Quincy Jones' memorable moments

Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:38am EDT
 
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By Chuck Crisafulli

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Plenty of celebrities are known by a single name, but Quincy Jones may be the only one instantly recognizable by a single letter.

"Q" -- as he's known to his colleagues, friends and fans -- has won 27 Grammy Awards, a tally surpassed only by late classical conductor Sir Georg Solti, with 31.

He is also an eight-time Oscar nominee, a Kennedy Center honoree, and the recipient of the Legion d'honneur, France's highest decoration.

In his work as a film and television composer and record producer, Jones has created musical moments that range from subtly brilliant orchestrations to instantly recognizable pop hooks. Here are his thoughts on just a few memorable sounds from his remarkable career.

"SOUL BOSSA NOVA" (FROM THE 1962 ALBUM "BIG BAND BOSSA NOVA")

I got excited about bossa nova music when I went down to Brazil in 1956 and met Joao Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Then I did a whole bossa nova album in 1962, and I wrote "Soul Boss Nova" for that. It was one of Lalo Schifrin's first record dates -- he's playing piano on that. Bossa nova comes and goes, then here comes Mike Myers 40 years later and makes that little track the "Austin Powers" theme song. Then Ludacris has a hit with it. That's heavy. You don't know what's going to happen, but you just let it happen. It's out of your hands. You just let the music live on.

"IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT," 1967

You've got to serve a film, and sometimes you're surprised at the music a film pulls out of you. You find yourself doing things you wouldn't dream of. The bridge scene in "In the Heat of the Night" was like that. We had Don Elliot in there doing the mouth percussion and stuff. If you tried to over-intellectualize that moment, you wouldn't think that having that music in there could work. But it does.   Continued...

 
<p>Quincy Jones gestures at the Ebony magazine pre-Oscar party at Boulevard 3 in Hollywood, California February 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>