Q is 75

To an audience who may know Quincy Jones best as the father of actress Rashida Jones, formerly of the television show The Office, I wanted to write about the massive impact that Q has had on popular music. I went to the Wikipedia post, which was a good start, but the discography was sorely lacking. This Rolling Stone discography isn’t bad, but is missing vital elements. The CBS Sunday Morning story from this past weekend, which currently isn’t even online, just touches on his importance.

Personally, I own a wide range of Q’s output, from some of those Frank Sinatra sides he arranged such as “Fly Me to the Moon”, to those Lesley Gore hits such as “It’s My Party” that he produced, the Q-production for the Brothers Johnson album that contains “Strawberry Letter #23, composer for the “Sanford and Son” theme, cat-wrangler for the “We Are the World” session, the composer/arranger for soundtrack for the television event “Roots”, and possibly my favorite, the production of Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall” album. Oh, yeah, and its obscure follow-up, the album known as “Thriller”.

I also own a couple albums with Quincy listed as artist, Q’s Jook Joint (2004), and Back on the Block (1989), both star-studded extravaganzas. If not totally successful, they show the range of the the man, from rap lite with Melle Mel and Ice-T intertwined with Tevin Campbell’s Zulu chant, snatching a piece of the Ironside theme, which Q wrote; to a funky tune featuring Chaka Khan and Q’s very old friend Ray Charles; to an introduction to Birdland by rappers and jazz artists; to the most successful take, an “a cappella groove” with Ella, Sarah and Bobby McFerrin, among others. Undoubtedly, there are other jazz sides and soundtracks that I’m not even aware of.

I even own some oversized photo-bio of the man. So Happy birthday, Q, and thanks for the wide range of great music.

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