"After owning this on vinyl for almost 30 years, I finally got it on CD. The record still played well but it was beginning to show its age. Then there's the fact that they no longer make cars with tape players, apparently, and I need something to play in the new car I'm getting next month.
But most of all, I'm just bored beyond endurance with the majority of music coming out these days and have decided to spend my money going into the archives and revamping my record collection.
I am completely unabashed about my adoration for Quincy Jones. To me he is literally the best producer, conductor and arranger of my generation and I very much doubt I'll see anything to equal him in my lifetime. From the various magazine interviews and TV appearances of him I've seen, he seems like a pretty cool dude too.
This is the album that introduced to Q. I was 15 going on 16 and up until that point, the pinnacle of my musical pleasures had been provided by disco queens and old-school reggae dons. I mention no names. And then one day, my mother sent me out for some milk and I stopped by the house of this older guy I was friends with at the time. He told me he'd just bought a new album and asked me if I wanted to hear something special. I said sure, he put the record on and time just seemd to stand still. I stood there, transfixed, eyes wide open and mouth agape. And this was just to the first strains of the first song on the album, the title track, "Stuff Like That."
I literally didn't move a muscle until my friend had played the entire first side of the album and the first two songs of the second side. I was entranced. I had never heard anything like it. The clarity of the music (My friend had a pretty decent sound system. Sure it was 1978 but still), the lush orchestration that while complex was never overbearing, the solos...
And then there were the voices... boy, what that man can do with voices.
I came to, and left to run my errand. I got a sound clip around the ear for being late with the milk. Happy days. I vowed I was going to get a copy of the album for myself and vowed I was going to get a stereo system like my friend's. It was a year before I succeeded with the former and another nine before I managed the latter but there can be no doubt: It was Quincy Jones who set me on the path to the appreciation of quality music. That same year, Q produced The Brothers Johnson's "Blam!" and the soundtrack to "The Wiz", which is how he got to meet Michael Jackson. The following year he produced Jackson's "Off The Wall". The rest, as the say, is history.
It was on this album that Q introduced us to Bruce Swedien (even his name sounds efficient somehow) and his "Acousonic Recording Process". There's a detailed explanation of how the process works on the album/CD inner sleeve and whatever it is they do, it seems to work. Few producers have been able to match the quality of the sound produced by the collaboration of Jones and Swedien. It's my bet that few ever will.
The album is a veritable array of stars, both established and emerging (at the time):
"Stuff Like That", a funky tune featuring Valerie Simpson and the legendary Chaka Khan on vocals. Sax solo by George Young.
"I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning", a ballad featuring Patti Austin and the late Luther Vandross on vocals (and this was some years before he went on to become the megastar that he did). Lyricon solo by Tom Scott.
"Love, I Never Had It So Good", a stomping choral piece with Patti Austin and Charles May on lead vocals. Electric sax solo by Michael Brecker, Fender Bass solo by Anthony Jackson.
"Tell Me A Bedtime Story", probably the first ever jazz tune that made me sit up and pay attention. Herbie Hancock lays down electric piano improvisations and Harry Lookofsky records his violin over the track, copying Hancock note for note. He doesn't do it just once though. He does it several times, over and over, and the end result sounds like an entire string section. But it was just one man! Flute solo by Hubert Laws.
"Love Me By Name", intense ballad sung by Patti Austin. Keyboards by Herbie Hancock, Guitar by the late Eric Gale.
"Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)", another, more mid-tempo ballad sung by Patti Austin. Flute solos by Hubert Laws, Electric piano solo by Herbie Hancock, Lyricon solo by Tom Scott.
"Takin' It To The Streets", brings the album to a close with a gospel-influenced stomper. Luther Vandross and Gwen Guthrie, both of who have since passed away, sadly, provide vocals. Tenor sax solo by Michael Brecker.
There are no extras on the CD, no gimmicky remixes or video clips and that suits me just fine. There are just seven pieces of good quality music. Best money I've spent all month.
Still the "jam" after 23 YEARS!
Reginald D. Garrard | Camilla, GA USA | 03/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although many of "Q's" later releases may have been commercially and critically more successful, "Sounds...and Stuff Like That" still stands out as one of the artist's most consistently satisfying recordings. This one gets started with the Jones' classic "Stuff Like That," followed by the touching "I'm Gonna Miss You in the Morning." The remake of Stevie Wonder's "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Need You)" is only matched by the cover of The Doobies' "Takin' It to the Streets." Both are excellent executed with superb arranging and masterful work from the musicians, vocalists and instrumentalists.The best cut still remains the jazz-influenced "Tell Me a Bedtime Story." This one cut majestically soars into the stratosphere as a prime example of Jones at his best."
Smooth jazz...and stuff like that to make you feel good.
Reginald D. Garrard | 05/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Some of America's best music came from the pre-Qwest pre-Thriller Jones camp, circa 1972-82--this time span included "Body Heat", the rare "Mellow Madness", and the supercharged popjazz fest "The Dude". "Sounds and..." boasts stellar vocal performances by Chaka Khan, Val Simpson, Kick-Ashford, Vandross, and everyone's favorite jazz vocalist Patti Austin--check out her vocals on Leslie "It's My Party" Gore's (who was, by the way, one of Q's 60's production) "Love Me By Name"! Wow! Horns and flutes are by Tom Scott, Michael Brecker and Hubert Laws! Man-o-man! Herbie Hancock and Richard Tee do the keyboards--listen to that Hancock composition "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" as rendered through jazz violins! There's nothing on earth like it. Put in a rhythm section composed of studio greats Eric Gale, Wah Wah Watson, T. Walker, the great Steve Gadd on drums and you have one excellent album--so good, in fact, that you'll end up thanking whoever came up with CDs and digital technology. Kudos to MJJ's partner in high crime, Bruce Swedien, for his work on the then revolutionary Acousonic technique. Like in the title track, when Val and Chaka sings "I knew I was captured by the rhythm of the magic flute..", I can truly identify. I think that the Amazon.com shopper will too, when you get this CD. It'll make you feel good."
Quincy, I Never Had it So Damn Good!
Winslow | 01/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just listen to the piece, ''Love, I Never Had It So Good'' and tell me that this doesn't move you. This is the most creative piece of work I have ever listened to. I had an employee of a vinyl record store play this album and even he was moved by that song. Luther Vandross sounds so young on ''Sounds...." he really does sounds a bit different than on his later recordings. Vandross comes across as fresh and more soulful back then than he ever did in his 80's recordings. ''Love Me By Name" is just wonderful and I dig the black choir that comes in to accompany Patti Austin. I have heard other Jones' production but this one takes the cake. It is the best one I have heard. ''Tell Me a Bedtime Story''moves the hell out of me. I am not jiving yall. Please buy this record!! You can't go wrong with Chaka Khan, Ashford and Simpson, Luther Vandross, Herbie Hancock, Patti Austin, and Gwen Gutherie coming together to make a really prolific album."
Quincy Jones' Masterpiece
Andre Heeger | Germany | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sounds... and Stuff Like That, to me is Quincy Jones' most varied album. Yet at the same time it hits you like a square brick. It's extremely well constructed, yet flows freely like the waves. The year is 78 and Quincy has not yet started working with Michael Jackson, and Rod Temperton is still doing keys with Heatwave (you should get that one too!!). Maybe therefore his music here is less predictable as it would sometimes become in later years. Just a few names of the great artists working together here: Ashford and Simpson, Patty Austin, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Ralph McDonald, Herbie Hancock, Eric Gale, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Richard Tee, Anthony Jackson, David T. Walker, Wah Wah Watson. As I said before, this is all about variation. Stuff Like That, the funky opener, is an instant hit. The fun they had doing this jumps off the disc. Great rythm and vocals (Chaka, Valerie and Nick). Patti Austin and Luther Vandross do a fabulous duet in I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning. Love, I Never Had It So Good flows like the waves coming onto the shore with Tell Me A Bedtime Story softly preparing you for what I think is the best song of the album: Love Me By Name. An incredible ballad sung into the heavens by Patti Austin. Once you've listened to this, I swear, you'll never forget it. Superwoman is a beautiful version of Stevie Wonder's Song; the stomping Takin' It To The Streets a well done cover of The Doobie Brothers' 'Nuff said: just get it!"