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The Incomparable Quincy Jones
One of the finest minds to grace the music industry for the last half of the century is that of Quincy Jones. Quincy can rightfully be called a true Renaissance man who arranged, wrote, directed, played, and produced. He was gifted form the start and earned his wings playing trumpet. His talents earned him a spot at the Berklee School of Music where he attended for one year.
The likes of whom he has written or performed with include Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Hampton, and Clifford Brown. These were all giants, and it's a tribute to Quincy's genius that he can be found in the company of such greatness at different intervals of his long and distinguished career.
Early on, Quincy got a feel for music by singing and performing gospel as a child. The gospel scene was actually a start for many musicians back in the day. Gospel music gave them a sense of self, and provided fertile and supportive ground for exploring ones own gifts and talents.
However, the album that set Quincy apart and gave him true momentum and industry recognition was Walking In Space. This highly successful collaboration featured none other than Hubert Laws on flute. Check out Quincy's rendition of Marvin Gay's What's Goin' On from the album Smackwater Jack. There's even an attempt by the maestro to work his own voice into the track. Not bad for starters, but he knew his limitations and kept the introduction to a minimum.
What will stand out in the minds of music lovers the world over is the brilliant work that Quincy and Michael Jackson created in the album Thriller. To date it still stands as the best selling record of all time. It also has the distinction of being the first video that could be considered a short movie. Quincy is known for a brilliant mind that attracts commercial success. His work with the Brother's Johnson pushed the envelope of his success even further with respect to pop music.
His talents were further showcased with the hit television series Ironside, and the music score itself was synonymous with the shows immense success. His talents as a producer also came full circle in the production of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Everything Quincy Jones touches turns to gold even though he has been accused for over a quarter of a century of turning his back on his jazz roots. His love for music transcends more than just any one genre, and he continues to be the consummate magnet for talent in so many crossover professions in the entertainment industry.