Review: Quincy, the Quincy Jones Documentary

Quincy Jones in Quincy

Quincy, the Netflix original documentary about the extraordinary life of musician Quincy Jones is a must see film. Quincy Jones knows how to tap into the soul of American music and give it back new and improved. He’s led a meaningful, powerful, influential life.

Written and directed by Quincy Jones’ daughter Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks, the film takes a leisurely 2 hour look at Jones’ life, marriages, and career.

Quincy Jones story starts on the south side of Chicago in the 1930s. His mother was mentally ill and in an institution, a loss that affected Jones all of his life. His father was a workaholic, and Quincy followed in his footsteps. Quincy started playing in a band at age 14. He played in bands, he had his own band, he learned to compose. He traveled the world and lived in different places as he learned. He always seemed to find the people and teachers he needed – probably because they all recognized his immense talent.

So far, Jones has recorded 2900 songs, 300 albums, scored 51 movies and TV shows, written over 1000 original compositions, won 27 Grammys, is an E.G.O.T winner, created the best selling album of all time “Thriller,” and the best selling single of all time “We Are the World.”

He has 7 children, 6 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild. Jones admits that one of the things he failed at in life was marriage, but he certainly doesn’t lack for family or love.

From his earliest days with legendary musicians like Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, and Frank Sinatra, Jones always worked with the best. His current mentorship of young artists shows how fresh his musical brain remains. He is respected, admired, and revered. He’s shown as a warm, positive, loving man himself. The people he surrounds himself with give it right back to him.

Quincy Jones

The documentary is focused on Quincy Jones’ career. It talks about his marriage, his children, his wisdom. There’s not much focus on anything negative. He drank too much, but there’s more emphasis on the fact that he quit. Because of overwork and drinking, he went through several life-threatening health crises that are mentioned. He survived being motherless, the racism in America, health crises, and divorce.

The thing about Quincy Jones that struck me again and again as the film went through the stages of his professional growth and career was how prescient he was. Again and again he sensed where music would go and could go. He tapped into trends before they were trends. He created trends. He put things together musically that no one before him realized made sense together. He created brand new musical events and styles that changed America. “Thriller” changed the world.

Quincy Jones is one of the creators of the American experience and of American culture. Watch Quincy and find out how much you didn’t know about him.

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