Monday, February 23, 2009

Quincy Jones

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. (How dope is that Middle Name?) was born on March 14Th, 1933 also known as Q, is a music conductor, record producer, musical arranger, film composer and trumpeter. During five decades in the entertainment industry, Jones has earned a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991. He is best known as the producer of the album Thriller, by Pop Icon Michael Jackson, which has sold 104 million copies worldwide, and as the producer and conductor of the charity song "We Are the World". He is also well known for his popular 1962 song "Soul Bossa Nova", which originated on the Big Band Bossa Nova album.

Jones was born into an African American family in Chicago, Illinois. He is the eldest son of Sarah Frances, an apartment complex and bank executive who suffered from schizophrenia, and Quincy Delight Jones, Sr., a semi-professional baseball player and carpenter. His mother is a descendant of Mary Belle Lanier, the out-of-wedlock daughter of James Balance Lanier. Jones discovered music in grade school at Raymond Elementary School on Chicago's South Side and took up the trumpet. When he was 10, his family moved to Bremerton, Washington, near Seattle, there he attended Garfield High School.

In 1951, Jones won a scholarship to the Schillinger House in Boston, Massachusetts. However, he abandoned his studies when he received an offer to tour as a trumpeter with the bandleader Lionel Hampton. While Jones was on the road with Hampton, he displayed a gift for arranging songs. Jones relocated to New York Ceity, where he received a number of freelance commissions arranging songs for artists like Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Gene Krupa, and his close friend Ray Charles.

^This Pic is Straight Smoove^
Mr. Quincy Jones

While working on the film 'The Wiz', Michael Jackson asked him to produce his upcoming solo record. The result, Off The Wall has sold a staggering 20 million copies and made Jones the most powerful record producer in the industry. Jones' and Jackson's next collaboration Thriller has sold 104 million copies and became the highest-selling album of all time. Jones also worked on Michael Jackson's third solo album Bad, which has sold 32 million copies. After the Bad album, Jackson and Jones went their separate ways so that Jackson could produce his later solo works by himself.

In a 2002 interview, when Jackson was asked if he would ever work with Jones again he replied, "the door is always open". However, in 2007, when NME.COM asked Jones a similar question, he said "Man please, I've got enough to do. We already did that. I have talked to him about working with him again but I've got too much to do. I've got 900 projects, I'm 74 years old. Give me a break".

Jones first worked with Frank Sinatra when he was invited by Princess Grace to arrange a benefit at the Monaco Sporting Club in 1958. Six years later, Sinatra hired him to arrange and conduct Sinatra's second album with Count Basie, 'It Might as Well Be Swing' (1964). Jones conducted and arranged 1966's live album with the Basie Band, 'Sinatra at the Sands.' Jones was also the arranger/conductor when Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Johnny Carson performed with the Basie orchestra in St. Louis in a benefit for Dismas House in June 1965. The fund-raiser was broadcast to a number of other theaters around the country and eventually released on DVD. Later that year, Jones was also the arranger/conductor when Sinatra and Basie appeared on "The Hollywood Palace" TV show on October 16, 1965. Nineteen years later, Sinatra and Jones teamed up for 1984's L.A. is My Lady, after a joint Sinatra-Lena Horne project was abandoned.

Personal Thoughts:
Threes had never been a time when I was fully aware of who Quincy Jones was till a few years ago when I had developed a more mature ear and understanding for music. But I can Most definitely tell you this. I'm from a generation where If you hear: "Well This is a Story all about How My Life got split turned upside down....." EVERYONE in the room knows what comes next. And one thing I can most definitely remember seeing after the credits to the opening and closing of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' was Quincy Jones' Name. If it weren't for that man who knows what that song would sound like. Lets not forget the TimeLess Records that he produced for Michael Jackson, Basically what I am saying is that the man is a Musical Genius and if we didn't have Quincy Jones we'd have no choice but to invent him.

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