Netflix announces new Quincy Jones documentary, and why we care
Rashida Jones is a beloved actress, and it’s fair to say she has built a career on her own merits and talent. But her father Quincy Jones is an absolute legend. And no one knows that more than his daughter. Netflix announced Wednesday (August 1) that a Rashida and Alan Hicks codirected documentary on the life of the jazz musician and producer will stream beginning September 21. The film is simply titled Quincy.
The name Quincy Jones has become synonymous with quality music. Jones is one of those rare musicians who has helped bring out the greatest work from top musicians of the past, but also functions as a mentor to many relevant musicians today. Jones is also the most Grammy-nominated artist in history—with 79 nominations and 27 wins.
“It’s rare that somebody who has lived as much life as my dad is still interested in growing and knowing the next generation,” Rashida Jones said in a statement. “He is such a man of action and accomplishments, but we were so lucky to spend real time with him, to let him reflect on life and the larger picture. I feel honored to be able to share that with audiences all over the world.”
Rashida has experienced success in shows like The Office and Parks & Recreation, as well as films like Celeste and Jesse Forever. But she showed a keen interest in documentaries, producing 2015’s Hot Girls Wanted—an alarming look at Florida’s amateur porn industry. Taking on her father’s story is no small feat. Quincy Jones’ life is full of ground-breaking accomplishments.
As a 14-year old, the already stellar trumpeter met a 16-year-old Ray Charles at a jazz club in Seattle. The two became life-long friends, and Jones would work as a big band arranger for Charles. In the 1960s, Jones became vice-president of Mercury Records—the first African American to hold the position. He began composing film scores, some of the most prominent being for The Pawnbroker, In Cold Blood, The Italian Job, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and The Color Purple.
During the same decade, Jones arranged compositions for major artists like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington. He experienced acclaim for his own work as well, including the song “Soul Bossa Nova.”
As a producer, Jones surprised the industry by earning his first U.S. No 1 with a white teen-pop single. The song? Leslie Gore’s “It’s My Party.” The notorious Phil Spector had also recorded the single with the Crystals, but Jones beat him to the punch. This early success would set the tone for Jones as a powerhouse arranger and producer in the entertainment world. He was hard to beat.
But Jones might be best known for the work he did with the late Michael Jackson—namely, producing Jackson’s number one best –selling album Thriller. Jones’s influence on that album was no small thing. In fact, it was he who insisted that Thriller needed “a black version of a strong rock ’n’ roll thing.” That song became the iconic “Beat It.”
So why tune in to Quincy when it debuts on Netflix? Jones is an example of a life lived for the love of music. The above-mentioned accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg, and make no mistake…you will be inspired. Jones helped nurture the careers of the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith. Without him, the world would be missing a major chunk of culture.