In many years of selling music collectibles, I always get the greatest satisfaction when I can find the ‘perfect home’ for something. Sometimes it’s placing something of great historical importance in a museum collection. Other times it’s helping a longtime collector fill a hole in their collection that’s been vexing them for decades. A few weeks ago I had a particularly satisfying experience with none other than Quincy Jones.
I’ve been working on a jazz-related book and wanted to interview Quincy for it (he was a respected jazz trumpeter and arranger before his incredible success as a record producer and label executive). I’m friendly with Quincy’s grandson, musician and record producer Sunny Levine, who arranged for me to pitch the interview, and my friend and former boss Mo Ostin (the legendary longtime head of Warner Bros. Records, who is close to Quincy) told me to drop his name too.
Coincidentally, I’d just bought a large jazz memorabilia collection, which included a concert program for a German date on Lionel Hampton’s 1953 European Tour–on which Quincy played trumpet, alongside Art Farmer and the legendary Clifford Brown. The program even had a ticket from the gig pasted inside. According to Quincy’s Wikipedia page this was a pivotal tour for him–“it turned him upside down, altering his view of racism in the US“. So figuring it couldn’t hurt my chances for getting an interview, I sent the program to Quincy.
Quincy’s assistant Alyssa told me he’d loved it, and soon after I had my interview. Then she sent me a link to this posting on Quincy’s Facebook page, which blew me away. The ticket pasted in the program was from the day Jolie, Quincy’s first child was born, a daughter he didn’t meet for three months, because he needed the money he was making on the tour. Quincy wrote “It’s heavy to think about all the memories this one ticket holds!” And amazingly, Jolie is the mother of my friend, Sunny!
I can’t claim any of this was intentional, but I certainly found the perfect home for this program. Thanks for the interview Quincy, and for a great story too.