Quincy Jones

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Quincy Jones, 2007

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. (Born March 14, 1933 in Chicago , Illinois ) is an American music producer , composer , jazz trumpeter , arranger and band leader . He was the first African American to hold the leadership of a major label . He became widely known as the producer of Michael Jackson .

Live and act

Quincy Jones grew up in Chicago. He discovered his love for music while breaking into a US Army veterans home. In Bremerton , Washington state , he met Ray Charles as a teenager , with whom he formed a small combo and toured the local Seattle jazz clubs . At 17 he received a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston . But in 1951 he gave up his studies when Lionel Hampton hired him as a trumpeter for a tour.


When Jones had earned his first spurs as an arranger with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra , he settled in New York , where he soon made arrangements for studio recordings for artists such as Count Basie , Sarah Vaughan , Duke Ellington and Gene in addition to his childhood friend Ray Charles Krupa wrote. Dizzy Gillespie hired him in 1956 as an orchestra conductor for a tour that included the Middle East and South America. In 1957 he got a contract with ABC-Paramount , where he was able to release his first album, This Is How I Feel About Jazz .

Quincy Jones 1989

In 1957 Jones went to Paris , where he deepened his musical studies with Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau . At the same time he worked as a producer for the label Barclay Records , the French distribution partner of Mercury Records , where he looked after Jacques Brel , Henri Salvador and Charles Aznavour , among others , but also produced international recordings for Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan . He also went on tour with various jazz bands in Europe. In June 1958 he conducted the orchestra for a gala concert by Frank Sinatra in Monaco , which marked the beginning of a long-term collaboration with the artist. In 1959 and 1960 he was touring Europe with his own large formation.

Back in the United States, Jones became Vice President of the New York division of Mercury Records and head of its A&R in 1961, and Vice President of the label in 1964, making it the first African American in the management of a major label. In addition to jazz , he now also produced pop . From 1963 he also composed film music with great success . That same year he won his first Grammy for the arrangement of I Can't Stop Loving You for the Count Basie orchestra . In 1964, he led the orchestra (and wrote with Billy Byers the arrangements) for the second joint studio album It Might As Well Be Swing by Frank Sinatra and Count Basie, on a legendary version of "Fly Me To The Moon" is which was played on the moon landing in 1969. As orchestra conductor, he went on an extensive, almost two-year concert tour with Sinatra and Basie in 1964, during which, among other things, the live double album Sinatra At The Sands (1966) was created. Eighteen years later (1984) Sinatra recorded his last solo album LA Is My Lady under Jones' direction .

Jones is best known for his work as a producer of Michael Jackson , whom he met in the late 1970s and for whose most successful albums ( Off the Wall , Thriller , Bad ) he was responsible as a producer. The album Thriller is the best-selling album of all time with certified 104 million units sold.

Quincy Jones 2010

Jones has also produced successful tracks with artists Aretha Franklin , Little Richard and Herbie Hancock . He also composed numerous other film scores before moving to production in Hollywood from the mid-1980s . In 1985 Jones produced the hit We Are the World , written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie , which raised $ 50 million for an aid fund for Africa. In the same year he made the film adaptation of The Color Purple , for which he wrote the Oscar- nominated music, including the title Don't Make Me No Never Mind, which was recorded with John Lee Hooker . As a permanent partner in these and many other productions, he regularly had songwriter Rod Temperton and sound engineer Bruce Swedien at his side, who helped the Michael Jackson albums in particular to achieve their unmistakable sound.

Quincy Jones Productions logo

In 1989 Jones produced the album Back on the Block , which includes a cover version of Birdland , in which Ella Fitzgerald , George Benson and Joe Zawinul took part. The Grammy- winning record also features Miles Davis , Al Jarreau , Take 6 , Sarah Vaughan (one of her latest recordings) and Ray Charles.

In 1991 the documentary "Listen Up - The Life of Quincy Jones" by Ellen Weissbrod was released.

Private life

Jones has six daughters, including actresses Kidada Jones and Rashida Jones , and a son, Quincy Jones III , with Swedish model Ulla Andersson . From 1991 to 1997 he lived with the actress Nastassja Kinski , a daughter comes from this relationship.

Prizes and awards

For his musical work, Quincy Jones was nominated 79 times for a Grammy until 2010 - he was awarded the prize 27 times. In 2005 he was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame . In 1991 he received the Honorary Rose of the Rose of Montreux . In 1994 he and Nikolaus Harnoncourt were awarded the Polar Music Prize , which many consider to be the unofficial Nobel Prize in Music. In 1995 he received an honorary Oscar ( Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award ). In 2001 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . In 2008 Jones received the State NEA Foundation's Jazz Masters Fellowship , the highest honor for jazz musicians in the United States.


Studio albums

year Title
music label
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, music label , placements, weeks, awards, notes)
1969 Walking in Space
A&M 3023
- - - - US56 (39 weeks)
R&B6 (27 weeks)
First release: November 1969
Instrumental album
Grammy (Best Jazz Instrumental Performance )
Producer: Creed Taylor
1970 Gula Matari
A&M 3030
- - - - US63 (16 weeks)
R&B16 (15 weeks)
First release: August 1970
Instrumental album
Producer: Creed Taylor
1971 Smackwater Jack
A&M 3037
- - - - US56 (33 weeks)
R&B11 (27 weeks)
First release: October 1971 Grammy
instrumental album (Best Pop Instrumental) Producers: Phil Ramone , Quincy Jones, Ray Brown

1973 You've Got It Bad Girl
A&M 3041
- - - - US94 (24 weeks)
R&B14 (26 weeks)
First published: May 1973
Producers: Quincy Jones, Ray Brown
1974 Body Heat
A&M 3617
- - - - US6th

(43 weeks)US
R&B1 (40 weeks)
First published: May 1974
Producers: Quincy Jones, Ray Brown
1975 Mellow Madness
A&M 4526
- - - - US16 (30 weeks)
R&B3 (14 weeks)
First published: August 1975
Producer: Quincy Jones
1976 I Heard That !!
(The Musical World of Quincy Jones)
A&M 3705
- - - - US43 (15 weeks)
R&B16 (17 weeks)
First release: September 1976
double album (new tracks / A&M songs since 1969)
Producer: Quincy Jones
1977 Roots
(The Saga of an American Family)
A&M 4626
- - - - US21st

(14 weeks)US
R&B6 (11 weeks)
First release: February 1977
Soundtrack of the television series of the same name
Producer: Quincy Jones
1978 Sounds… and Stuff Like That !!
A&M 4685
- - - - US15th

(20 weeks)US
R&B4 (23 weeks)
First published: June 1978
Producer: Quincy Jones
1981 The Dude
A&M 3248
DE54 (9 weeks)
- - UK19th

(25 weeks)UK

(80 weeks)US
R&B3 (81 weeks)
First published: March 1981
Grammy (Best Pop Performance)
Producer: Quincy Jones
1984 LA Is My Lady
Qwest 25145
- - - UK41 (8 weeks)
- -
First published: August 1984
Frank Sinatra with Quincy Jones and Orchestra
Producer: Quincy Jones
1985 We Are the World
Columbia 40043
DE8 (17 weeks)
AT5 (16 weeks)
CH1 (19 weeks)
UK31 (5 weeks)
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(22 weeks)US
R&B6 (17 weeks)
First published: April 1985
with USA for Africa
Producer: Quincy Jones
1989 Back on the Block
Qwest 26020
DE5 (24 weeks)
AT19 (6 weeks)
CH21 (3 weeks)

(12 weeks)UK

(40 weeks)US
R&B1 (39 weeks)
First release: November 1989
Grammy (album of the year)
Producers: Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton
1995 Q's Jook Joint
Qwest 45875
- - - - US32

(38 weeks)US
R&B6 (48 weeks)
First published: November 1995
Producers: Quincy Jones, QDIII , R. Kelly
2010 Q Soul Bossa Nostra
Qwest 1429402
- - - - US86 (2 weeks)
R&B15 (8 weeks)
First released: November 9th, 2010
Producer: Quincy Jones

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year

Selection of albums produced by Jones

Film music (selection)


Web links

Commons : Quincy Jones  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ZeitMagazin , November 6, 2014, pp. 18f.
  2. Zeit Magazin, November 6, 2014, p. 20.
  3. imdb: biography Quincy Jones. Retrieved August 24, 2014 .
  4. Career data at Mercury according to New Grove Dictionary of Jazz
  5. allmusic.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014 .
  6. ^ Wieland Harms: The Unplugged Guitar Book. 20 of the most beautiful songs for acoustic guitar. Gerig Music, ISBN 3-87252-249-3 , p. 51.
  7. rockhall.com. Retrieved August 24, 2014 .
  8. Zeit Magazin, November 6, 2014, p. 18.
  9. La Salud Familiar
  10. Chart sources: DE AT CH UK1 UK2 US
  11. ^ Joel Whitburn : Top R&B Albums 1965–1998, ISBN 0-89820-134-9 .