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Q The Autobiography Of Quincy Jones

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Musician, composer, producer, arranger, and pioneering entrepreneur Quincy Jones has lived large and worked for five decades alongside the superstars of music and entertainment -- including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Charles, Will Smith, and dozens of others. Q is his glittering and moving life story, told with the style, passion, and no-holds-barred honesty that are his trademarks. Quincy Jones grew up poor on the mean streets of Chicago's South Side, brushing against the law and feeling the pain of his mother's descent into madness. But when his father moved the family west to Seattle, he took up the trumpet and was literally saved by music. A prodigy, he played backup for Billie Holiday and toured the world with the Lionel Hampton Band before leaving his teens. Soon, though, he found his true calling, inaugurating a career whose highlights have included arranging albums for Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie; composing the scores of such films as The Pawnbroker, In Cold Blood, In the Heat of the Night, and The Color Purple, and the theme songs for the television shows Ironside, Sanford and Son, and The Cosby Show; producing the bestselling album of all time, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and the bestselling single "We Are the World"; and producing and arranging his own highly praised albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Back on the Block, a striking blend of jazz, African, urban, gospel, and hip-hop.


With some chapters written by Jones, and others by his family and friends (Ray Charles and Peggy Lipton, to name a few), this (auto)biography full of behind-the-scenes anecdotes has an improvisational feel that suits its subject: a jazz musician and superstar composer. Jones came from a hardscrabble background split between Seattle and Chicago when he was still a boy, his schizophrenic mother was placed in a mental hospital for a time, and he was raised by his father and a stepmother. Jones discovered his talent for music early on, and hit the road with Lionel Hampton's jazz band when he was still a teenager. Hampton is just one of the musical greats who makes an appearance Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington and Ray Charles are others. Jones scored his greatest musical successes during the 1970s and '80s (during which years he composed film scores and Michael Jackson's albums), but the strength of the book comes early on, when he describes the joy of his discovery of music, his early friendship with Charles and his struggles and joys as a jazz trumpeter on the road. "When I played music, my nightmares ended. My family problems disappeared." But to Jones's credit, he doesn't hold back his narrative when those problems caught up with him in the 1980s and he suffered a mental breakdown. With the help of his friends, Jones has composed a life story that gives much more than the typical celebrity memoir. (Oct.) Forecast: This title will appeal to many, including fans buying the CD boxed set, Q: The Music of Quincy Jones. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.


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