Friday, 11 June 2010

SoulNRnB's Great Producers EIGHT: Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones.

Highly regarded in both Jazz and Soul circles, a producer and arranger who has also produced the biggest pop record of all time, Thriller.

I'm concentrating on some of his soul leaning productions of the 70's and 80's where his sound was instantly recognisable and where he utilised some of the greatest vocalists (Chaka Khan, Patti Austin) and writers (Stevie Wonder, Rod Temperton) of the time.

Quincy wrote arrangements for many musicians, including Ray Anthony, Count Basie (who became his mentor) and Tommy Dorsey and the Dizzy Gillespie Band. He worked with several singers, including Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Brook Benton, Dinah Washington (an association that included the 1956 album The Swingin' Miss' D), Johnny Mathis and Ray Charles (whom he had known since an early age).

In 1964, Quincy was promoted to vice-president of Mercury, thus becoming the first African American to hold such a position and in addition to playing music, he was busy writing and arranging, and was increasingly active as a record producer.

In the 70's and 80's, where I'm concentrating, he produced successful albums for Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Michael Jackson, the Brothers Johnson, Rufus and other popular artists. He worked through the 90's to a lesser extent with solo lp's, but productions have taken a back seat.

A great arranger, a great producer. Theres so much I have not touched from his Jazz and Funk work here thats remiss (Maybe Mr Grizz could oblige one day!) but these are some of his productions from back in the day that really made me love Soul Music as a young man.

A great extended version of  the Stevie Wonder written "Betcha wouldnt hurt me" included here, one of my all time favourites! Enjoy until Grizz is back with you next week, tracklist in comments.

SoulNRnB's Great Producers EIGHT - Quincy Jones
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