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The Quintessence by Quincy Jones
Released: Jan 1961
This sublime combination of hard bop and big band swing lives up to its title, and may be the best album of Q's distinguished career. Alto saxophonist Phil Woods really stands out in a jazz super-group that includes Oliver Nelson, Clark Terry, Freddie Hubbard, and Milt Hinton. It doesn't get any better than this classic platter.
Nick Dedina

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