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Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones: His Life in Music

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Quincy Jones
    Book Description:

    Quincy Jones (b. 1933) is one of the most prolific composers, arrangers, bandleaders, producers, and humanitarians in American music history and the recording and film industries. Among pop music fans he is perhaps most famous for producing Michael Jackson's album, Thriller. Clarence Bernard Henry focuses on the life, music, career, and legacy of Jones within the social, cultural, historical, and artistic context of American, African American, popular, and world music traditions.

    Jones's career has spanned over sixty years, generating a substantial body of work with over five hundred compositions and arrangements. The author focuses on this material as well as many of Jones's accomplishments: performing as a young trumpeter in the bands of Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie, becoming the first African American to hold an executive position in the competitive white-owned recording industry, breaking racial barriers as a composer in the Hollywood film and television industries, producing the best-selling album of all time, and receiving numerous Grammy Awards.

    The author also discusses many of Jones's compositions, arrangements, and recordings and his compositional study in France with legendary teacher Nadia Boulanger. In addition, details are provided about Jones's distinct ability as one of the most innovative composers and arrangers who incorporates many different styles of music, techniques, and creative ideas in his compositions, arrangements, and film scores. He collaborated with an array of musicians and groups such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Clifford Brown, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, USA for Africa, and many others. Clarence Bernard Henry shows how Jones has, throughout his career, wholeheartedly embraced philosophies of globalization and cultural diversity in his body of work, collaborations, humanitarian projects, and musical creativity.

    eISBN: 978-1-62103-966-2
    Subjects: History, Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-2)

    This book focuses on the musical experiences and career of Quincy Jones, a musician of legendary status in producing some of the most important recordings in American popular music history. Even now his creativity continues to evolve in different directions. But more than this, Jones epitomizes a positive ideology by overcoming many challenges in his life to achieve the highest status in the entertainment industry.

    For several years I pondered whether I possessed the ability to write a book that focused on Jones’s career. Part of the inspiration that has brought this project to fruition is Jones himself. During the...

    (pp. 3-28)

    For more than six decades Quincy Jones has continually helped shape many styles of American music. To comprehend his global status, one needs only to refer to the popularity of works such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller (1982), the “We Are the World” collaboration (1985), or “Soul Bossa Nova” (1962), a composition later incorporated as the theme song for the movie, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997). With such accomplishments, it seems that Jones’s musical experiences and career warrants a study on many levels. This chapter presents a retrospective of the musical experiences, career, and artistic innovations of Jones and...

    (pp. 29-44)

    Quincy Jones has organized several recording and touring bands in his career, with some of the most talented musicians in jazz history. One of the major challenges in his career was working with the 1959 Free and Easy tour, based on a remake of St. Louis Woman, a Broadway musical with a story centered on African American characters. Jones has often noted that taking on such a project was one of the major mistakes in his career. This chapter examines Quincy Jones’s musical experiences and work as a bandleader with many talented jazz musicians and how Jones transformed the challenging...

    (pp. 45-68)

    Quincy Jones has described the art of composing and arranging as hearing “a tapestry of different colors and textures, and densities.” But he cautions: “arranging is also sweatshop work, a blend of experience, architecture, soul, and science. When one is arranging, that musician is in many ways tearing fears, observations, harmonies, and rhythms down to their essence and building them back up to support and recreate the songs.”¹

    This chapter focuses on his body of work as a composer and arranger and discusses some of his compositions and arrangements in jazz and popular music, as well as some of the...

    (pp. 69-84)

    Quincy Jones’s greatest accomplishments and legacy in popular music continue to be his contributions to the recording industry. This chapter focuses on some of the ways that Quincy Jones has created a world of musical innovations through his many albums and recordings. In the competitive recording industry, Jones has recorded as a composer, arranger, instrumentalist (trumpet, piano), vocalist, rapper, music director, conductor, and producer.

    In his career Jones has generated records, albums, tape cassettes, compact discs, and music videos on many prestigious record labels that are constantly marketed around the world. For example, the album Quincy Jones: Music Is My...

    (pp. 85-108)

    Quincy Jones has often noted his challenges in being accepted as a serious composer and arranger in the film industry. Jones is one of the few African American composers to have succeeded in Hollywood.¹ He possessed talents and fortitude that could not be denied, and this is evident in his many film and television scores. This chapter focuses on Jones’s work as a composer, arranger, music supervisor, and producer in Hollywood and how he paved the way for many contemporary and innovative film composers.

    Quincy Jones was not the first African American film composer;² He has often noted this historical...

  10. FINALE How Does Quincy Jones Keep the Music Playing?
    (pp. 109-112)

    When concluding a book about the life, music, and career of Quincy Jones, one of the most appropriate songs to point out and discuss from his body of work is “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” written by Michel Legrand with lyrical content by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. An arrangement performed by vocalists James Ingram and Patti Austin and was included on Ingram’s album It’s Your Night (Qwest, 1983), produced by Quincy Jones and Johnny Mandel. The song conveys the idea of beautiful music that never ends. The lyrics also provide implications of love and meaningful relationships imagined as...

  11. APPENDIX I Albums, Singles, Film Scores and Soundtracks, and Television Scores
    (pp. 113-124)
  12. APPENDIX II Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition
    (pp. 125-136)
  13. NOTES
    (pp. 137-156)
    (pp. 157-166)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 167-183)