Thursday, October 28, 2010
It's taken a while to get to the point where Quincy walks in the room.
So, everyone is there except Quincy and his business manager, Adam. When Quincy came into the room everyone's level instantly raised a few dB. Each of us was, after all, there to meet with Quincy so you might expect this reaction but, literally over and over, this is the type of response I've witnessed. The same thing happens with Greg Phillinganes, Siedah Garrett, JR, Paul Jackson, Jr.--everybody really--and they've known and worked with him since the '80s. Quincy's personality never demands respect but his reputation deserves it. Clarence Acox from Garfield High School put it very well when he said, "Quincy gets a lot of respect because he gives a lot of respect."
There's a component in Quincy Jones that could be described as love or care or just genuine interest in others, but he tends to draw the best out of the people with whom he associates and works. Virtually everyone I've talked with about Q have said the same thing, "When Quincy comes into the studio everyone gives their very best performance!"
Some people have tried to marginalize Quincy, saying that, of course he does great work because he works with the very best people. You know what...that's BS! Quincy produced Off the Wall and Thriller and Bad and Back on the Block, and on and on using the same players and studios that were available to every other producer. There is something special about his approach that inspires and motivates. His style is not to demean and belittle musicians until they do it his way--there are no tantrums in a Quincy Jones session. His style is to provide an atmosphere for greatness to occur; to provide a structure that is at the same time firm and fluid; to uncover the greatness that lies within the souls of his musicians; to conduct hearts not instruments; to, on one hand, know exactly what he wants and, on the other hand, to be open to what he never imagined.
So, anyway, now we're in Quincy's livingroom and ready begin a dialogue that might end in an hour or that might last a lifetime...