36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Diverse, Jazzy, Funky and Soulful,
By A Customer
This review is from: Back on the Block (Audio CD)
Diverse, Jazzy, Funky and Soulful
I bought this album over 10 years ago and it still sounds as brilliant and in vogue today as it did then. I would even call it one of the best R'n'B albums of all time taking into account I am a big Stevie Wonder fan who unfortunately did not guest on this particular album. Quincy Jones a man who lives and breathes music, producing, arranging and sometimes composing for such greats as Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, George Benson, Michael Jackson .......... not to mention classic soundtracks to films such as The Italian Job and In the Heat of the Night. Back on the Block is one his best 'solo' albums.
From the opening prologue where even Quincy Jones adds his own rap seguing into the title track to a variety of rappers Ice T, Melle Mel, Big Daddy Kane, Kool Me Dee not forgetting little 12 year old Tevin Campbell on lead vocal (check out his superb I'm Ready solo album). Even if you are not into rap, the excitment and the groove, plus the wicked inclusion of the opening siren bars of Quincy's own TV Theme tune Ironside, are enough to guarantee you won't keep still!
ll' be good to You (a classic Brothers Johnson Tune, also produced by Quincy Jones) is given soaring vocals by Ray Charles and Chaka Khan.
If that doesn't do it for you then Wee B.doinit is an absolute masterpiece of accapella singing with samples of head scratching, chest beating, tongue clucking layered to the vocal percussive skills of Bobby McFerrin with Take 6, Seidah Garrett, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, you will want to play it again and again.
The Places You Find Love is a lovely African flavoured ballad with Gospel vocals featuring the Andrae Crouch Singers.
Jazz corner of the World is an introduction to the next track Birdland, where guest rappers become master of ceremonies to the musicians about to play on the Weather Report's jazzy Chalie Parker tribute Birdland, with George Benson, Dizzy Gilespie, Miles Davis, James Moody, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. With so much talent on one track it will take your breath away. It is equal if not better than the original.
Septembro (Brazilian Wedding song) also an instrumental, slows things down nicely, just pleasant scatting from Take 6 and Sarah Vaughan with George Benson and Herbie Hancock amongst others supplying laid back solos, absolutely loverly.
One Man Woman is next, which along with the earliar I Don't go for That seem to me to be the weaker tracks.
Tomorrow (Better you. Better Me) another Brothers Johnson tune, a pretty one at that, is given lyrics by Seidah Garrett and sung with optimistism and perfection by Tevin Campbell and school choir for a better future.
The Secret Garden penned by Quincy, Rod Temperton (one time member of Heatwave, remember Always and Forever plus Off the Wall for Michael Jackson), Seidah Garrett and El DeBarge. The latter together with Big Bazza White, James Ingram (Yah Mo Be There) and Al B Sure close the album with a gorgeous love song. I may have gone on too long but this album crosses over so many musical styles, soul, RnB, rap, jazz, funk, African, pop, bebop, accapella.......Phew!
Just buy this album!