Quincy Jones / Bill Cosby

Original Jam Sessions 1969

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The groove is loose and deep on these studio sessions recorded as backing music for the original Bill Cosby Show sitcom in 1969. Despite the title, Bill Cosby appears on only one track here, the vocal version of "Hikky-Burr," where he improvised his entire part. Quincy Jones directed these sessions with bassist Ray Brown acting as bandleader on all but one cut (the Cosby selection). Other players came from a revolving cast that included Joe Sample on Fender Rhodes; pianists Les McCann, Clare Fischer, and Monty Alexander; drummers Paul Humphries and John Guerin; bassist Carol Kaye; guitarist Arthur Adams; vibists Milt Jackson and Victor Feldman; saxophonists Eddie Harris, Ernie Watts, and Tom Scott; and assorted others. Jimmy Smith makes a brief impromptu appearance playing an organ solo as well. These are, true to title, jam sessions; the feel is everything, and whether it's funky ("Groovy Gravy," "Oh Happy Day,") bluesy hard bop ("Toe Jam"), or down-and-dirty soul-jazz ("Hikky-Burr," "Jive Den"), the intention is the same: to grease up the proceedings for maximum groove quotient. These are not terribly adventurous sessions, and the transferred sound isn't perfect either, since these were rehearsals and never intended for release. But then, they are what they are, relaxed yet lively, full of delight and surprise.

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