Speaker I think the first time I heard of Quincy Jones was there was a song called Stockholm, Sweden.

Speaker And he lived many years in Stockholm. As a matter of fact, he got married to one of his wives in Stockholm. I don’t know if he got married in Stockholm, but anyway, they met in Stockholm. She was Swedish. And I remember hearing this song and it just knocked me out. The arrangement, it was for a big band and it just floored me. You know, that I think that’s that’s my earliest recall of of finding out anything about Quincy Jones.

Speaker Then I tried to find out more once I got the album and I wanted to find out more about who this guy was.

Speaker You know, when I found out that he already had a bit of a history before that, you know, because he played trumpet with Dizzy Gillespie’s band. And it had a big band around, you know, for a few years before that.

Speaker Right. I don’t I don’t remember exactly what here that was, but I imagine it was in the late 50s. Yeah. Maybe fifty seven. Somebody recorded that.

Speaker That’s great.

Speaker Is trumpeter with Lionel Hampton. He does a gig with Dizzy six hours.

Speaker It was when Lionel Hampton first. Yes. And then he then then he played it also with one Lambton. Did he play? What does he do? No. Well, maybe a little. But he was the music director. All right.

Speaker For this world tour. All right. Any sort of hooks up at Camp Bass in New York?

Speaker A wait for it just to The Hague.

Speaker We were to witness that says Stuart screen. And at the screen comes down, the screen is really set for.

Speaker So you to know.

Speaker Back then, the next time that I remember. Yeah. But Quincy. The next time I remember seeing Quincy was in Birdland after I had moved to New York in 1960, I went to New York January 18th of 1961 and sometime during the year 1961, know because Birdland was the home, the Mecca for for jazz, modern jazz in particular.

Speaker And I was always going down to Birdland to see what was happening. You know, Birdland was located on 50 Second and Broadway. And one time I went down and usually they had two groups. There would be an opening act and then the headlining group and Quincy Jones was there. So I had to see Quincy with his big band. I wanted to hear Stockholm’s sweet life, you know.

Speaker And I got to meet him during that time.

Speaker So here we are 40 years later. I’ve known this guy for 40 years.

Speaker What was he like? Places was. I love your sort of sense. There is Mecca and Quincy is like one of the main players there. Give us a sense for kids today. Not that I was about Birdland.

Speaker Yeah. What was the jazz scene about and what was Quincy’s place in any major role? These guys and things you’re going to when you get into what do you think? You can start shifting pretty quick. But you’re right. There is that tale moment of jazz sort of legend out there. And give us what you know again, because Quincy had worked for so many guys, but he’s sort of taken on this role of family to place him in that world.

Speaker McNamee painted a picture of the reputation of Berlin Byrdland had this international rap.

Speaker Wait, let me start with this. Just imagine me being 21 years old, being having total tunnel vision about about jazz, except for four classical music. And I liked classical music and jazz. And that was it. I mean, that was my world. You know, the world that I was just kind of peeking into from a professional standpoint, from a musician standpoint, professionally. So for me, Birdland was heaven.

Speaker I mean, to play in Birdland was a big deal. I would be like playing Carnegie Hall, you know, for jazz.

Speaker Or it would it would be like, I don’t know if you could break Woodstock up into parts.

Speaker You know, it would be like playing Woodstock.

Speaker If it were a club or a venue, you know, I don’t it is very hard to compare it to a place and a rock and roll scene today because there was really, really nothing like it actually, even before I got to New York. Sometimes they would broadcast on the radio from Birdland, you know, Symphony. See, it did. As a matter of fact, I think they still did that in the beginning of the 60s.

Speaker Now, I’m a little confused because, again, I was 40 years ago and I you know, it gets a little fuzzy around now. But anyway, to see anybody at Birdland or to work at Birdland means that you’ve really arrived on the jazz scene in the jazz scene in the 60s was hot. It was innovative. It was in clubs still primarily.

Speaker There weren’t a lot of big concert venues where they had had jazz concerts. The Newport Jazz Festival was alive and well. I had started, I think, in the late 50s. But jazz was really hot in the clubs. Clubs were always packed for the hip people coming to see jazz, people in their 20s, people in their 30s. You know, some teenagers, that was really the hot music. You know, in 61, rock and roll was in its infancy. You know, this was before pre Beatles as far as America was concerned, anyway, pre the Rolling Stones.

Speaker So anyway, I didn’t care about that anyway. I wasn’t even interested in it. I wasn’t interested in Elvis. I know that was a whole other scene. I cared about, you know, Miles Davis. I cared about, you know, John Coltrane and Bill Evans and Quincy Jones.

Speaker That was those were my my heroes at that time. And so I got a chance to to see you at the young Quincy Jones, but he was all in MEAC.

Speaker Now we laugh because, I mean, now we’re sort of contemporaries because he’s still older than I am. But but the number of years now, it seems to have shrunk somehow. You know, the older you get, the more it begins to shrink. You know, I actually I feel closer to my father’s age now than I ever felt before, you know?

Speaker And anyway, Quincy had this great reputation of being one of the young lions, you know, as far as a big band scene was concerned, along with, you know, Lee Morgan on trumpet. Freddie Hubbard on trumpet. And Miles Davis. And all these dudes were like that, the top people at the time. And of course, Dizzy Gillespie was still around. It is. He had a great, great big band, Count Base. He had a great big band with Quincy, had some new kinds of arrangements, new harmonies, a new perception of the use of a big man. And that made him extremely exciting to a young person like me.

Speaker Great. Great answer.

Speaker Right around that, of course, Quincy, is this awful experience at freezy tour where he gets wiped out. These guys can’t get back to the stage. He takes this job with Mercury Records and he does. It’s my party and. You know, pop music. Yeah. He does a little Dinah Washington. You know, stuff like that. But to what happened to the jazz scene and what people felt about Quincy at that moment, where know he’s behind a desk in a suit and all that stuff.

Speaker Yeah, it that MRC, it was at Mercury. It was Mercury. Right. Is everything.

Speaker Yeah.

Speaker Just right around. All right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, it wasn’t it wasn’t that early. It’s early, early 60s that the remember.

Speaker Yeah. And in the early 60s, um. All of a sudden.

Speaker We began to see Quincy’s name in another context. He becomes the head.

Speaker He becomes an executive with a major record company, Mercury Records. He was the head of a and are now. He was the first black record executive of a major company. You know, looks ludicrous today to think what they didn’t have anybody else before with major companies.

Speaker But that’s the way it was. You know, once it was really the first. So he really broke ground as far as race relations were concerned, as far as the kind of listening, the color of the business side of music.

Speaker You know, they had a lot of black artists, but when it came to the people who actually own the labels and who control the music, the black people were not in control of that. You know, again, we were like hired hands. But Quincy became the first. So he opened the doorway. And and as an African-American, I mean, we all recognize that, you know, that he is a guy to be a pioneer from, not just the music scene, but from a a political and social scene.

Speaker And it was a very important step that that he made in order to open open a hold the doorway for the future.

Speaker But were there a lot of jazz? Guys, we’re just like, here’s this is the line.

Speaker What’s he doing over there, doing my part?

Speaker Well, I mean, did you hear that or was that really just you guys?

Speaker I’m just curious.

Speaker Well, one of one of the things, one of the big records, but maybe the biggest record that Quincy had at that time, certainly one of the biggest ones was Lesley Gore.

Speaker All right. It’s my party. You know, that was a huge record at that time.

Speaker It was kind of bubblegum pop or something.

Speaker I don’t know exactly what it was, but it was it was a big hit record by this black record executive who was one of our heroes. And as far as the musicians were concerned, to my recollection, nobody we didn’t even care that it was Leslie go out a whole other genre of music, you know? That wasn’t that wasn’t an issue for us to quibble about. That was small potatoes. I mean, we were we were just happy that we finally got one of our guys in that end of the music business. You know, it was the beginning of something that was very important as far as we were concerned. And so if if once he’s successful, it’s better not only for African-American musicians. And it’s also better for the music scene is better for America. Yeah. You know, this is a country that that. Has its population ties connecting us. With every country in every race on the planet. But that it wasn’t represented so well in business back in those days, of course, has changed a lot since then.

Speaker But there’s still a lot of there’s a long way to go.

Speaker All right. You mentioned Miles. Quincy and Miles were contemporaries in a way. Miles served as well, known for certain sound.

Speaker Can you hear me, Miles? Miles was older. You know, Miles was I mean, Miles was about maybe nine years older than him.

Speaker Thank you. Something like that. Miles was born at twenty six or twenty five or twenty six and twenty six. Right. Because he would have been 75 this year. You know, Quincy I think is sixty four. Sixty five.

Speaker Something like thirty three.

Speaker So seven oh oh oh.

Speaker So is is. Oh. Sixty eight is sixty eight now. What was. What was his birthday.

Speaker March 18. March 13th. Oh I see.

Speaker I’ve seen that myself in, in six years.

Speaker I got caught up and really put this in the credits.

Speaker You know, his old nickname for me, you know.

Speaker But Miles is known for the sound, you know. How do you describe Quincy Music? Are there common elements that span his compositions? Because the thing about Quincy is he’s worked in so many different media mediums. What in music? Is there a way to categorize his voice or sound or or is that part of his genes?

Speaker Clauses sound, if you want to call it this, is more like that of a chameleon, you know, he’s able to change colors.

Speaker Timbres, you know, tone, quality at will. He can work as easily with Michael Jackson as he could. Where would Snoop Doggy Dogg or with Barbra Streisand? Frank Sinatra. Movie scores, you know. You name it cause he’s done it. He’s been able to take this genius of hers and translate it. And to any kind of sound that he chooses, any kind of direction that he chooses. I think the core, of course, is sound comes from his lust for life. You know, his feeling that that.

Speaker Any. Genre. Is equally valid. And his.

Speaker Curiosity about. How he can find a place in any of the genres, you know, he’s fearless as far as US is concerned.

Speaker He doesn’t he’s not the kind of guy who says, no, I can’t do that. You know, if you were quinsy to do something, you tell him that you can’t do it. And, of course, he will. You’ll do it. He’s that kind of guy. So. So he’s got that kind of flexibility.

Speaker I find that many of his projects are they sound massive, you know, but he’s not stuck there. You know, they’re probably more things that sound big and huge and, you know, very muscular, very maybe that comes from his experience with a big band. Maybe that comes from his view of the world living primarily in big cities and seeing many things happening at the same time.

Speaker Maybe it comes from Quincy Jones having in his life many responsibilities. You know, many children, many wives. I mean, he’s kind of incident so much and more a category.

Speaker And and maybe that translates into into kind of just bigness that he has about much of his music in the past. But again, he’s not stuck there. He’s able to also into the out into the realm of minimalism. You know, what I respect about Quincy is that he’s able to to see from so many different vantage points and able to see so many colors.

Speaker You know, we’re going to probably try and feature that mom show concert.

Speaker You work at both those guys.

Speaker Here’s John and Miles and Quincy shared. What do you think of them together before we do that?

Speaker I mean, I’ve done 10 movie scores, but the person that really they aren’t the person they always ask of, of my name comes up about movie score. They always ask Quincy, you know, and he’s the one up. If it wasn’t for him, I would have done because I’d already done two movie scores. But the other eight. I wouldn’t have have done you know, it was really Q that opened the door for me to get into the the good ol boys club of overriding movie scores. I haven’t done a score and a number of years now, but I was able to get into that field, get and get this on the ground floor. Of that, so that there was a reputation that I had. And movie scores because of Quincy Jones. And I really owe so much to him because he was generous enough and aware enough of my desire to do that. And and his his compassion for me, you know, to kind of open a door. And and and then make it possible for me to try to get into that feel.

Speaker Just want to double check. You were wrong on that because I. OK, great. I was sort of often there reframing.

Speaker I didn’t want to interrupt you. Oh, I see. Beautiful. I would ask you to go back on that one more time just because the way it came out of my service. Yeah. Around star with just, you know, I think once you did.

Speaker Thirty seven, thirty eight movie scores.

Speaker He says one year he did eight movie scores and one.

Speaker That’s ridiculous. That’s like impossible. How can you do a movie scores in a year? That would kill me. You know, I couldn’t even do. I mean, if I was, I do a movie score, it’s it’s such an immersive experience for me. That. I have to take a break. After each one, in order for Quincy Jones to have done eight movie scores in one year out of the 38 or so. That he has done.

Speaker I don’t see how that’s possible. He’s an amazing man. OK, but you want me to go?

Speaker Yeah. I just wanted you to just give us.

Speaker No. OK. You want me to start with. Just start with.

Speaker You know what he did. Dozens of movie scores. And then just go right into your head.

Speaker Which once you open it up, I mean, we have we have this wonderful moment. Henry meets Quincy.

Speaker I don’t know whether you knew that or not. That’s why I thought around midnight. Yeah. But I don’t know whether you know that. I didn’t know what he had to say. I know that you felt. Oh, yeah. Okay.

Speaker So you want to hit me with that. Okay. One at one of the.

Speaker Great reasons why I admire Quincy Jones is because of his.

Speaker Unbelievable talent for doing movie scores. You know, some of the most beautiful music for scores was done by Quincy Jones.

Speaker And I mean, he’s done, you know, dozens now.

Speaker He’s done scores of music, score movies, scores. Right.

Speaker And that is well established in that industry. He helped carve out the modern concept of movie scoring. As a matter of fact, in that industry and what a lot of people don’t know is that I’ve done about maybe 10 movie scores myself. The first one I did in nineteen sixty six, it was called Blow Up, and I was because Michelangelo Antonioni, the director, was a big jazz fan. Any any he actually knew my music. The second one was called A Spook, who sat by the door by Ivan Dixon was a director. Ivan Dixon was actor. I was on Hogan’s Heroes, a black actor that was on on that. But he was also either also directed a few movies and he knew my music. Then after that, I did a movie called Deathwish.

Speaker And I was followed by. I did Soldier’s Story. I did.

Speaker Harlem Nights, Eddie Murphy’s film, I Did It Round Midnight. But the point I want to bring up is that from that third film on, it was really Quincy Jones that made it possible for me to get my foot in the door of the film scoring business, you know, because either he would suggest me or directors would call them and say, hey, you, what about this guy, Herbie Hancock? You know, what was what do you think? And Quincy would always give me an an A rating and reassure them that they made it.

Speaker They would be making the right choice by choosing me. And I will always be eternally grateful to Quincy Jones for because of his compassion for providing that doorway for me to answer this this wonderful field.

Speaker Well, he doesn’t he doesn’t recommend everybody like that. You that.

Speaker Really? I mean, is that a friend, long time you have left on the stage?

Speaker I want to remember.

Speaker Maybe there is this amazing footage of you and Quincy early looking at early synthesizer check.

Speaker What time?

Speaker I got this call from a guy who was representing a company of Fairlight and he had this new digital instrument.

Speaker That had that was had a computer built into it. There was a keyboard. It had a touch screen which nobody even heard of back in those days. This was in the 80s.

Speaker And. I guess maybe mid 80s.

Speaker Touch screen, you could draw waveforms on it. I mean, edit these things that, you know, I hadn’t even dreamed about stuff like this and I’m into technology. You know, I wish I was an engineering major for my first two years of college. I’m like into that kind of thing. So you called me up and it was an Australian company. Anyway, he was coming to Los Angeles to show it to Stevie Wonder. Oh, Stevie. Yes, I got to see this.

Speaker Well, he probably will. And I know him. You know, Stevie watches TV all the time and he knows everything is going on, his movies, everything, you know.

Speaker But anyway, I said to this guy, you gotta show this to me. You got to show it to me. I’ve got to see it. Well, I knew that Quincy Jones was also interested in new things, you know? He didn’t want to be left out of the out of the loop, you know. So I called him up and I called up a guy named Jordy Hormel who owned a recording studio, West L.A. Music and Jeudy. Also, as you know, the Hormel meat packing companies that air to that. And Jeudy is a cool guy, you know, kind of a hippie era, you know, but he’s totally into technology, too. And so I called both of them over and I said, look, this guy’s coming over to demonstrate this instrument. Anyway, they both came to see it.

Speaker And when the day was done, plus he was blown away by this. This Fairlight.

Speaker But he didn’t want to commit himself to buying one. Right. Then, you know, we wanted to, you know, check it out. I’m kind of I haven’t marinated his head, you know, figured out for a minute. Jati Hormel, in the meantime, pulled out enough money to buy two of these things, you know, and they were expensive. At the time, they were twenty five thousand dollars apiece, which was a lot of money for anything back in those days, you know. And Charlie pulls out for 50 grand.

Speaker And the guy said, no, I can’t do this. But Quincy kind of took his time.

Speaker You know, I don’t I don’t know if he I don’t think he ever really bought one, but he used it. I think he used it. And some TV shows. Maybe he used it in Ironsides. I don’t know.

Speaker I’d have to find out from him, you know, exactly how he is. But what cue was like that he wanted to know. He said anything, if anything new comes out. Give me a call. So he’s got that kind of basic curiosity.

Speaker You would hear sort of similar technology. You’re like, yeah.

Speaker He’s like that, too. He’s always calling me up, you know. I got something to show you.

Speaker So jumping back to Miles and the Montreaux thing, I think it was about Quincy’s connection to Miles and their mutual respect. It got.

Speaker Quincy Jones, Miles de Baker, oh, excuse me, I forgot, you know, I’m almost almost touched on it, but I don’t even know if you knew this. They’re the first ones I know the first time a synthesizer was used on on a TV show. As for the score for a TV show was for Ironsides, and it was Quincy Jones that did the score. And he used it as some kind of sort of siren like sound and the TV show. So this is a pioneer, you know, every step of the way.

Speaker That’s great. I actually didn’t know that yet. I think we have my views there, so I’m just jumping back to my right. All right. Miles sort of vowed never to play.

Speaker Really early birth of the cool stuff, you know, sketches of Spain. Have you?

Speaker Dave Baker, who we interviewed in Washington.

Speaker She sort of rehabilitated.

Speaker And, you know, he did a great imitation. Why do you think it is?

Speaker What? What, Quincy, what was the connection that Quincy got? Miles, within three months of the end of his life.

Speaker To return to the stuff that, you know, was.

Speaker It’s a southern rock, Quincy Jones, Quincy Jones is a guy.

Speaker That can make the impossible possible. He can get people together.

Speaker That everybody says there’s no way you can get this to happen. He can pull. I don’t know how he does it.

Speaker He’s got some some charisma, some special power that gives him the ability to kind of get people to do things that they say they’d never do, you know? And there’s several examples of that. One of the big ones, by the way, was the fact that he got Steven Spielberg to direct Color Purple. Everybody said that was going to be impossible.

Speaker Another one was the fact that he got Miles Davis to redo. Live in concert. And one on tape, videotape to be sold.

Speaker The music that he had done with Gil Evans during the late 50s and early 60s.

Speaker Miles always had this reputation of saying things like, oh, man, I had gone back and played his stuff more, you know.

Speaker Q Got him. Got him to do it somehow. He he made that happen. Miles Davis with. Orchestra led by Quincy Jones playing the arrangements of Gil Evans.

Speaker Pieces from Sketches of Spain. Pieces from miles ahead from Porgy and Bess. I mean, some of the greatest musicals of all time.

Speaker And that was done in the Molterer in Switzerland.

Speaker I remember one Claude Nobs, you know, the founder and director of Molterer told me that that was being put together. And I heard that and I said, Claude. When you know when the day is, you gotta tell me, because I have to be there for that. I have to be there for that, because the record, Miles ahead was one of those seminal records in my lifetime that really changed my life.

Speaker That was a concept on that record that.

Speaker Combined all all of the things that I really value personally as far as music is concerned. And in a new and fresh way, Miles is playing was just. Godlike. If anything. And the arrangements were were.

Speaker I don’t even know. It’s like they fell from the heavens or something, you know?

Speaker And so when Claude told me that that he had gotten Miles and Quincy together to do the Gil Evans arrangements, you know, I had to be there.

Speaker The turn out, unfortunately, I couldn’t be there that day, but because I was on tour and I wasn’t there.

Speaker But when I finally got him on tour, which was maybe a week later, I was able to go back Claude Nobs house.

Speaker And he played the tape. And soon as he starts it. Tears start flowing down my face and I was just sobbing, you know, because, I mean, I never thought that would happen. Never thought that would happen. And I got to hear these these arrangements again.

Speaker Miles, you know what it was? It was. It was a dream come true for me.

Speaker Get even closer, because I know we’re going to go back to his other story and sort of medium shot. Let’s go.

Speaker Yeah, yeah. All right. Yeah. So techno, here we go.

Speaker Just like me. Quincy Jones is a technology nut. This guy wants to know about everything that’s happening that’s new. And this particular year, back in the maybe early to mid 80s. I got a chance to show him this new instrument from Australia called the Fairlight.

Speaker Perfect. Thank you.

Speaker Now, because I’ve got all that stuff about a touch screen, I can go there and company, I can kind of do it.

Speaker You work with Miles Davis? Mm hmm. I just wanted to place you on camera, placed that relationship so that when you speak, just when you speak up. Miles, I’m not wanting to play the other stuff or anything, you know.

Speaker Oh. Oh, yeah. I was gonna say something about that. You know, I worked with my. Oh. About me. So my relationship is very brief. I work. Okay. Wow.

Speaker Yeah. I work with Miles. We’re good. I work with Miles Davis from 1963 to 1968.

Speaker So I was about five and a half years in.

Speaker This was a band. It was a phenomenal band, Miles, at the time, was in his late 30s. I discovered later at the time I thought, I don’t know how old he was. But I tell you, I was really old, you know.

Speaker And he was.

Speaker He wasn’t that old. He was pretty young. And that band was a very influential band. And Miles and I were very, very close. Miles.

Speaker Very often said things to the press. That were statements that he wanted the press to hear.

Speaker Miles was also a man of change. You know, he’s a man that. I always look forward. And welcomed change, welcomed denervation.

Speaker He wasn’t a very conservative type of guy, you know, musically or any other other way here.

Speaker He would always go whole whole hog and into things. And Miles was not the kind of guy to kind of rest on his laurels and look to the past for any kind of stability. And so I think that was behind his tapes, statements of saying not at all stuff.

Speaker So. But I had my eye out, Miles, for.

Speaker Having latitude.

Speaker And prospective. To know when there was a time.

Speaker Two thanks to Quincy Jones and his influence at the right time to be able to expose again this great music that he had done with Quincy Jones and Gil Evans.

Speaker Great.

Speaker Um, let me just ask you if you would just set up a little bit. Oh, yeah. You know, just so you cover the edges. Oh, I see. Perfect.

Speaker There’s a moment in time where you worked on a bunch of Quincy, where he’s left film scoring late 60s, walking in space. You go on Atari where there’s a movement, you’re at the center of it. That’s I don’t know. I’m not music historians. Fusion, right. Where Quincy said this afternoon, of course, he sends his love, by the way.

Speaker But he said, you know, there was a bunch of us.

Speaker Harvey, Campbell, Athalie, me and one other guy who really wanted to bring this new kite. We want to make this stuff popular and have crossover and make jazz fusion really. Whatever you say, mainstream, popular.

Speaker Yeah, I mean, I wish there was some other. That was the weather report, right? One group beat to the mall. Chick Corea was to Quincy’s work.

Speaker Right. There there’s a point. Just started with there a point where once he decides he’s scored as many films he’s done and he’s really trying to stretch as he does it every year.

Speaker But we’re right there in 69 in space or right around where he’s moving into a new area called Fusion. What does he do? What’s it like?

Speaker Yeah.

Speaker I’m trying to remember now, which records did he do right during that period in space?

Speaker Why did he go? Are the ones on fire? I mean, there’s 10 others. Watermelon man. No, man. I mean, I get him off.

Speaker I get I switched. I said I was going to try, Jack. I am singing. OK. Matari kind of space. And what’s the time when you see heat. Did you play anybody?

Speaker No. I think I know matara material change you play.

Speaker I played on that. Yeah. Oh yeah.

Speaker Anyway I got so much you need to point to one. Oh God no. OK. What do you have figured out the same way you know.

Speaker Sixty. That’s a moment of change with this stuff. This is a major new moment in Quincy’s. Right.

Speaker Back in the.

Speaker Really, the early 70s, you know, starting the germ of this thing started in the very late 60s thing, which was later called fusion. You know, at the time it was called jazz rock fusion name came later on.

Speaker But groups like Chick Corea and Weather Report and and Donald Byrds, Blackbirds and and me and the Head Hunters, we were people that kind of carved out the beginning of this area called fusion.

Speaker But there’s another a few more names that were part of this kind of opening up in jazz to figure out a way to combine some of the elements of rock and roll, which is a popular music at this time. You know, jazz was not considered a popular music, was more considered an art music, if you will, at this time or something, kind of bridges the gap. But Quincy Jones and Cannonball Adderley and there were some others that were really a part of it. Quincy Jones approach was, again, from Big Band. What combination of big man, small group marriage, whereas the groups like Chick Corea and my group and the Headhunters and Weather Report were all I’ve done from a small group standpoint, you know, kind of all that at least was also from a small group standpoint. But these were the key people kind of at the center of this marriage, if you will, between rock and roll elements, funk elements and and jazz.

Speaker Describe working on Back on the Block.

Speaker Another sort of departure, like everything Quincy does is like. But let’s not confuse the records.

Speaker Let’s see what turns her back on September. Oh, yeah. I was that one. Oh yeah.

Speaker That’s when I did a movie, Miles. Yeah. Is that a movie? Yeah. OK. At just September. Yeah. That’s right, yeah. Sarah Vaughan on it. Miles was on it. Oh, OK.

Speaker Great. OK. So where were we?

Speaker Back on the block when she puts together the impossible.

Speaker Oh, yeah. You know, I almost got all those names. Yeah.

Speaker What was your you remember your was that just it.

Speaker I got a call one day from. Quincy, about he was doing this record, which later became known as Back on the Block. A combined. It was like everybody who was hot and music, you know, and and and the elements from from Quincy’s immediate and early past, you know, people like Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis and ice tea. And I say to Garrett and I mean, that was. Chaka Khan was on that. I mean. You name them.

Speaker They were on this record. All these people. I mean, I was going to put all these people on this record. Take five. You know, I did this song. September with take five on on on this record. And it was it was like a kind of a summary of Quincy’s musical career in many ways.

Speaker The beauty of it.

Speaker Many beauties of it. One of them was, of course, just the reputation of of the people who agreed to be on this record. All the key movers and shakers of music, past and present. I mean, almost no one was left out.

Speaker And I felt privileged to be kind of included in that list of people that that he chose to be on our record.

Speaker Bruce Within was the engineer as he was on on so many of his recordings and I walked into the studio and the great thing about working with Q is that. Know, as a producer, he he knows. How to get you to bring yourself out? On his record and and make it work, he knows how to make it work. It makes the atmosphere comfortable enough for you to explore possibilities and have those explorations recorded.

Speaker And that’s the way I like to record. You know, maybe he works with somebody else in a different way, but that works for me.

Speaker And Quincy knows how to make it work for me.

Speaker That’s great. What I mean when you get a call from Quincy is just a general question. You get a call going to do something, what you say, because you’ve done a lot different ones, like what passes through your mind.

Speaker You get call. I’m doing it now. What? What’s the first thing?

Speaker I mean, when I get a call from Quincy Jones to do an album. The first thing that pops into my mind is yes. The last thing that pops into my mind is yes. In the middle.

Speaker I have to look at schedules and things like that. You notice some practical things to consider. But if I can bend anything in order to do it, I will. As a matter of fact, I did.

Speaker I think it was on back on the block where I flew in from New York from some tour. I was exhausted, it was some weird hour. Well, it was not a weird hour at a morning because there was a flight from New York, but it was late at night. I took the car directly to the recording studio. I didn’t go home. I went right to the studio and we started recording from there. I think I got home at four, five in the morning, something like that.

Speaker But that was the Quincy Jones recording. And I wanted to be a part of it because wherever Quincy Jones does, I know I’m gonna like it and I’m going to have a great time. And I know that it’s gonna be a very important part of my life.

Speaker Juke joint, another one that’s, uh.

Speaker Well, you know what, I would say one more thing about back on the blog.

Speaker The other thing that is a gem as far as back on the Block is concerned is.

Speaker Perception that Quincy Jones had an order to. Figure out. How to design the music so that all of those ends, in so many ways, separate genres, were going to able to be able to fit into one whole theme, into one whole package combine in certain songs. You know, to have that kind of overview is. Takes an incredible amount of of of talent and to be able to pull that off, it takes a great deal of wisdom. Quincy Jones has that.

Speaker All right. Uh oh. Juke joint, special memories from that. Just as he wished his chosen ex. Yeah, my girl.

Speaker Emminger, A.

Speaker Just remember to cover Quincy with that suit on, you know, that’ll look like a pimp or something. And.

Speaker I’ve got with songs, with songs where I know heaven’s girl stuff you played on those two. Oh yeah. Sir. Sure, Joe. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, revisitation, yeah.

Speaker Yeah, I think I did that, too. And what are the big.

Speaker Big ideas. We talked about fusion.

Speaker I just want to there’s another thing he did.

Speaker He did tell me a bedtime story for some. I don’t remember which brackets was. I don’t know if that was before, John.

Speaker I want to say something briefly about juke joint, because there’s nothing we’re the. I mean, the things that I said about back on the block, a lot of that applies to Jews. Yeah. So let me just say something briefly. You know. Yeah, because he did do, uh, which some did you say comes your way?

Speaker Thank you. Yeah, that one. No, don’t stop.

Speaker Servery versioning of the Brothers Johnson thing.

Speaker All right. That’s right. I forgot about that. Yeah. Juke joints to joint was. Had the this great theme theme song, we have to remember that Quincy Jones lives.

Speaker During these times, so he is a guy who is capturing something that he that is part of his own personal experience and putting it on record for us, for all of us to whole, you know, audience of any and every age to to get a handle on on the spirit of those times and those kinds of experiences. Again, Quincy, in a sense, revisited elements from his past. The tunes I remember being on have stopped. You know something that the brothers Johnson had recorded that Quincy had produced years before he did a new version of that one. And a new version of of Killer Joe for juke joint and.

Speaker I had great artists on this one. Unfortunately, some of the artists that he had on on that he had used before, like Sarah Vaughan, was now deceased.

Speaker And this. It’s part of the process of life. You know, some of those people were not around anymore. But.

Speaker It was, in a way, kind of an anthology. You know, that’s a historical element. At the same time, there was the spirit of it. It wasn’t like a folkways record. You know, it had the spirit of of today.

Speaker You know, another way to to translate that would be to say it had a spirit of timelessness, you know, was somehow Quincy Zabel always able to put into his methods.

Speaker Should have spoken up so quickly. That was great.

Speaker Yeah, yeah, yeah. I keep I keep trying to think of what other superlatives kind of put in there.

Speaker I mean, that apply, you know, being questioned by everybody is an impossible question. Throw. But I know what you’re gonna say.

Speaker Who I thought that was going to be one of us as I was gonna be like, I want to sum up Quincy Jones in one word, what would be that kind of thing? Who is it?

Speaker Quincy Jones is everybody.

Speaker Quincy covers the gamut. You know, from. Just like a juke joint. The pimp style, I mean, it’s not really a pimp. We know that, you know, but he knows of that life. Quincy has experienced so many different things. He’s the continental man. You know, he’s a man of elegance, but yet he can’t get down and dirty to you know, Quincy has met kings and queens and he’s met poppers. He’s met hobos. Quincy Jones treats human beings like human beings. Everybody gets treated with great respect because Quincy has that kind of vision. He has that kind of compassion for humanity. Quincy Jones cares about humanity, cares about politics. He’s well read.

Speaker He keeps up on on what’s going on with the world, with the environment. He puts his money and he puts his heart and he puts his time behind it.

Speaker You know, he’s a man of his word and still takes on too many projects. And he shouldn’t. I mean, he got sick before. He’s got a plate in his head because, you know this guy. I mean, an aneurysm. And he’s he always works way too hard. You know, maybe he has a handle on it. Maybe he knows how to back away from it just long enough. But it doesn’t look like it. You know, from my standpoint. But I’m so glad he’s here. I’m so glad he was born.

Speaker And the world really needed a human being like Quincy Jones, because he’s been able to really help shape the world, you know, through music and not just through music, but through his humanity. You know, to be a better place to live in and to know that provide doorways for others to step in and to be a part of a team that’s trying to move things forward.

Speaker Quincy’s is a great man.

Speaker That’s pretty much all. Down here, but I always sort of throw it up and come up with.

Speaker Oh, did you hear? Here we go. Still. You have a nickname for you nickname.

Speaker I know. I know.

Speaker Quincy Jones has a nickname for everybody from me.

Speaker Usually he doesn’t call me by any nickname, but he knows I’m a Buddhist and that I can’t name your whole ring. I go, it’s sometimes you call me.

Speaker No. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. I mean, he’s he’s come up with the things that he said.

Speaker You know, uh, uh, he’s he’s he’s he’s hilarious. Quincy is is very funny.

Speaker And in and so creative. Even even the nicknames that he gives people.

Speaker One of the things I’m on a mission backwards. This has nothing to do with nicknames but that from what I understand.

Speaker Quincy sees here’s. Let’s take perceives music in terms of color.

Speaker And shape. You know, I don’t know what that means yet, but.

Speaker I’m sure that there’s some significance there that it has something to do with his genius.

Speaker You know, it certainly points out that he’s not one dimensional about music. You know, he’s got a broad perspective. And that’s obvious. If you look at his output, all the things that he’s been into, you know, he has a broader perspective than than most people that you meet in ten lifetimes.

Speaker Any, uh, personal stories of either traveling with them, hanging out with, you know, 4:00 in the morning or one of his girlfriends?

Speaker Is it not here? You know, get in trouble. Do I know that?

Speaker Oh, I got a great one. I’ve got a great one.

Speaker One of my fondest memories. And I mean, just thinking about it now. You want to see it? I just want to think about it. I happen to be in Europe just on a promotional tour or just doing interviews, you know, to promote a record that I was working on. And. I got the opportunity to go to Khan.

Speaker And they were having meet him down there.

Speaker Some big international music conference in Khan and Quincy had been given an award had come and gone. And he also had been given an award by the French government, by the minister of culture. It was. Come on down or something like that of arts and letters.

Speaker And so when I was in college, I got a chance to see Q And. I was invited to this dinner at.

Speaker I think it was move land to move down so we can move a way which is near.

Speaker This restaurant is like a five star restaurant, and he knows he’s a foodie.

Speaker He knows all the great restaurants in the world. He knows all the great chefs.

Speaker So I think it was Moulana Rouge or it could have been a shopping of.

Speaker I don’t know. I don’t remember exactly which restaurant it was. Now, I’m sorry to say, but it was great. And while we’re in the restaurant, Quincy says, hey, what are you doing?

Speaker After after this, you know, I said, well, I’m I’m going back to the States and I’m back home. He said, Listen.

Speaker He said, no, you can’t go home. He said, you’ve got to come with me. He said, I’m doing this promotional tour for my record. I figured I’d forgotten which which record it was. Could have been black back on the block. I think it might have been back on the block. Anyway, he said. I got. The big G three jet. Warner Brothers. And I’m traveling with two women. You know, I see. See, you got to come along so we can have boy talk. You know, he was traveling with a woman who was the head of the international promotion for for Warner Brothers and also Luis Velasquez, who was a dear friend of mine and who I had known since she was in college at us, US, San Diego. And she at the time had just been given a position of the president of Quest Records. And she was. Quinces, right hand person. Really talented lady. Anyway. So.

Speaker Actually, I had nothing else to do, so I said, sure, why not? Well.

Speaker We ate and drank our way through Europe and bought our way through Europe, too. We went to Rome. We went to Paris, Frankfurt and Stockholm and London. Spent a fortune on clothes, stayed at the best hotels in each of those cities. And Quincy hooked me up. He hooked me up. He paid for everything he did pay for my clothes. Fires like the food was concerned in room was concerned Fuge sweets. He took care of me and was I mean. Mr. cost him a fortune. It was it was like a dream, you know? And we had a ball. We eat at all the great restaurants we gain. I think we gained by 30 pounds apiece. But I’ll never forget it. I remember landing in Rome and after we checked into the hotel, we went and we stayed at the Hetzler, of course, at the top of the Spanish steps there. And then we went to Valentinos. Q Knew wanted to keep people that Valentinos. And we went there and we bought up a bunch of clothes, Versace money. We just did it. And, and the car.

Speaker The limo. That would drive down the street. Drop us off, we go into the store. We pick out the stuff. We walk out the store. The limo driver would go in the store, grab all our packages, put them in the car, and then we drive.

Speaker You know, maybe a few feet down the street, go into another store. This went on. We walked away, I think, between the two of us. We must have had about 30 packages. You know, they fit in the trunk. They fit in a bag. See the front? They were everywhere. You know, there’s a big limo, right? It was full. You know, we did that there.

Speaker It was it was amazing. You know, it was total decadence, you know, doing the stuff. We got Stockholm. We got so wasted because Quincy used to live there.

Speaker He found his old cronies. One of them had a big party. And Scandinavians love to drink. Right. So, you know, when in Rome, do as the Romans. Right. So. We drink, we drink and we drink and we we just had had a fantastic time and I’ll never forget it. And he also met someone. I know how this happened. Something else, this gorgeous woman who’s just kind of appears out of nowhere.

Speaker She became his companion for.

Speaker I think just a few years.

Speaker And. Um.

Speaker So, I mean, all of these things happen and you fall in love, you know, and.

Speaker One of the great memories I have of this time. Whereas when we stayed in the Ritz in Paris. Right. And the next stop. Was wrong. All right. So we get in the car. We’re driving to the airport to get on on the Warner Brothers jet.

Speaker And I said to the Weese last. I said, So where’s my passport? She said.

Speaker Wait a minute.

Speaker You got your passport.

Speaker Then you said, no, what had happened was the night before we had gone out to. Dear friend of Quincy’s Eddie Barclays’ house. They had a dinner party there and we had a few too much to drink, too. And I had left my jacket there somehow, which had my passport in it. And somehow there was some confusion about when it got brought back to the hotel. Somehow it was at the desk.

Speaker Reception desk. And I didn’t know it. So I walked out of hotel with that. Anyway, we get on a plane because there was no time to go back to the hotel, because there’s a short window as to when you got to get that plane in the air.

Speaker Turns out because he didn’t have his passport either.

Speaker Fawzy had his driver’s license, plus he doesn’t drive. He had no driver’s license. He had no idea whatsoever. We drive into Rome.

Speaker Fortunately, the part of the airport where we landed was depart for the private planes. So it’s a more personal kind of attention that you get. But you have to go through customs, which is a different customs section than than where the commercial flights land. So there was one guy there and I think we landed at night.

Speaker Do you know?

Speaker Miracle of miracles. They let us in. Quincy had this award that he had gotten was a trumpet. I think the trumpet. Yeah, that trumpet was one of the awards that he had gotten from France. It was a glass trumpet, which he had to carry because there was no case for it. You know, he had to carry it by hand. And we had a newspaper article about the award. We showed that to the customs guy who spoke no English. And somehow he let us sue. I had my my driver’s license and he let us go and.

Speaker The funny thing was. I still have no passport. Quincy had a passport, he got a new passport and Rome. I knew my passport was in pairs. It turned out that the plane after we left Rome was going to fly to Frankfurt. Dropped Quincy off there. For a day off, it was gonna fly to Paris, back to Paris for some other reason. I don’t know. I don’t know what. And then they were gonna fly back to Frankfurt anyway before you had anything to do. So I said, hey, do you think I could tag along? This is sure. So I flew from Frankfurt to Paris and back. With just the group I had this whole Warner Brothers jet to myself, you know. Life of luxury. It was unbelievable, the food that they had there was because it was it was the meals that that in the style of meals that Quincy had ordered.

Speaker You know, and he’d like soul food, you know. So I mean it, Gry. They had grits for breakfast, which I love, you know, and they had greens and he had sweet potatoes.

Speaker It was it was great. It was great.

Speaker I got to call.

Speaker Gloria keeps the dark out and you get the photos of that check, I’m sure. Amazing. What’s so funny? Oh, that’s so funny.

Speaker I hope it doesn’t, man. This is Room, Joe.

Speaker Game room, Joe. OK.

Speaker What was this movie? Real.

Speaker I think it was similar to Gregory Peck.

Speaker Right. Yeah. Yeah. All right. We’re actually right. That was it.

Speaker I get this call from Quincy Jones, right? This was. Oh, this was done the time I was. That’s why I was still living in New York.

Speaker I guess. Yeah, sure, it was in the 60s, mid 60s.

Speaker At the time, I was working with Wood. Miles Davis. So I get a call from Quincy. You know, this was done at the height of his movie scoring career. You know, he called me up and he said he he said, I’m doing this quarter’s movie with Gregory Peck and Sophia alone and wasn’t I think it was Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren. All right. But it was called Mirage anyway.

Speaker And there’s a scene in the.

Speaker Where Gregory Peck has been given some hallucinatory drug and he’s on a street. So Hugh is doing a movie score and he’s also doing the soundtrack album. Because sometimes a soundtrack album is a little different from a movie score, because he’s got they have to extend some of the elements of the movie in order to make a song. You know, take up one and a half minute or 60 second section at a movie. And expand it. Anyway, he calls me into the studio. And there’s no music. On the V.A.. And so what we wanted to do, so he describes the scene.

Speaker And he gave me a few notes that are part of the theme.

Speaker For the film. And he says, I wanted to improvise.

Speaker Oh, really? Hey, I want to know how far.

Speaker Does he want me to take it?

Speaker He said, take it all the way out.

Speaker So I did that, I improvised and I took it out. And I’m thinking this is gonna be too, too much. You know, it’s gonna be, you know, to obscure. We’ve finished to take. He. Perfect. That’s just what I need. I say, really, you know, nobody does that because he does. Quincy Jones does it.

Speaker That was a great, great last little thing, because we’ve got Sidney Lumet I interviewed.

Herbie Hancock
Interview Date:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
cpb-aacip-504-v11vd6pw3q, cpb-aacip-504-2j6833nf5r
"Herbie Hancock , Quincy Jones: In The Pocket" American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). August 6, 2001 ,
(1 , 1). Herbie Hancock , Quincy Jones: In The Pocket [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET).
"Herbie Hancock , Quincy Jones: In The Pocket" American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). August 6, 2001 . Accessed June 6, 2023


PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.