Quincy Jones

Essential Albums

  • The Dude
  • Body Heat
  • Walking In Space (2013 Remaster)

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About Quincy Jones

Trumpet-blasting sideman to the stars. Frank Sinatra’s go-to arranger. Oscar®-winning soundtrack composer. Entertainment-industry mogul. Celebrity activist. Perennial hit-making pop producer. Across a uniquely varied, multidisciplinary career dating back to the early '50s, Quincy Jones has not only assumed countless roles, he’s set the gold standard for each. In the '60s, the Chicago-born Jones' bold, brassy arrangements exuded an uncanny mix of cocktail-clinking sophistication and in-your-face swagger, whether they were gussying up Sinatra’s historic set at the Sands, buoying Lesley Gore’s subversively empowering sad-girl anthem “It’s My Party,” or driving Jones' own “Soul Bossa Nova” (a.k.a. the Austin Powers theme). Just as effortlessly, Jones imbued his score for the racially charged 1967 drama In the Heat of the Night with ominous symphonic soul, tapping into the dark undercurrents of an unsettled America and offering an implicit rumination on the Black experience that would be rendered more vividly through his funky ’70s recordings. (Those louche, smoky grooves, in turn, became the foundation for countless hip-hop classics.) But Jones’ Midas touch had never been more potent than on Michael Jackson’s game-changing 1982 LP, Thriller. Its fusion of taut, post-disco dance grooves, sharp R&B hooks, and rock attitude redefined the sound and scope of the modern pop album—and cemented Jones’ status as the link between popular music’s jazzy big-band past and its studio-sculpted, club-hopping future.

Chicago, IL, United States
March 14, 1933

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