Count Basie took the future music producer Quincy Jones under his wing when the lad was only 13 years old.
Jones joined a jazz band when he was 14. Throughout his career, there always was someone older to “school” him.
Basie would say, “This business is all about hills and valleys. You find out what you’re made of when you’re in the valleys.”
John Coltrane reminded Jones to study a thesaurus of scales and melodic patterns.
Now, in his own book of advice, Q on Producing, the producer behind “It’s My Party,” “Thriller” and “Sinatra at the Sands,” a guy with 27 Grammys and 79 nominations, recommends three things to those starting out: practice, learn the history of your craft, and listen.
That’s what the greats do, he says. Marvin Gaye, Sinatra, Aretha Franklin. “I’ve seen Aretha sit at a piano and sing a line over and over again,” he says. “She might sing it 20 or more times.”
— Adapted from “What a 27-time Grammy winner has to teach,” DeNeen Brown, The Washington Post.