As complete sets of Brahms piano music go, it's hard to get more complete than this set by Martin Jones on Nimbus. Jones includes not only the canonical two Rhapsodies, three Sonatas, four Ballades, six sets of variations, ten Hungarian Dances, sixteen Waltzes and twenty-eight short piano pieces, but also the almost forgotten sarabandes, gigues, gavottes, studies, canons and transcriptions. Listeners looking for the most complete Brahms available need look no further. Listeners who do look no further, however, will have to settle for good but by no means great performances. Jones has a big tone coupled to an impressive technique and many of his performances are quite fine. But too often here he seems to be merely going through the motions, turning in accomplished but unexciting sometimes even dutiful performances. When extroverted virtuosity is called for in the Paganini Variations, Jones is almost but not altogether on top of the notes.
It was during the 1960s that Quincy Jones became a world renowned Jazz musician and composer of film soundtracks, but it was not until about the middle of the decade that success of this nature began to come his way, soon after he had composed the score for Oscar nominated The Pawnbroker. Indeed, during the first few years of the 1960s he lived as a working musician, bandleader and the musical director of Barclay Records - the French imprint of Mercury - but could barely earn enough to pay the bills. This however, did not prevent Quincy from continuing to perform and release music of a quite superlative nature.