Net­flix doc tunes into jazzman Jones’s ca­reer

Times Colonist - - Television - AN­DREA MANDELL

TORONTO — Oh, to live life like Quincy Jones.

At the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, Net­flix un­veiled Quincy, a new doc­u­men­tary (stream­ing Sept. 21) writ­ten and di­rected by his ac­tor daugh­ter, Rashida Jones, and doc­u­men­tar­ian Alan Hicks.

At just over two hours, the feature is a sprawl­ing look at the out­spo­ken 85-year-old mu­si­cian’s stun­ning 70-year ca­reer, from his hum­ble be­gin­nings in Chicago’s De­pres­sion-era South Side (where he be­came a trum­pet prodigy) to be­ing a gifted com­poser and mega-pro­ducer who had an im­pact on the lives of stars in­clud­ing Frank Si­na­tra, Oprah Win­frey, Michael Jack­son and Will Smith.

What kept Quincy shak­ing par­a­digms over seven decades? “I never wanted to be a grown-up,” he said at the Q&A that fol­lowed the screen­ing, to laugh­ter. “Grown-ups are bor­ing.”

There was a ton of footage for the di­rect­ing duo to wade through. On­stage, Hicks said they shot 800 hours of footage of “Q” and had ac­cess to 2,000 hours of his archival footage.

“You can’t get it all in!” cracked Quincy, whose ar­range­ment of Si­na­tra’s Fly Me to the Moon was played on the ac­tual moon.

Grounded by in­ti­mate videos show­cas­ing his warm wit, Quincy is paced with the same sense of ur­gency the mu­si­cian has been pro­pelled by through­out his life.

The film chron­i­cles his up­bring­ing with a schiz­o­phrenic mother; a worldly out­look gained as a teen who trav­elled the world play­ing jazz; the count­less artists he men­tored, and the 51 Hol­ly­wood films and TV shows he scored (break­ing the bar­rier on African-Amer­i­can film com­posers).

Mar­riages came and went, seven chil­dren were born.

Quincy Jones suf­fered twin brain aneurysms in 1974 and a stroke in 2015. He has since quit drink­ing.

What sur­prised Rashida about her fa­ther af­ter comb­ing through the story of his life?

“I think it was just the con­sis­tency of pat­tern that he pushed him­self to the limit ev­ery decade — to some­times a health cri­sis or a ner­vous break­down or what­ever it was,” she said.

“And then ev­ery sin­gle time, [he] man­aged to sur­vive, re­set, re­cal­i­brate and make a de­ci­sion to live his life in a dif­fer­ent way.”

Rashida turned to her fa­mous fa­ther. “You’ve got a lot of lives, Dad.”

“Don’t stop till you get enough,” Quincy grinned.

Quincy Jones, cen­tre, stands on the red car­pet with his daugh­ter Rashida Jones and Al Hicks, co-di­rec­tor of the doc­u­men­tary, Quincy, at the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

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