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Quincy Jones in word and CD

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International   |   Nov. 28, 2001 at 8:21 PM   |   Comments

Quincy Jones is one of the most important figures in popular music. He is a celebrated producer and recording artist.

Winner of 26 Grammy Awards, Jones has been honored as a producer, arranger, and artist in numerous categories, including jazz, children's music, video, pop, musical show, instrumental, R&B and rap. Seven of those 26 awards were in the Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Producer of the Year categories. Jones is also a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

His long-awaited autobiography, "Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones," is an unvarnished account of the private pain, the glamour and the string of achievements Jones compiled throughout his personal and professional life.

Rhino records has released a splendid companion piece to the book, a four-CD box set entitled "Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones."

Spanning 1951-1995, "Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones" covers all phases of Jones' career, with each disc celebrating a specific era of his massive body of work.

The first disc takes listeners through bebop, big band and jazz, with music arranged and conducted by Jones, including "Kingfish" (Lionel Hampton), "Whole Lot Of Shakin' Goin' On" (Big Maybelle), "Misty" (Sarah Vaughn), and "Makin' Whoopee" (Dinah Washington), as well as his own compositions, such as "The Midnight Sun Will Never Set" (Duke Ellington), and recordings by his big band and orchestra.

The second disc showcases Jones' extensive film and television output, including "Lonely Bottles" from "In Cold Blood" (1967), "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" from "The Color Purple" (1985), "Many Rains Ago (Oluwa)" from "Roots" (1977), "Hikky-Burr" from "The Bill Cosby Show" (1971), "Sanford & Son Theme (The Street Beater)" from "Sanford & Son" (1972-1977), "Ironside" from "Ironside" (1967-1975), and "Soul Bossa Nova" from "Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery" (1997).

Disc three highlights Jones' phenomenal work as one of the most sought-after producers of his time. From the "Chairman of the Board" Frank Sinatra to the "King of Pop" Michael Jackson, Jones' powerhouse production credits have graced the albums of performers spanning several decades and most genres, including Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Paul Simon, George Benson, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, and Lesley Gore.

The final disc celebrates recordings from Jones' solo albums, such as the 1990 Grammy Award-winning Album of the Year "Back On The Block" (featuring James Ingram, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, and Kool Moe Dee) and 1995's seven-time Grammy-nominated "Q's Jook Joint," featuring such superstars as Stevie Wonder, U2's Bono, Ray Charles, and Brian McKnight.

The accompanying CD book features a "who's who" of popular celebrities, including Bono, Maya Angelou, Michael Jackson, President Bill Clinton, and Will Smith, offering their insights on Quincy's talent, influence, impact, and contributions to black history, popular music, and popular culture.

Jones personally selected all the photos and memorabilia that appear in the packaging, which also includes a complete listing of all his music awards, a detailed discography, and a track-by-track by Los Angeles Times jazz critic Don Heckman.

Additionally, Grammy-nominated writer Gerald Early details Jones' career in an essay entitled "American Dream," which sets the music legend's story against a sociological backdrop of striving to achieve the American dream.

All quotes in the essay are culled from previously published books and numerous print media interviews from 1960­ through 1990 from sources such as Billboard, DownBeat, Ebony, The New York Times and Playboy.

The Quincy Jones Media Group also co-produced, with VH1 and Rhino, "Say It Loud! A Celebration Of Black Music in America," a five-part documentary series that chronicled the story of African-American music.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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