A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Quincy Jones – Part Two


Welcome to the second part of the story of Quincy Jones; still going very strong in his 80s despite a recent health scare. Behind every successful singer with hit songs is usually and extraordinarily talented and skilled musician and arranger. Quincy Jones is as comfortable in front of the band as he is behind the scenes.  William Price King picks up the story as we enter the mid 50s and the 60s.  Part one can be found here.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/new-series-a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-quincy-jones-part-one/

Quincy in Paris

Quincy Jones was only in his late teens when he went on the road with band leader Lionel Hampton to Europe and he was to say later that it completely revised his opinion of racism in the United States.

“It gave you some sense of perspective of past, present and future. It took the myopic conflict between just black and white in the United States and put it on another level because you saw the turmoil between the Armenians and the Turks, and the Cypriots and the Greeks, and the Swedes and the Danes, and the Koreans and the Japanese. Everybody had these hassles, and you saw it was a basic part of human nature, these conflicts. It opened my soul, it opened my mind.”

Working with an established musician like Lionel Hampton opened many doors for Quincy and he opted to live in New York in the heart of the music business. All through the 1950s he worked as a freelance arranger for Tommy Dorsey, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dinah Washington and his friend and collaborator Ray Charles.

As an example of the work that he was producing in collaboration with some of the greats. Sarah Vaughan with the Quincy Jones Orchestra and the classic ‘Misty‘ in 1958 for Mercury Records.

He also toured the Middle East and South America as a trumpeter and musical director for the Dizzie Gillespie band and on his return recorded his first album as a band leader for ABC Paramount Records which was released in 1956. It was considered a masterpiece of arranging and band leading. Over a short period of time the recordings evolved into a re-invention of big band music. Quincy used complex harmonies and rhythms that gave a younger and more vibrant sound that attracted a new generation of listeners as well as impressed the old hands. The pieces were also technically demanding for five or six players but took on epic proportions when performed by 20 musicians.

In 1957, Quincy settled in Paris where he studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and Olivier Messiaen, and worked as a music director for Barclay Disques, Mercury Records’ French distributor. In 1958 Jones was invited by Princess Grace to arrange a benefit concert at the Monaco Sporting Club, featuring Frank Sinatra.

Here is Frank Sinatra with the Count Basie orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones.

He took to the road again as Musical Director of Harold Arlen’s jazz musical Free and Easy which closed back in Paris in 1960. Musicians who had been part of the tour included Art Farmer, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones. Quincy took the newly formed band back on the road with families in tow and wowed audiences in Europe and the States. However, the overheads were astronomical and eventually they had to disband the orchestra. This left Quincy deeply in debt.

“We had the best jazz band on the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That’s when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two.”

Mercury Records stepped in and helped Quincy out with a loan and he went to work for them in New York as music director. He went on to be appointed vice-president of the label and was the first African-American to hold that position in a white-owned company. As well as producing albums and writing arrangements for his own artists, he also worked with other artists including Andy Williams, Peggy Lee and Aretha Franklin. He still continued to work with Frank Sinatra, arranging conducting the album It Might As Well Be Swing.

The exceptional Peggy Lee with the Quincy Jones Orchestra in 1961 – As Time Goes By.

Into the early 60s and still under thirty years old, Quincy was working with top artists as an arranger. Joining his growing list of stars was the young Greek singer Nana Mouskouri. Quincy also released his own solo recordings including Walking In Space, You’ve Got It Bad and I Heard That! His Soul Bossa Nova has been used as the theme music for a number of films and television shows as well as the 1998 World Cup.

One of the most prolific singers that he worked with in the early sixties was Lesley Gore. Born Lesley Sue Goldstein, she recorded the iconic It’s My Party in 1963 at age 16 and went on to have hits with You Don’t Own me and California Nights. Quincy produced all of her four million-selling singles in the first half of the 60s including ‘The Look of Love in 1965.

In 1964 Frank Sinatra hired Quincy to arrange and conduct his second album with Count Basie, It Might As Well Be Swing. |He followed this by conducting and arranging the singer’s live album with The Basie Band, Sinatra at the Sands (1966).

Frank Sinatra was not the only member of the Rat Pack that Quincy was to work with when he arranged and conducted the trio along with Johnny Carson with the Count Basie orchestra at a charity benefit in 1965. The event was broadcast in movie theaters around the country before being released on DVD.

In 1964, it was time for Quincy to turn his attention to a then mainly white dominated sector of film scores and his first major motion picture project for Sidney Lumet was The Pawnbroker. The film that starred Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Morgan Freeman. Apart from being Quincy’s first film score it was also the first American film to tell the story of the Holocaust from the perspective of a survivor and also one of the first to show nudity.

Quincy Jone and the main theme from The Pawnbroker

Following the success of his debut into the movie industry, Quincy left Mercury Records and moved to Los Angles. His career as a composer was established rapidly with films such as The Slender Thread, In The Heat of the Night, MacKenna’s Gold, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice and The Getaway. He has written the scores for over thirty major motion pictures.

This success led to he and his song writing partner, Bob Russell becoming the first African Americans to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for The Eyes of Love from the film Banning. The same year Quincy was also the first to be nominated twice in the same year for Best Original Score for the film In Cold Blood.

My thanks to those who have uploaded videos to YouTube.

Buy Quincy Jones Music.

http://www.amazon.com/Quincy-Jones/e/B000AQ0MV6

Sources and information on tours and news for Quincy Jones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincy_Jones
http://www.biography.com/people/quincy-jones-9357524
http://www.quincyjones.com/

Next time… Quincy Jones and the 1970s

About William Price King

Price King Eric Sempe

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and he is currently working on his new album available later in 2015.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find the previous post for Quincy Jones and the other series including Nat King Cole, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and Sir George Shearing in this directory.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We both would be very appreciative if you could leave a comment and share this new series on social media – Twitter and FB in particular. Many thanks Sally and William.

 

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Sir George Shearing – The Finale


We now move into the final part of the Sir George Shearing story and as well as some more of his legendary performances and collaborations it is also time to share the honours and tributes that he received from governments, fellow musicians and his fans.

Over to William Price King…

In May 1975, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City and the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans in 1978. Other honorary doctorates in music followed in 1994 from Hamilton College in upstate New York and DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 2002.

Here is an early version of Conception by the George Shearing Quintet.

His origins in the UK were not forgotten and in 1993 he was presented with the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement. This was followed in 1996 by one of the top honours that can be bestowed on a British citizen when he was included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. In the November of that year he was invested by her majesty at Buckingham Palace with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to music and Anglo-US relations.

Here is Mel Torme and George Shearing with A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square. Written in 1939 with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz and music by Manning Sherwin. Recorded in 1989.

In 1999, his 80th birthday was celebrated in England where he played to a sold-out house at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. Also appearing with him were the BBC Big Band, the strings of the London Symphony, Dame Cleo Laine and John Dankworth. BBC Radio 2 presented a 2 1/2-hour “Salute to Shearing” in honor of his birthday.

His US fans and musical collaborators were not to be outdone and the next year there was another sold-out birthday celebration at Carnegie Hall featuring the George Shearing Quintet with Nancy Wilson, Dave Brubeck, Dr. Billy Taylor, the John Pizzarelli Trio, and Tito Puente.

A reminder of the George Shearing Latin magic with Woodwinds and Brazilian Rhythm
Album:“George Shearing / Shearing Bossa NovaOne Note Samba

At age 85, George released his memoirs, Lullaby of Birdland, which was accompanied by a double-album “musical autobiography”, Lullabies of Birdland. This was immediately followed by two albums Hopeless Romantics with Michael Feinstein and the collectors set Mel Tormé & George Shearing The Concord Years.

41CC3cNdnwL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Another reminder of a great collaboration Nancy Wilson and the George Shearing Orchestra When Sunny Gets Blue…words & music by Jack Segal & Marvin Fisher, 1946.

Unfortunately, George suffered a fall and had to retire from regular performing. Although an American Citizen he and his wife returned to Britain most summers to their home in the Cotswolds and was able to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes, watching cricket.

In 2006 he received news that both delighted and surprised him. In a letter from the Prime Minister’s office he was notified that his name had been submitted to The Queen with a recommendation that Her Majesty confer George with a Knighthood.

When the letter was read to him, George simply said, “I don’t know why I’m getting this honor…..I’ve just been doing what I love to do.” And, when asked by the press how he felt about receiving the highest honor the Queen can give, he replied, “My mind keeps flashing back on my beginnings as pianist playing in a pub for the equivalent of $5.00 a week. What a journey it has been from that pub to Buckingham Palace. Receiving such an honor as a Knighthood might also show young people what can be achieved in life if one learns his craft and follows his dreams.”

Considering his own background as a blind child, the youngest of nine children whose father once delivered coal to Buckingham Palace; it was the culmination of a wonderful, successful and hard working life in music.

In June 13, 2007 George was presented to Queen Elizabeth II in the Ballroom of Buckingham Palace. He became Sir George Shearing “for his contribution to music”,

Here is another one of his spectacular collaborations with Peggy Lee singing Do I Love You written by Cole Porter.

Three presidents have invited Mr. Shearing to play at the White House. Ford, Carter and Reagan. He performed at the Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He is a member of the Friars Club and the Lotos Club in New York and the Bohemian Club in San Francisco.

And, the honours keep coming! Back in New York, on October 21, 2007, the Town Hall Foundation presented Sir George with its Annual Friend of the Arts Award “in recognition and appreciation of his abiding interest in the development, enrichment and support of the arts”. With this award also came a medal plaque, bearing Sir George’s name, being placed on the back of one the seats in the legendary Town Hall.

Sir George and his wife Ellie continued to travel between the UK and New York and it was here on February 14, 2011 at age 91, that he died of congestive heart failure with his family by his side.

Perhaps this is an appropriate track to end on.. Fly Me To The Moon the George Shearing Quintet with the legendary Nat King Cole. The song was written in 1954 by Bart Howard.

Links
Buy his music. http://www.amazon.com/George-Shearing/e/B000APYEA2

Additional material.
http://www.georgeshearing.net/bio.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Shearing

William Price King

cover of Home by William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of William’s posts in the following Directory including the previous posts on Sir George Shearing.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

Over the summer weeks I will be sharing the original series of the Nat King Cole and Mel Torme stories.. William Price King is busy with composing and will be back with a new series on the life of Quincy Jones in September.

Thank you for stopping by and of course do feel free to share and comment..

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Sir George Shearing – The 60s.


Welcome to the new music slot on Wednesdays with William Price King and the Jazz greats. We are now into the 60s and William picks up with George Shearing as he moves into the decade where pop and rock were beginning to take over the charts.

George Shearing did well in the transition period in music when many less popular musicians and singers faded away. He was versatile and with several styles to offer his audiences, he spent the 60s building on his reputation and popularity. He never forgot his classical roots and he began to introduce this element back into his own concerts as well as performing as a soloist with larger orchestras. His quintet would often feature as well later in the performance giving George the best of both worlds.

Here is George Shearing, playing with Robert Farnon and his Orchestra – Our Waltz. From the album, How Beautiful Is Night.

There were 26 albums released in the 1960s most with Capitol records but also individual albums for other labels including George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers for Jazzland. Also Jazz Moments with Blue Note in 1962, Smooth and Swinging for MGM also in 1962 and a live album for Request in 1966 that was not released until 2006 called Live Jazz from Club 15.

Here is No Hard Feelings from George Shearing and the Montgomery Brothers.

Apart from the classical and Jazz elements to his music and performances there was also another major facet to George Shearing’s music and that was the introduction of Afro-Cuban jazz in the 50s. Some of the Latin musicians of the 60s had been inspired by George’s pioneering work in this style and some of the artists that he worked with included Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria and Armando Paraza.

Here is an early recording of this style The George Shearing Quintet with Drume Negrita

In 1969 after a very lucrative partnership with Capitol Records which had included hit albums such as On The Sunny Side of the Strip, White Satin and collaborations with Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson and Peggy Lee, George moved on and started his own label, Sheba, and released six albums between 1970 and 1973. He also began to phase out the Quintet working in trios or duos with his solo work with orchestras.

This move to his own label did lower his public profile to a degree without the marketing machine of a major label, but things began to change again when he signed with MPS Records which was a German jazz record label founded in 1968. MPS stands for “Musik Produktion Schwarzwald” (Music Production Black Forest). George recorded eleven albums with the label including The Reunion with Stephane Grappelli. Here is George Shearing with Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen on Bass and Irish jazz guitarist Louis Stewart with 500 Miles High from the MPS Trio Sessions

The 70s also were notable for an award received in May 1975, When George received an honorary degree of Doctor of Music from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

George Shearing headed into the 80s signed to a new label Concord Jazz that was to prove to be a very popular and successful partnership with over 20 albums in the next 10 years.

Next week the 80s and two great artists join forces when Mel Torme and George Shearing hit the stage.

Links
Buy his music. http://www.amazon.com/George-Shearing/e/B000APYEA2

Additional material.
http://www.georgeshearing.net/bio.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Shearing

The Previous three episodes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-sir-george-shearing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/william-price-king-and-man-and-his-music-meets-sir-george-shearing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-sir-george-shearing-collaborations/

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

cover of Home by William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

Please feel free to comment, share and reblog to spread the music.. thanks for dropping by.  William and Sally.

 

 

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Sir George Shearing – Collaborations


We now move into the mid-50s and 60s and the decision to move to America permanently has offered George Shearing to work with the best in music. William Price King now picks up the story……

George Shearing and his Jazz Combos became more and more successful and popular through the 50s and 60s and he would release 48 albums, some in collaboration with other jazz artists of the day such as Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Mel Torme.

Most of George’s albums in the early 50s were with the MGM label but as his popularity grew other record companies wanted to sign him. From 1955 until 1969 he formed a very lucrative association with the Capitol label releasing several runaway albums including Beauty and the Beat with Peggy Lee in 1959.

The Rodgers and Hart – Nobody’s Heart featuring Peggy Lee – vocals; George Shearing – piano; Toots Thielemans – guitar; Ray Alexander – vibraphone; Warren Chiasson,
Jimmy Bond – double bass; Roy Hayens – drums; Armando Peraza – conga.

George had invented a unique quintet sound with the combination of piano, electric guitar, bass, drums and the introduction of a vibraphone. This enabled him to develop further a style called ‘locked hands’ which he had picked up when playing with and listening to other bands in the 40s such as Lionel Hampton and the King Cole Trio. The written description does not really explain the style of ‘locked hands’ very well if you are non-musical. The style involves stating the melody on the piano with closely knit, harmonised block chords with the vibraphone and guitar tripling the melody in unison… See what I mean. But you might get a better idea by watching this short (under two minutes) tutorial actually on the piano.

Here is George and another wonderful female jazz artist Nancy Wilson — vocals The George Shearing Quintet: George Shearing — piano Dick Garcia — guitar Warren Chiasson — vibraphone Ralph Pena — double bass Armando Peraza — percussion Vernel Fournier — drums recorded in 1961 which was a very busy year for the quintet.

Next week we will be looking at two other styles that George brought into his performances very successfully which were Latin and a focus on his first style which was Classical. Over the 60s he also began showcasing smaller lineups trios, duos and of course his own solo work. Particularly with a duo, George was able to perform more freely within the styles that he favoured most, moving effortlessly between classical to bebop in the same number. He certainly was sought after to accompany other greats of the music world and here is another wonderful collaboration with Nat King Cole.

Here is Let There Be Love written in 1940 with music by Lionel Rand and lyrics by Ian Grant, recorded by Nat King Cole and the George Shearing Quintet on their 1961 album for Capitol – Nat King Cole Sings and George Shearing Plays.

George’s career was firmly established by the end of the 60s and audiences around the world delighted in the variety of his styles both in his larger combos and his solo work. The early influences that set him on the path to musical success still featured in his own playing including both ends of the spectrum of boogie-woogie and classical. He was admired by other pianists of the day for his light and refined touch and his ability to move seamlessly between styles and he added the odd surprise when he would pick up the accordion or sing on occasion.

It is fitting to end this episode on collaborations in the 60s with another great performer Mel Torme and the song How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?

Mel Torme and George Shearing – composer Tony Scibetta and lyricist Johnny Mercer’s masterpiece is covered in masterful style by Shearing & Tormé. This comes from a 1983 Concord recording, their second together, entitled “Top Drawer.”

Links
Buy his music. http://www.amazon.com/George-Shearing/e/B000APYEA2

Additional material.
http://www.georgeshearing.net/bio.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Shearing

The Previous two episodes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/a-man-and-his-music-william-price-king-meets-sir-george-shearing/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/william-price-king-and-man-and-his-music-meets-sir-george-shearing/

William Price King – Jazz composer, musician and singer.

cover of Home by William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His debut jazz album is called ‘Home,’ a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area. His album ‘Home’ is available to download and more details in the Buy Music for Christmas.

LINKS
Links to website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484