Universal Japan has a decent claim on the title of this collection. That's not because it is TRULY the very best of Quincy Jones, but it does represent a number of his periods with some of their labels. The producers of this set assembled 17 cuts, taken from eight absolutely KILLER albums: Plays Hip Hits (1962), The Quintessence (1961), The Dude (1980), Walking in Space (1969), Body Heat (1974), Smackwater Jack (1971), Sounds...and Stuff Like That!! (1978), and Big Band Bossa Nova (1962). Sure, tracks from killer albums like Mellow Madness and Ndeda as well as all of his soundtrack work are missing, but then, this was set up for a groove listen -- and since the tracks are arranged aesthetically rather than chronologically, it's easy to see why. Jones has already had the box set treatment, but a solid double or triple of his work in the '60s and '70s would be very welcome. In the meantime, this cool little disc will have to do. Some of the amazing tracks to be found here are the theme from the TV show Ironside, the often sampled "Soul Bossa Nova," Benny Golson's classic "Killer Joe," "Ai No Corrida" (written by Chas Jankel of Ian Dury & the Blockheads fame), "Hikky Burr" (composed with Bill Cosby), and the title track to Body Heat, just to name a few. This will be a bit expensive, but it's as solid a single-disc comp as there is out there.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek