Back in the day Quincy Jones was the man and Bill Cosby, that dude, two good-time guys who brought happy feelings to America’s then-fiery melting pot with The Bill Cosby Show, a pre-Huxtables sitcom that ran from ’69 to ’72. Jones played swinging bandleader to Cosby’s clean comic, assembling Herb Ellis, Joe Sample, Jimmy Smith, Monty Alexander, Ray Brown and other jazz and funk players to score the show. Here’s where the “new” in this release’s title comes in: Quincy handed over the recently “rediscovered” tapes of those sessions to some of today’s funk soul brothers and their electro-hip-pop sistren. But the reinterpretation, though sufficiently modern, makes for a boring listen.
The extraterrestrial Mix Master Mike lends his vinyl-molesting hands to the classic and best-known track of the collection, “Hikky Burr,” but to no avail. The groove is far too chopped up to fly — much less soar — into the far-off realms favored by Beastie Boys resident deejay. Brit Matthew Herbert tried to pick up the pace with a bass-driven otherwordly makeover for one of Q’s unidentified jams by astonishingly channeling both Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” and the Jetsons underrated classic “Eep Op Ork Ah Ah,” all the while failing to cover any new or interesting ground. Mario Caldato Jr. and Said Mrad Ursula 1000, among others, take their stabs at the funny background music for Cosby’s series, churning out what most resembles the score of a hip Sesame Street episode.
Although couturier Sean “P-Diddy” Combs’s claims to inventing the remix are false, his success in that right is undeniable. Despite its esteemed remixers, The New Mixes Vol. 1 fails to channel that herculean Diddy spirit or the selective ears of his skilled ghost producers.