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quincy jones

Quincy Jones

b. Quincy Delight Jones Jnr., 14th March 1933, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Quincy Jones was born in Chicago in 1933.

Sarah Frances

mother: sarah frances

Quincy Jones Snr

father: quincy delight jones, sr. with baby quincy

His parents were Sarah Frances (attended the University of Boston and suffered from schizophrenia, relocating to a mental hospital when Quincy was 7 years old) and Quincy Delight Jones, Sr., (his father was a semi-professional baseball player and skilled carpenter).

He had a younger brother called Lloyd, whom Quincy was very protective of.

Quincy began playing trumpet as a child and studied at the Raymond Elementary School in Chicago and, later at the Berklee College Of Music (where he studied for a year).

In 1943, the remaining family relocated to West Seattle.

In 1950 he met Ray Charles who inspired him to take up music arranging after Ray wrote songs for a vocal group Quincy was working with.

In 1951, he won a scholarship to the Schillinger House in Boston, Massachussets, however he chose to join Lionel Hampton that year and visited Europe in a group which included Clifford Brown, Art Farmer, Gigi Gryce and Alan Dawson.

And His SwedishHow I Feel About Jazz

and his swedish - american all stars - 1953 / this is how i feel about jazz - 1957

Leaving Hampton in 1953, Quincy wrote arrangements for many musicians, including some of his former colleagues and Ray Anthony, Count Basie (who became his mentor) and Tommy Dorsey.

In 1956, Quincy toured as a trumpeter and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie Band.

Following the tour he signed with ABC Records and commenced his recording career as the leader of his own band.

Go West ManThe Birth Of A Band

go west man - 1957 / the birth of a band - 1959

Quincy relocated to Paris in 1957, to work as a staff arranger for the Disques Barclay label, and studied composition during his time off, and performing at the Paris Olympia.

Following a period touring in Europe, Quincy returned to the States due to lack of finances, and Irving Green, head of Mercury Records, supported him financially (to the tune of $80,000), and employed Quincy as the musical director of the company's New York division.

Later in the 50's and into the 60's he worked with several singers, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Brook Benton, Dinah Washington (an association that included the 1956 album The Swingin' Miss' D), Johnny Mathis and Ray Charles (whom he had known since an early age).

He continued to compose and arrange albums for Basie, 'One More Time' (1958-59) and 'Lil' Ol' Groovemaker...Basie' (1963).

One of his songs, "Soul Bossa Nova", was released in 1962 as a track on the album Big Band Bossa Nova, the song becoming hugely popular and a very recognised 'Quincy Jones' tune from that era.

In 1964 he helped discover the singer Lesley Gore, and produced some of her biggest hits, including 'It's My Party' (number one in the U.S.A.)

In 1964, Quincy was promoted to vice-president of Mercury, thus becoming the first African American to hold such a position.

By this time, he was fast becoming a major force in American popular music.

In addition to playing music, he was busy writing and arranging, and was increasingly active as a record producer.

In The Heat Of The NightThey Call Me Mr Tibbs

in the heat of the night - 1967 / they call me mr. tibbs - 1970

In the late 60's and 70's he composed scores for around 40 feature films and hundreds of television shows, including 'The Pawnbroker' (in 1965), 'In Cold Blood' (in 1967), 'The Italian Job' and 'In The Heat Of The Night' (in 1967).

Other credits for television programmes include 'The Bill Cosby Show', 'NBC Mystery Series', 'The Jesse Jackson Series', 'In The House' and 'Mad TV'.

He continued to produce records featuring his own music played by specially assembled orchestras.

As a record producer Quincy had originally worked for Mercury's Paris-based subsidiary Barclay, but later became the first black vice-president of the company's New York division.

Smackwater JackNdeda

smackwater jack - 1971 / ndeda - 1972

As a recording artist he signed to A & M Records in 1971 (where he remained for 12 years) where his albums including 'Smackwater Jack' (in 1971) and 'Body Heat' (in 1974), including 'if I Ever Lose This Heaven' (which featured Minnie Riperton), before he nearly died of an aneurysm in 1975.

Quincy endured two critical operations where his odds of survival were weighed at four to one against at one point.

Come Back Charleston BlueYou've Got It Bad Girl

come back charleston blue - 1972 / you've got it bad girl - 1973

Body HeatMellow  Madness

body heat - 1974 / mellow madness - 1975

Further A & M albums included 'Mellow Madness' (in 1975), (featuring The Brothers Johnson), 'I Heard That' (in 1976, including 'There's A Train Leavin'), and 'The Dude' (in 1981, including 'Ai No Corrida' (U.K. Top 20), 'Just Once' featuring James Ingram (U.K. Top 20), 'Betcha Wouldn't Hurt Me', 'Velas' and 'Razzamatazz' featuring Patti Austin (U.K. Top 75).

I Heard ThatRoots

i heard that - 1976 / roots - 1977

Other solo recordings included 'Walking in Space', 'Gula Matari', 'Ndeda', 'You've Got It Bad, Girl', and 'Mellow Madness'.

Quincy worked with Donny Hathaway on a soundtrack album entitled 'Come Back Charleston Blue', and co-wrote 'The New Killer Joe' with Benny Golson.

The WizThe Color Purple

the wiz - 1978 / the color purple - 1985

He also adapted Broadway's musical The Wiz (loosely based around the Judy Garland movie 'The Wizard Of Oz') for the big screen, winning himself an Oscar nomination in the process in 1978.

Sounds...The Dude

sounds... and stuff like that - 1978 / the dude - 1981

In addition, 1978's, 'Sounds And Stuff Like That' set a template for several solo albums which followed, where Quincy assembled many of the premier Soul and Jazz artists of that period recording old and new songs featuring his lush production work.

The title song of the album became a night club favourite at the time, featuring the vocals of Chaka Khan, whilst other tracks on the album featured the vocal talents of Luther Vandross and Patti Austin ('I'm Gonna Miss You In The Morning'), along with many other famous performers.

In the 70's and 80's, in addition to many film soundtracks, he produced successful albums for Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Michael Jackson, the Brothers Johnson and other popular artists.

It was at the start of the Eighties, Quincy launched his own Qwest label in Los Angeles, where he signed various artists including James Ingram ('It's Your Night'), Patti Austin ('Every Home Should Have One', amongst others), Deco ('Fresh Idea'. An album which was released and then promptly withdrawn.The album contained the song 'Delicious'.) and The Winans ('Decisions').

With George Benson, Quincy produced 'Give Me The Night' in 1980, a collaboration which saw him working with ex Heatwave performer and songwriter Rod Temperton, a collaboration which was to be repeated several times over (Bob James, Brothers Johnson, Patti Austin etc.), most notably with the two Michael Jackson albums 'Off The Wall' and 'Thriller'.

With Michael Jackson

'Off The Wall' sold 20 million copies and made Quincy the most influential record producer at the time, whilst their next collaboration 'Thriller' sold 104 million copies and became the biggest selling album of all time.

He was also producer of the 1985 number 1 charity single 'We Are The World' (aiding the victims of the famine in Ethiopia at the time), and also penned the music for the Steven Spielberg film adaptation of 'The Color Purple' (featuring Oprah Winfrey).

Quincy was later involved in film and television production work, (including a young Will Smith), 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'

Back On The BlockQ's Jook Joint

back on the block - 1989 / q's jook joint - 1995

He then released a further solo album, entitled 'Back On The Block' in 1989, which included the songs 'I'll Be Good To You', 'Septembro' (with Take 6), 'The Secret Garden' (featuring Barry White) and 'Tomorrow'.

A major film documentary, 'Listen Up, The Lives Of Quincy Jones', was released in 1990, and five years later Quincy received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

'Qs Jook Joint', a celebration of his 50 years in the music business with re-recordings of selections from his own back catalogue, was released in 1995.

The album reached the top of the Billboard jazz album chart and remained there for over four months.

Quincy Jones

In 2001, he published his autobiography 'Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones'.Quincy Jones is one of the founders of the Institute for Black American Music (IBAM) whose events aim to raise funds for the creation of a national library of African-American art and music.

On the 15th of December 2008, Quincy Jones was inducted in the California Hall of Fame at the California Museum in Sacramento, California.

He has rightly received numerous other awards, with his contribution to Soul and Jazz music being incalculable.

Quincy Delight Jones

Real Player


Quincy Jones With The Swedish / U. S. All Stars (Prestige Records 1953)

This Is How I Feel About Jazz (ABC-Paramount Records 1957)

Go West Man (ABC-Paramount Records 1957)

The Birth Of A Band (Mercury Records 1959)

The Great Wide World Of Quincy Jones (Mercury Records 1960)

Quincy Jones At Newport '61 (Mercury Records 1961)

I Dig Dancers (Mercury Records 1961)

Around The World (Mercury Records 1961)

The Quintessence (Impulse Records 1961)

Big Band Bossa Nova (Mercury Records 1962)

Quincy Jones Plays Hip Hits (Mercury Records 1963)

The Boy In The Tree (Mercury Records 1963)

Quincy's Got A Brand New Bag (Mercury Records 1964)

Quincy Jones Explores The Music Of Henry Mancini (Mercury Records 1964)

Golden Boy (Mercury Records 1964)

The Pawnbroker (Mercury Records 1964)

Quincy Plays For Pussycats (Mercury Records 1965)

Walk Don't Run (Mainstream Records 1966)

The Slender Thread (Mercury Records 1966)

The Deadly Affair (Verve Records 1967)

Enter Laughing (Liberty Records 1967)

In The Heat Of The Night film soundtrack (United Artists Records 1967)

In Cold Blood film soundtrack (Colgems Records 1967)

Banning (ABC Records 1968)

For The Love Of Ivy (ABC Records 1968)

The Split (ABC Records 1968)

Jigsaw (ABC Records 1968)

A Dandy In Aspic (ABC Records 1968)

The Hell With Heroes (ABC Records 1968)

MacKennas Gold (RCA Records 1969)

The Italian Job film soundtrack (Paramount Records 1969)

The Lost Man (Bell Records 1969)

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Bell Records 1969)

John And Mary (A&M Records 1969)

Walking In Space (A&M Records 1969)

Gula Matan (A&M Records 1970)

The Out Of Towners (United Artists Records 1970)

Cactus Flower (Bell Records 1970)

The Last Of The Hot Shots (Bell Records 1970)

Sheila (Bell Records 1970)

They Call Me Mr Tibbs (United Artists Records 1970)

Smackwater Jack (A&M Records 1971)

The Anderson Tapes (A&M Records 1971)

Dollars (A&M Records 1971)

Man And Boy (A&M Records 1971)

The Hot Rock (Prophesy Records 1972)

Ndeda (Mercury Records 1972)

The New Centurians (Mercury Records 1972)

Come Back Charleston Blue (Atco Records 1972)

You've Got It Bad Girl (A&M Records 1973)

Body Heat (A&M Records 1974)

This Is How I Feel About Jazz (Impulse Records 1974)

Mellow Madness (A&M Records 1975)

I Heard That! (A&M Records 1976)

Roots (A&M Records 1977)

Sounds And Stuff Like That (A&M Records 1978)

The Wiz (MCA Records 1978)

The Dude (A&M Records 1981)

The Color Purple film soundtrack (Qwest Records 1985)

Back On The Block (Qwest Records 1989)

Listen Up, The Lives Of Quincy Jones (Qwest Records 1990)

with Miles Davis Live At Montreux recorded 1991 (Reprise Records 1993)

Q's Jook Joint (Qwest Records 1995)

Basie and Beyond (Warner Records 2000)

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