Tag Archive: quincy jones


 

QUINCY-1998-FNL-copy

Quincy Jones has had a career and a life that just won’t me duplicated.

EGOT.  He opened the door for Oprah to go to the next level.  He opened the door for Will Smith to go to the next level.  Nearly any creative I know would feel like his 90th biggest accomplishment would easily be their 1st.

So it’s impressive that ‘Quincy’ does such a good job of giving an overview for how much he’s done over the years while blending in enough of a personal element to balance the story out.

I could be hear all day talking about Q’s accomplishments, so I’ll just pick a few highlights:

  • Sinatra is one of my guys, so the chapter detailing their relationship was riveting for me.  How much respect Frank had for him, how Q was right there with Sammy when Sinatra spoke up about really integrating Vegas, the album ‘Sinatra at the Sands’ (a personal favorite).  All gems.
  • Like Kendrick said, my generation was introduced to Q through MJ.  The music nerd in me was equally happy to hear him credit Rod Temperton as one of the great songwriters, but getting behind the scenes footage of their professional bonding over ‘Off the Wall’ and ‘Thriller’ was cool.
  • I should have figured as much, but Q produced the concert that opened the Smithsonian African-American Museum.  Just seeing him walk through the pop culture exhibit and realize he produced or worked with damn near every person in the music section is another shake your head ridiculous moment; but seeing this man still producing massive events in his 80s is…humbling.

The film is co-directed by his daughter Rashida (side note: I’m far too young to know of a young Peggy Lipton, but seeing her with no context, my first reaction was still, ‘Oh, that’s Rashida Jones’ mom), and it’s well worth the two hour watch if you’re any kind of pop culture nerd.

High recommend.

 

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marlon

Funny, I was just watching this last week for acting purposes…

But since Quincy Jones felt the need to throw the 1960s under the bus this week, let me post this…

More serious people, who are more directly affected by homophobia than I, can speak to some of the uglier comments around Q’s revelations about Marlon’s bisexuality.  Brando was my acting idol when I started, so in my own research, that aspect of his life I knew about years ago.

The name dropping was new information though!

Aside from that (and on a much lighter note), among film geeks, among actors, a phrase I’ve heard more than once is, ‘I don’t swing that way, but young Marlon Brando in peak physical condition in ‘Streetcar’…I understand.’

Next Best Picture review Sunday night.

Enjoy!

 

Tevin-Campbell

No ulterior motives today, at least not consciously.

Just heard this today and had to play it back a few times.  So beautiful.

Enjoy!

 

ratpack

Frank! Live in Vegas! With the Count! And Quincy in the background pulling the strings!

(OK I’ll be quiet and enjoy this…)

 

youngq

I’m riding high emotionally, so hopefully I can spread some of that vibe on to you heading into the weekend.

This man needs no introduction really, but if we must, Mr. Letterman, take it away…

 

rashida

A few different angles with this one…

  • Many of you know my affection for ‘Clair de Lune’ and I had planned to fit it into my wedding.  UNTIL, I mentioned this to a friend of mine, who told me him and his wife used it in their wedding.  Hmph!  And I’ve half jokingly been looking for another classic romantic song ever since…
  • As a film geek, I’m very partial to the original version (mostly because of the iconic, 360 degree shot of Paul at the end.  But this arrangement…
  • I’ve pulled each of my groomsmen aside over the years and let them know what their entrance music for the wedding will be when my day comes.  As for the reception though, the plan to kick it off was always for me to grab my guitar and join my band, Sexual Chocolate, to play this version of this song when Quincy and Rashida walked in.  I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact that everything in this last paragraph might not happen.  But I still love this song!

Jokes aside, I do think now I favor this slower tempo-ed, acoustic version, of a song I already loved for its simplicity.  Enjoy…

 

 

quincy-jones-09

It was the infamous ‘Three Musketeers Spring Break’ trip.  We were shacked up with some FINE ass Deltas from Spelman.  I was instantly in love with one of them, I thought she could be the Elvira to my Tony Mecca (you Scarface fans will appreciate that reference.)

Anyway one night we were coming home from 112, me and my ace in the back seat.

Elvira: Do you sing?

Me: (doing my ‘painfully shy Michael Jackson’ bit) Um…I don’t like to brag…but you know…yes.

Now y’all know me well enough to know I followed that up with a good ten minutes of silence.  The car got quiet and this bad boy come on.  Completely on cue, I piped up with all the bass in my voice.

Me: ‘I KNOW A MELODYYYYYYYYYYYYYY’

Oh trust, King Kong, James Ingram, they didn’t have shit on me that night!

Anyway, enjoy:

 

“There’s no such thing as a small part, just small actors.” – Sidney Lumet

Being out of town delayed this post by a few days, but when you’ve contributed to American cinema what Sidney Lumet did, an appreciation is better late than never.  Non film geeks be warned, I’m going in on this one.  While his name does not have the crossover appeal of Spielberg or Scorsese, you can’t talk about Hollywood filmmaking without talking about this man.  A brief rundown for the uninitiated…

  • 12 Angry Men – Has to be in the debate for one of the best directorial debuts ever.  I believe I was in high school (possibly middle school even) when I was first shown this film, about a jury deliberating over the guilt or innocence of a kid on trial.  The majority of the film takes place in a jury room, and as television has given us even more access to the workings of our justice system, 12 Angry Men (in my opinion anyway) is probably even better now than it was when it was first made.  And this was his first film.  Damn.
  • Serpico – Much like ‘On the Waterfront’, the rare film where you completely sympathize with the ‘snitch’ (and yes I understand the snitches in these films were played by Brando and Pacino respectively).  Based on the true story of a NYPD officer who ratted out his coworkers’ corruption (and dealt with the repercussions of that), it’s a fantastic piece of 70s cinema.
  • Dog Day Afternoon – By leaps and bounds my favorite non-Corleone role by Pacino, and also number one of my list of ‘I Could See Hollywood Trying to Remake This, and I’ll Have Me a Good Cussing Fit That Day’ Movies.  Also based on real events, a down on his luck guy and his buddy decide to hold up a bank, and literally from the moment they say ‘This is a Stick Up!”, their day and their plan gets worse and worse and worse.  One of the first DVDs I ever bought.
  • Network – Even if you’ve never seen this film, odds are you’re familiar with the phrase, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”  Well if you didn’t know, it came from this film.  Some people say this film in its own way predicted the genre we all call ‘reality TV’.  I don’t know about all that, but when you get Robert Duvall and Faye Dunaway in their peaks, and a Hall of Fame catchphrase and performance by Peter Finch, you’ve got one hell of a movie.
  • The Wiz – I’ve caught slack from some of you for not holding this film to the same standard as the films above.  As compensation for this slight, I offer the next time we go to karaoke, I’ll perform this (complete with highwaters, glitter vest and matching bow tie…)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML-qN_6ZeCU&feature=related

That said, IREFUSE to call the Wiz a cinematic classic.  BUT.  BUT…not only was this the film debut of my Idol, but it was during the making of this film that he met the cat playing piano in the clip above (a musical genius by the name of Quincy Jones).  They decided to make a couple albums together.  I think you know the rest…

I’ll start to wrap it up, even though I haven’t even mentioned ‘The Verdict” (a great film and for many people’s favorite performance of Paul Newman).  And while there’s no way to document this, he’s widely credited as being the one who suggested that in the Pacino remake of Scarface, they make Tony Montana and company Cuban immigrants.  (Wow.) That, my friends, is a first ballot Hall of Fame Hollywood career.

So rest in peace, Sidney Lumet.  You won’t bump Liz from the final spot in next year’s In Memoriam segment of the Oscars, but I’ll be damned if you’re not second.

the-color-purple

Based on the critically acclaimed novel, The Color Purple was an equally popular film that received its fair share of critical acclaim.  On to the tale of the tape…

Relevance:  The storyline of black life in the South in the early 20th century would be enough for this category.  The inclusion of the film’s author and the film’s primary producer (one Quincy Jones) is enough for this film to earn its points in this category.

Legacy:  I’ll sidestep the various jokes that still get told in reference to the film’s story and point to two actresses who made their feature film debut in this movie: Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey.  Perhaps you’ve heard of them?

Craft:  While a lot of the book’s bisexuality was left out of the film, the abusive material stayed pretty much intact (to Spike Lee’s delight).  This film still gets major play on cable, which is also a testament to…

Crossover:  the fact that it received massive love from the Academy…kind of.  The Color Purple still holds the record for the most nominations (11) without a single win.  Oh, one more thing for the crossover category; it was directed by Steven Spielberg.  Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

Apollo:  Not counting kiddie movies, this was the first film I remember my parents taking me to.  I was…11 at the time I believe, so my memory of watching it from that screening are slim to be honest.  You know what I do remember from that time?  Danny Glover was a bad man…

The next film entry is coming at the end of the month.