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ghost of miles

Mark Stryker on Quincy Jones in the 1950s

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Another insightful piece from Bloomington's/Detroit's/Organissimo's/the world's own Mark Stryker (did I cover enough bases there?), published yesterday on the JazzTimes website:

Chronology: Quincy Jones In The 1950s

... as far as Quincy's 1950s arranging work goes, I'd also cast a vote for Billy Taylor's My Fair Lady Loves Jazz album.

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Posted (edited)

Long before I knew his name, I first became aware of Q's arranging as a very young kid, through my Dad's copy of the Double Six of Paris's US debut on Capitol.  In Europe, the album was titled Sing Quincy Jones, but this was omitted from the US release.  All of the vocal arrangements were based on Q's big band charts.

As a teen teaching myself about jazz, I was surprised to learn that the famous guy who did The Dude and Michael Jackson's Off the Wall had been a jazz guy.  When I eventually stumbled onto Q's big band stuff, I heard his original arrangements of tracks I had known since childhood - "For Lena and Lennie," "Rat Race," "Doodlin'," and "Meet Bennie Bailey."  Q had been a part of my musical DNA all this time, and I didn't even know it.

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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In the last time I'm watching a TV station called Qwest by Quincy Jones that features lots of good jazz concerts. And it has also a subchannel for Classical and another for everything mixed. Pop, funk, soul and everything else. So he's also dabbled into TV.

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I became aware of Quincy through the numerous EmArcy album he wrote arrangements for in the early to mid '50s.. At that time his work had a very distinctive sound. Later on that dissipated, probably when he began to farm things out to Billy Byers and others.

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Even otherwise knowledgeable jazz aficionados often seem unwilling to fully give it up to Q. This reflects a bias against his gilded pop music career and an overreaction to his use of ghost writers in the ’60s, particularly Billy Byers, when Jones was building his career as a Mercury Records executive and morphing into a brand name. The defense is straightforward: Everybody used ghost writers when deadlines demanded it. The brilliance of Jones’ documented catalog is unimpeachable, and at the peak of his jazz career in the ’50s, he was grinding out every bar himself.

Bravo!

If there must be "executives" (and for now, probably forever, there probably must), why complain when some real talent enters that world? Not just enter, but excel?

It's a different world, with different rules, but such is life. As far as I know, everybody got paid fully and fairly, and whenever fine print was called for on the records, fine print was there, and the words "arranged by" were never used inappropriately ("orchestra conducted by..." does NOT mean the same as "arrangements by..."). Not everybody did that, so to the naysayers and sourgrapers….kwitcherbitchin. The man did it and won at it. You get your checks, he'll get his.

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His Mosaic was a revelation to me. Highly recommended if you can find it. 

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Between LPs and CDs, I must have around 40 Quincy Jones albums, including his jazz albums, film scores, and Now Sound records.  

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

His Mosaic was a revelation to me. Highly recommended if you can find it. 

Word !

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2 hours ago, Brad said:

His Mosaic was a revelation to me. Highly recommended if you can find it. 

Was it his earlier Mercury stuff?

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It was, but then they changed it to the Leslie Gore stuff without telling anybody.

Fuckers.

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, JSngry said:

It was, but then they changed it to the Leslie Gore stuff without telling anybody.

Fuckers.

Haha!

I hope they at least used the mono mixes!

I once knew a woman who went to a fairly exclusive prep school. While she was serving her sentence, she went on a double date.  She had never met the other girl before; she was introduced only as "Leslie."

The four climb into a car and take off.  They have the AM radio on and a Leslie Gore song comes on.  My friend says, "Would someone change the station?  I can't stand that whiny bitch."  The girl named Leslie whom she had just met was Leslie Gore.  

Edited by Teasing the Korean

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Leslie Gore never bothered me, I enjoyed the tang of her overdubbed unison's. For real.

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4 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

Haha!

I hope they at least used the mono mixes!

I once knew a woman who went to a fairly exclusive prep school. While she was serving her sentence, she went on a double date.  She had never met the other girl before; she was introduced only as "Leslie."

The four climb into a car and take off.  They have the AM radio on and a Leslie Gore song comes on.  My friend says, "Would someone change the station?  I can't stand that whiny bitch."  The girl named Leslie whom she had just met was Leslie Gore.  

That IS a great story. It would be perfect for one of those “want to get away?” ads. 

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