The multi-talented Quincy Jones has excelled at idiomatic combinations in his albums since the '60s, when his mix-and-match soundtracks for television and films alerted everyone that he'd switched from a pure jazz mode to a populist trend. Q's Jook Joint blends the latest in hip-hop-flavored productions with sleek urban ballads, vintage standards, and derivative pieces; everything's superbly crafted, though few songs are as exciting in their performance or daring in their conception as past Jones epics like Gula Matari or the score from Roots. Still, you can't fault Jones for his choice of musical collaborators: everyone from newcomer Tamia to longtime stars like Ray Charles, rappers, instrumentalists, male and female vocalists, percussionists, and toasters. The CD really conveys the seamless quality one gets from attending a juke joint, though it lacks the dirt-floor grit or blues fervor of traditional Southern and chitlin circuit hangouts. But no one's more knowledgeable about the spectrum of African-American music, nor better able to communicate it via disc, than Quincy Jones.
Q's Jook Joint Review
by Ron Wynn