July 28, 2021

Quincy Jones, a living legend of the 20th century

Behind Quincy Jones there is much more than the person responsible for having made Michael Jackson a superstar when he consolidated his solo career thanks mainly to the album Thriller. There is a musician, composer, producer, arranger and entrepreneur / businessman who for more than half a century has worked with true stars of music and entertainment such as Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey or Will Smith, in addition to having dealt first-hand with names like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King or Bill Clinton.

Spectacular honors

Quincy Jones has 27 Grammys and an Oscar, and the album he produced, ‘Thriller’, is the best-selling album in history

Now there is finally the opportunity to know all this first hand in Q, autobiography of Quincy Jones, translation that comes from the hand of Libros del Kultrum. A profuse volume where he describes, with an agile and addictive line, that ascent to the top based on perseverance, work and conviction, but also the hardness of his childhood – how he and his brother Lloyd grew up with their paternal grandmother in Lousville and Low lows: They often ate fried rats because there was literally nothing else – and adolescence.

Quincy Jones and Bill Clinton

Office of William Jefferson Clinton

His service record is huge, starting in the haunting streets of the South Side Chicago (where he was born in 1933), gangs, knives and firearms, and in a home broken by his mother’s dangerous insanity. It was when his father – former baseball player Quincy Delight Jones – left his family for work in Seattle that he discovered the trumpet and music literally became his salvation. From that moment on, his biography seems at times incredible: at thirteen he was already making arrangements for the trumpeter Clark Terry and at fifteen he already caught the attention of the pianist Lionel Hampton, with whom he would end up touring shortly after.

Harsh origins

His memories start as a kid raised in Kentucky who ate fried rats

His service record is huge, starting in the haunting streets of the South Side Chicago (where he was born in 1933), gangs, knives and firearms, and in a home broken by his mother’s dangerous insanity. It was when his father – former baseball player Quincy Delight Jones – left his family for work in Seattle that he discovered the trumpet and music literally became his salvation. From that moment on, his biography seems at times incredible: at thirteen he was already making arrangements for the trumpeter Clark Terry and at fifteen he already caught the attention of the pianist Lionel Hampton, with whom he would end up touring shortly after.

Quincy Jones and Sarah Vaughan.  At Quincy Jones in Paris.  July 27, 1958.

Quincy Jones and Sarah Vaughan in Paris in July 1958

Distrijazz

After his time as a musician, it was as an arranger and producer that he came into professional and personal contact with Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie or Count Basie. He soon entered Hollywood, where he made excellent friends with Steven Spielberg or Sidney Lumet and became the author of soundtracks for The moneylender, The color purple, In the heat of the night O Cold-blooded, the music of the series Ironside O The Bill Cosby Show or with the production of The prince of Bel Air. It was his coming into contact with Michael Jackson which meant a great leap in his career, establishing himself as a producer in more modern areas, as he would certify in 1985 when he was commissioned to produce the song and its corresponding planetary and charity show We are the world. .

Women also occupy significant space in the autobiography of a confessed womanizer and prolific father, who lost his virginity at age 11 and married three times, with countless romances, such as the one he had with Juliette Gréco, when he was dating Miles Davis , or with Nastassja Kinski, with whom she has her youngest daughter, Kenya, 27 years old.

In his book, the producer of the best-selling album in history (Thriller) and owner of 27 Grammys and an Oscar, puts special emphasis on some names.

Ray Charles

“Ray was a role model at a time when I was not overloaded with that. I had an understanding of the world that I lacked. ‘All music has its own soul, Quincy,’ he would tell me. ‘Style is the least of it.’

Count Basie

“I loved him a lot. I met him when he was thirteen years old in Seattle and we were very close until he died. He was the kindest, kindest, sweetest, funniest person one would ever want to meet. (…) He taught me to survive in the music business. Learn to deal with the valleys; the hills take care of themselves. And always be fair. ‘

Quincy JOnes, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, in the recording sessions of 'Fly me to the moon' in 1964

Quincy Jones, Count Basie and Frank Sinatra, in the recording sessions of ‘Fly me to the moon’ in 1964

Kultrum books

Dinah Washington

“She was a kind of sister-friend, sincere, affable, sweet and generous who wanted what every good woman wants: true love. But let’s be clear: Dinah was capable of getting grossed out with one in less than a rooster crows; let no one be deceived ”.

Picasso

“We were in a restaurant and Picasso, his wife and a friend came in. They sat with us, he asked for sole a la meunièreHe ate the fish cautiously, left the cutlery where it was touching when he finished, and then slightly pushed the plate with the spines into the sunlight, so that it looked like a canvas by the great painter. Finally, he took out some markers and turned the sole rasp into a multicolored Picassian drawing. When Nicole said: ‘The check, please’, Picasso advanced the plate: that was his way of paying ”.

Frank Sinatra

“It would be half past six when I heard someone knock on the door. I went to open. It was Frank, dressed in fatigues, his attire for the war movie he was directing. He stared at me and said, ‘How do you like your eggs, Q?’ Scrambled, I stammered, half asleep. Frank prepared the scrambled eggs, we had breakfast and, from that day on, we were meat and nail “(…) If he loved you, he was capable of doing anything for you; If he didn’t like you, the problem was yours. I know that he loved me too ”.

Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, at the 1983 Grammy Awards

Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones, at the 1983 Grammy Awards

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Michael Jackson

“At nineteen, he had the wisdom of a man in his sixties and the enthusiasm of a child. He was a genuinely shy and handsome boy who hid his amazing intelligence behind giggles and half smiles. But beneath that exterior of shyness was an artist ardently seeking perfection and yearning to become the best. entertainer of the world, that is clear. (…) I spent hours watching videos of gazelles, cheetahs and panthers in order to imitate the innate elegance of their movements ”.

Steven Spielberg

“The thing with Steven and I was a real crush. He had a seductive air and was always the same, he didn’t pretend, and he was also a down-to-earth guy, which is rare for a genius.”