Composer and Producer. Nationality: American. Born: Quincy Delight Jones, Jr., in Chicago, Illinois, 14 March 1933. Education: Attended Seattle University, Washington; Berklee School of Music, Boston; also studied with Boulanger and Messiaen in Paris. Family:
Films as Composer:
Pojken i trädet ( The Boy in the Tree ) (Sucksdorff)
The Pawnbroker (Lumet); Mirage (Dymtryk)
Made in Paris (Sagal) (songs); The Slender Thread (Pollack)
Walk Don't Run (Walters); The Deadly Affair (Lumet); Enter Laughing (C. Reiner)
Banning (Winston); In Cold Blood (R. Brooks); In the Heat of the Night (Jewison); Ironside (Goldstone—for TV)
A Dandy in Aspic (A. Mann); Jigsaw (Goldstone); The Counterfeit Killer (Leytes); For Love of Ivy (Daniel Mann); The Split (Fleming); The Hell with Heroes (Sargent); MacKenna's Gold (Lee Thompson); Split Second to an Epitaph (Horn)
The Italian Job (Collinson); The Lost Man (Aurthur); Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice (Mazursky); Cactus Flower (Saks); John and Mary (Yates); The Out-of-Towners (Hiller); Blood Kin ( The Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots ) (Lumet)
They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (Douglas); Eggs (Hubley—short); Of Men and Demons (J. & F. Hubley—short); Up Your Teddy Bear ( The Toy Grabbers ) (Joslyn); Brother John (Goldstone)
The Anderson Tapes (Lumet); Honky (Graham); $ ( The Heist ) (R. Brooks)
The Hot Rock ( How to Steal a Diamond in Four Uneasy Lessons ) (Yates); The New Centurions ( Precinct 45 Los Angeles Police ) (Fleischer); The Getaway (Peckinpah); Killer by Night (McEveety)
Mother, Jugs, and Speed (Yates) (songs)
Portrait of an Album (+ d); Fast Forward (Poitier); Lost in America (Albert Brooks) (song); The Slugger's Wife (Ashby); The Color Purple (Spielberg) (+ co-pr)
Heart and Soul (Pasquin) (+ co-exec pr)
Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (Weissbrod—doc) (+ ro)
Films as Music Director:
Man and Boy (Swackhamer)
Come Back Charleston Blue (Warren) (+ song)
The Wiz (Lumet) (+ songs)
The Slugger's Wife (Ashby) (exec music pr); Fast Forward (exec mus pr)
By JONES: articles—
Vanity Fair (New York), July 1996.
On JONES: books—
Horricks, Raymond, Quincy Jones , New York, 1986.
Cuellar, Carol, Quincy Jones: Q's Jook Joint , Miami, 1996.
Kallen, Stuart A., Quincy Jones , Edina, 1996.
Kavanaugh, Lee H., Quincy Jones: Musician, Composer, Producer , Berkeley Heights, 1998.
On JONES: articles—
Cinestudio (Madrid), April 1973.
Dirigido por . . . (Barcelona), September 1974.
Ecran (Paris), September 1975.
Film Dope (Nottingham), no. 28, December 1983.
Film Score Monthly (Los Angeles), July 1996.
Variety (New York), 18 November 1996.
Jet , 31 May 1999.
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With the incorporation of jazz and pop styles into film music in the 1950s and 1960s, it was inevitable that composers from such backgrounds would be commissioned to compose film scores. Quincy Jones's experience as an arranger, composer, and performer made him particularly adept at matching the disciplines of these styles to the demands of the medium.
Jones has brought to film music a range of influences from Latin stylings to American blues. Such influences are apparent in his first major score, for Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker . The urban realism of Lumet's film is balanced by equally authentic musical accompaniment, showing not only Jones's facility with jazz, but also with Puerto Rican and other ethnic musical idioms. Jones's handling of these elements led to his scoring a number of crime films and social dramas with contemporary urban settings. In many of these works, he combined modern rhythms with melodic pop themes reminiscent of the work of Henry Mancini.
This approach made Jones a natural choice for contemporary directors seeking a "new" sound. The score for Norman Jewison's In the Heat of the Night employs bluegrass and blues elements appropriate to its Southern setting while Jones's music for Richard Brooks's In Cold Blood incorporates unusual percussive effects, throbbing bass lines, and even a use of bottles at one point. Jones has also continued to work on and off for Lumet, serving as arranger and conductor for the filmmaker's production of The Wiz , adapted from William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls's hit Broadway musical. Jones gained further recognition in the motion picture industry as one of the producers and the musical coordinator for Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple . Assembling a team of composers, orchestrators, and musicians, Jones constructed a score that combines a broad spectrum of musical influences, from African rhythms to jazz and blues. The music also contains more traditional approaches to film scoring, as in a lyrical symphonic theme which bears in its principal woodwind line a resemblance to Georges Delerue's main theme for Our Mother's House . Above all, Jones's work for The Color Purple demonstrates his ability not only to handle a variety of musical styles but also his influence as a producer.
The Color Purple aside, from the mid-1970s on Jones became less active in films, turning his attention more to arranging and conducting and, in particular, to his film and television production company, Quincy Jones Entertainment. He also established his own broadcasting company to acquire television and radio properties. And in recent years he has become an elder statesman among American (and even more specifically, African-American) composers/arrangers/music producers. In 1990, he was the subject of a documentary/homage, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones , a portrait in words, music, and images in which his "genius" is acknowledged by a diverse group of celebrities, from Dizzy Gillespie to Ice T, Miles Davis to Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand to Big Daddy Kane.
—Richard R. Ness, updated by Rob Edelman