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Quincy Jones

Biography

Many today just know Quincy Jones as a recording industry powerhouse, but in the 1950s and '60s he was an in-demand jazz arranger as well as the man who blazed a path for future African Americans in the movie studios and record companies. Jones grew up in Seattle and learned how to read music from the blind (!) Ray Charles as a teen. He went on to play trumpet and write arrangements for the orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Ray Charles. In 1957, French record company Barclay records snatched him up as an executive and from there he went on to the Mercury label. At the same time, he recorded with the awesome Quincy Jones Big Band. It contained the finest musicians and combined the streamlined swing of Count Basie with the sounds of Hard Bop. Jones was all over the place during this period, working with many artists and singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Frank Sinatra. Jones started working on film and television soundtracks to great success. In the '70s he got funky (like everybody else) and slowly withdrew to the business side of music. But every once in a while, he comes back out. Today, his work shows the common threads found in jazz, Funk, pop, and rap.
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