When you read the latest book “ My Journey and Passions” by Quincy Jones, with personal notes and pictures never previously released, you are truly in for a “treat” whether you are a music lover or not.
In January 2009, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Quincy Jones himself and receive a personally signed copy of the book.
Even though I’ve been given recognition for my work as a photographer around the world, and I’ve worked with countless of celebrities, no one has ever impressed me quite like Quincy Jones.
Reading the book, you will soon find yourself immersed in the world of a legendary career, a life filled with passionate work and endless love that he continues to give to all around him. This man has so much passion and love for people, I would refer to him as the “walking love boat”.
Reading Quincys’ book and meeting with him in person helped me develop a tremendous admiration for his high spirit, humanity and views upon how the world could and should be:
A world where people live, work and treat each other with respect and understanding and that overcomes the strife of pre-judgment and hate.
My meeting with Quincy Jones was so inspiring, seeing what was once going on in his mind, and what he once felt inside, and how it had been captured note by note and expressed in to music. Suddenly it hit me, that the amazing music coming through the speakers at the local restaurant, was the work and legacy of the very man I was sitting with.
The most impressive characteristic of this man, despite his fame and fortune, is that he still remains as grounded as the man next door. Quincy sticks to his own recipe for it:
“I got up every morning and knew I would do what I love to do, no matter how hard it was. I never got discouraged and always had faith in myself and the Lord.”
With these words among others, Quincy certainly is a role model and inspiration for everybody who wants to improve their life and become a better person.
Reading a bit into the book, you will begin to realize how well-liked and revered Quincy was and still is in the entertainment industry.
As you read the forward written of the book by Clint Eastwood, and the introduction by Bono, both express admiration and love for this man. Viewing the pictures of Quincy’s early years makes you realize that this vibrant young man would come to see many changes in America and the world. During these years he would also come to see changes in his life and the lives of those around him, and capture the essence of these times perfectly.
Going back to “Soul Bossa Nova” in 1962 to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with over 104 million albums sold, you will find that Quincy was able to connect with people around the world and at the same time top the charts, working with different artists.
In 1968, Quincy became the first African American to be nominated by the Academy of Arts and Science for “Best original song”, and he was appointed as the first African American Vice President at Mercury Records.
He composed the musical score for Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple”, in 1990 he established “Vibe” magazine, and in 1991 “Quest Broadcast”. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate from Princeton and Washington Universities.
His achievements truly speak for themselves, as the work of a true genius does.
Spending his early years in Chicago, at age ten Quincy moved with his parents to Seattle. He quickly started his musical career playing the trumpet, which he mastered to perfection in a short period of time. He then received a scholarship in Boston, and later moved to New York City, where he worked with count Basie, Duke Ellington and many others. One of his greatest joys was becoming close friends with Ray Charles, a legend himself.
One could not deny Quincy’s passion for music and him inspiring others, with his abilities and expressions of different forms. His sense of humor and willingness to try new things led to the producing of the notable TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”.
Working with, at the time rapper Will Smith, Quincy recognized the talent and believed in young Will. With Quincy’s mentoring and support, Will Smith became the major star that he is today, which is just another example of the unselfish greatness of the legend Quincy Jones.
In the book you will find a lot of personal and intimate details that I found amazing. The notes and pictures, as well as the statements from friends and colleagues, show how real Quincy is, and bring him close to you as a reader. His ability to remain untouched by the fame surrounding him, makes Quincy a one-of-a-kind icon in the entertainment industry of today. He truly represents what “the American dream” is about; following your passion and talent – succeeding
Quincy’s music has transcended many trends and genres over the years and is still setting marks all over the world for his creative and memorable work as a quintessential artist; a performer, composer, writer and producer.
He is a man who never gave up believing, that life can be so beautiful if we only live it “the right way”. Quincy never judges anyone, but looks into every person’s heart, and that is what believe makes him so unique. Love is a fragile thing that we all need, both giving it and receiving it, just like Quincy always did and still does.
Reading Quincy’s book is like spending day by day with him. Every memory in his book reflects the moments we experience in our own lives. Making the best and most out of every day, will improve everyone’s life, just like it did Quincy’s. Take one of the pages and apply it to your own life, the page of a great talent and a great man – Quincy Jones.
written by Eleonore Hansson