Quincy Jones: Rack 'Em Up


Rack 'Em Up


Quincy Jones (arranger, conductor, composer)


The Pawnbroker/A Deadly Affair (Polygram 531233)

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Quincy Jones (arranger, conductor, composer), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Tommy Williams (bass), Elvin Jones (drums), Bobby Scott (piano), Don Elliott (vibraphone), Marc Allen (vocals), Ed Shaughnessy (percussion).

Composed by Quincy Jones


Recorded: New York, February 20, 1965


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

The speedy "Rack 'em Up" energizes its way through a maze of electric jazz guitar, predominant piano overdubs (panned heavily to emphasize the stereo recording technique), and abstract percussion that accents this rather brief and very repetitive track. Interestingly, percussion elements include scatted vocals, and they do not detract from the palette. However, the question is one of how many times you will return to this track, and the answer is that, since a single chord form is repeated constantly and the content is limited to it and some very understated guitar soloing that ends too quickly, probably not very many. However, it is easy to understand how this music would work in the film The Pawnbroker, and its vocal approach does contain some of the 60s kitsch factor found in many of the era's novelty tunes. There isn't much here, in terms of content, but what has been captured is at least enjoyable enough to be experienced once and then shelved, as its function is limited in today's music buying marketplace. Approach-wise, it can be considered "jazz," but it sounds like a curio from an era to which the film it represents is forever linked.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary

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