Soul Bossa Nostra
Quincy Jones is a name lost on much of the college-aged population. It’s an irony considering his considerable influence on many of today’s most popular music acts. Those he influenced have not forgotten, however, and joined with the 77-year-old composer and musician to create a tribute album to his work.
“Q: Soul Bossa Nostra” (a reference to Jones’ 1962 album “Soul Bossa Nova”) features popular modern artists performing classic Jones tracks with a more modern feel.
The first single is a remake of Jones’ “Strawberry Letter 23” performed by R&B star Akon. Although the instrumentation for the track is largely new, featuring an updated programmed drum beat and other modern programming tricks, Jones is still present playing the piano. Jones contributes to every track on the record. The song features a bass line that underhandedly hails to the song’s origins.
The remakes differ in their degrees of divergence from the original tracks. “Betcha Wouldn’t Hurt Me” featuring Mary J. Blige and “You Put a Move on My Heart” featuring Jennifer Hudson don’t strive too far from the rudiments that Jones built his career on. The covers aren’t the same as the songs they’re based on, but they aren’t exactly updated.
The most fun songs on the album are those that are total overhauls of the originals. Listening to Ludacris handle “Soul Bossa Nostra” and Snoop Dogg take on “Get The Funk Out Of My Face” make the listener smile. The album appropriately peaks on its last track, a multi-rapper interpretation of the “Sanford and Sons” theme song. T.I., B.o.B and others turn the previously instrumental television theme into a hip-hop party.
The hip-hop adaptations make for the best listens, but some of the less remixed tracks on the album are less interesting in comparison to Jones’ original works. Either way, if attaching a modern star’s name to the song gets Jones’ name out there, it can’t be that bad of an idea.