Quincy Jones on Q: An exclusive feature interview

The legendary Quincy Jones joins Jian for an exclusive one-on-one feature interview about his storied career.
The legendary Quincy Jones joins Jian for an exclusive one-on-one feature interview. Hear the radio version by clicking here or on the listen button. Preview the full broadcast version (which airs Friday night on The National) in the window below.

In part one of a two-part interview, Jian speaks to legendary producer Quincy Jones about his musical past, biggest influences and most vivid memories -- including how he went from "baby gangster" to musical great, and how a near-death experience left him with only one fear.

In part two, Jones looks to the future -- one he puts in the hands of young talents like Canada's own Nikki Yanofsky.

jian-quincy-620.jpgJian and Quincy Jones pose playfully, tossing in a Beshkan -- or traditional Persian snap (Mitch Pollock/CBC)

Jones not thrilled about posthumous Jackson album

Throughout his storied career, Quincy Jones has collaborated with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles -- to name only a few -- while racking up scores of accolades: 27 Grammys (from 79 nominations), 7 Academy Award nominations, 11 Tony nominations, an Emmy and a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

michael-jackson-250.jpgBut one of his most epic and acclaimed collaborations was, no doubt, with the late King of Pop.

Jones tells Jian what it was like to work on Thriller, noting that he produced mega-bestselling Michael Jackson like he would any artist -- taking the lead and filtering for quality.

"What am I gonna learn from Michael? I don't wanna be singing and dancing," says Jones. "I didn't ask him about anything. We told him what songs he was gonna sing. A producer has to do that."

Jones also balks at the posthumous release of a new Jackson album, Xscape.

"They're trying to make money. And I understand it. Everybody's after money, the estate, the lawyers. It's about money."

Still, Jones notes, "it's not my business anymore."

quincy-michael-file-620.jpgMichael Jackson holds several Grammy awards as he stands with Quincy Jones on Feb. 28, 1984. (Doug Pizac/Associated Press)


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