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370. Quincy; movie review

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Cert TBA
124 mins
BBFC advice: TBA

Quincy Jones? Didn't he have a couple of hits with Ai No Corrida and Razzamattaz? Surely, he can't be worth a two-hour biopic, can he?
How wrong could my pre-movie assessment of co-director Rashida Jones's dad have been?
To be honest, I did know that Jones had produced Michael Jackson's Off The Wall but I had no idea what a huge figure he has been in the music world since he first blew a trumpet in the late 1940s.
Quincy is one of the most fascinating documentaries of the year. Indeed, I was disappointed when it ended.
It is a story of what he calls a 'street rat' from the south side of Chicago who has become feted as one of the great, if not the greatest, music arrangers of all time.
Jones' story is told through chronicling past interviews and footage and cutting them into current material.
It outlines how he and his brother were left without a mother when she was sectioned when he was just seven and how his father worked for the Chicago gangs.
He admits that he was going along a path of crime until they moved to Boston and he discovered music.
Jones plays down his own qualities but he was playing trumpet in a renowned band at the age of 14 (I tried to learn trumpet and know how difficult that is) and was arranging for Count Basie when he was in his 20s.
In the meantime, he had begun a lifelong friendship with Ray Charles and then gone on to be orchestra leader and arranger for Frank Sinatra.
Yep, we are still talking about the bloke who sang Razzamattaz.
And that was just the beginning. His life in music has been one of extreme commitment - three marriages have been defeated by his dedication to work and he has nearly died three times from and aneurysm, stroke and blood clot.
And yet Jones is still alive and now has a stable of young musicians whom he mentors.
Oh, and did I mention his passion for promoting black artists and culture?
Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks' movie is one of the best biopics I have seen in quite a while. Ok, it is largely a eulogy - but with good reason - Quincy Jones' impact on the music world has been colossal.
But it also highlights his self-confessed weakness of drink and his marriage failures (there are even contributions from former wives).
I cannot claim to knowing whether it is a complete story but it is certainly not superficial - and it has some great music to boot.

Reasons to watch: Utterly compelling biopic
Reasons to avoid: There is a fair slice of luvvydom

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: None
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Director quote - Rashida Jones: "As much as my dad’s career has been followed and celebrated, nobody quite has the same relationship that I have been lucky enough to have with him. It was important that we got to his heart, and how that’s connected with his work."

The big question - Has anyone had a more impressive career in contemporary music?

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