ,James Moody, Nana Mouskouri, Naturally 7, Paola Nutini, Lee Ritenour, Cursti Stigers, and Toots Thielemans, with many more volunteering their work to just be a part of this exciting tribute to not only Quincy Jones but also to the Montreux Jazz Festival itself.
When an artist of the stature of Quincy Jones celebrates his 75th birthday you can be sure it’s going to be quite a party. The show took place on July 14th 2008 at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival, an event with which Quincy Jones has a long and rich history, and the cream of musical talent turned up to serenade “Q” on this very special occasion. The main concert lasted over two and a half hours and the musicians then spilled out into the bars and cafes of Montreux with the music still going strong as the sun was coming up the next morning!
This massive, near three hour concert, spanned a mixture of thirty-one songs from a whole variety of performers. Considering the vast catalog of music that Jones has produced and composed over the years is so huge, it’s no wonder that it took a gathering of the aforementioned artists to pay it proper tribute—it’s certainly an exciting and highly enjoyable concert, with the artists spanning generations as well as genres. The brilliant thing about the work Jones has done over the years is that you may not have even known you were listening to a song of his at first; while only one of his Michael Jackson composures gets brief exposure here (and I do mean brief), countless of his other works here get their due diligence. The massive song list includes:
00) Introduction by Claude Nobs
01) The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – Herbie Hancock, Patti Austin & Stevie Woods
02) Let The Good Times Roll – Rahsaan Patterson & James Moody
03) Makin’ Whoopee – Patti Austin
04) Moody’s Mood – James Moody & Patti Austin
05) The Television Song – James Moody & John Robinson
06) Honeysuckle Rose – Freda Payne & Joe Sample
07) Shiny Stockings – Freda Payne & Joe Sample
08) I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town / In The Heat Of The Night – Mick Hucknall
09) If I Ever Lose This Heaven – Ledisi
10) Midnight Sun – Al Jarreau & Larry Williams
11) One Mint Julep – Petula Clark
12) Goin’ To Chicago Blues – Petula Clark & Paolo Nutini
13) My Ship / Summertime – Franco Ambrosetti
14) Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – Nana Mouskouri & James Morrison
15) Almost Like Being In Love – Nana Mouskouri & James Morrison
16) Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister) – Chaka Khan, Patti Austin & Greg Phillinganes
17) What’s Going On – Ledisi, James Morrison, Rahsaan Patterson, Tobias Preisig, Patrice Rushen & Toots Thielemans
18) Eyes Of Love (Carol’s Theme) / Bluesette – Toots Thielemans
19) Walking In Space – Chaka Khan & Lee Ritenour
20) Strawberry Letter – Paolo Nutini & Lee Ritenour
22) How Do You Keep The Music Playing – Patti Austin
22) The Dude – Al Jarreau
23) Billie Jean – Naturally 7
24) Wall Of Sound – Naturally 7
25) Mama Aifambeni – Angelique Kidjo
26) State Of Independence – Angelique Kidjo & Larry Williams
27) Everything Must Change – Curtis Stigers
28) Cool Joe, Mean Joe (Killer Joe) – Herbie Hancock
29) Ai No Corrida – Patti Austin, Gabi Goldberg, Dorothea Lorene, Stevie Woods, Kent Stetler & Billy Cobham
30) Stuff Like That – Monty Alexander, Patti Austin, Petula Clark, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo, Beverley Knight, Nils Landgren, Ledisi, James Moody, James Morrison, Nana Mouskouri, Naturally 7, Eahsaan Patterson, Freda Payne, Patrice Rushen, Joe Sample, Curtis Stigers & Larry Williams.
The entire concert is crammed onto a dual layer BD-50 disc that is almost entirely taken up by the concert, shot in beautiful hi-definition. It’s definitely an impressive concert to behold and massive collaborations like these are nothing short of an enormous treat to partake. Regardless if you know his music all that well this concert is Highly Recommended.
Eagle Rock Entertainment brings this concert to Blu-ray in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with a double sided jacket (reverse is a wide shot of those who participated in the concert taken from the end of the concert). Inside is the disc which is plastered with plain red disc art. A hefty booklet, a 49-page effort, is included with pictures from the concert as well as those who helped make it possible. A written intro to the concert itself is given by Jones and the remainder of the booklet is composed of thanks, congratulations, and birthday wishes from the various performers. Definitely a surprising and very cool companion piece to this release.
Video arrives in the form of an AVC encoded 1080i 1.78:1 picture and, as is usually the case with modern concerts released by Eagle Rock, looks fantastic. There is some softness to it, but for the most part the image is crystal clear and brilliant looking. Very little compression is evident and overall this concert just looks spectacular. Audio arrives in LPCM Stereo, DD5.1, and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes and, again, they all have their own positive elements but it’s the DTS-HD mix that takes priority over the others. If you have the setup to decode it and appreciate it properly, definitely go for this mix—the range and spread across the channels is fantastic. If you only have a limited setup then the LPCM mix will suffice with its higher volume level.
There’s only a single extra included, Thank Q (26:32, 1080i), but it’s a fantastic look at everything from the rehearsals, backstage goings-on and pretty much everything that went into making this concert possible.
Overall a solid release and considering it’s priced the same as the two-disc DVD edition, this is one Blu-ray that you don’t have to spend extra on to get the high-definition audio and video. Recommended.
Quincy Jones – The 75th Birthday Celebration is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.