Musician Quincy Jones has accomplished enough for three lifetimes … and he’s not done yet. An EGOT-winning arranger, producer and performer, Jones broke down showbiz doors previously closed to African Americans and along the way helped popularize and legitimize the sounds of jazz, R&B and hip-hop.
Filmmakers Alan Hicks and Rashida Jones, Quincy’s actress daughter, have made a comprehensive, loving, and yet surprisingly clear-eyed documentary portrait, covering the man’s life from Depression-era Chicago to Hollywood. There’s a lot for Jones and Hicks to cover in “Quincy,” from his teenage friendship with Ray Charles, to his work with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson, to his ventures into film, TV and publishing.
Understandably, “Quincy” is a bit scattered. The film jumps from tightly constructed biographical packages — with the subject reading scripted narration over archival footage — to more rambling “day in the life” scenes shot over the course of several years.
But the love and appreciation Rashida Jones has for her father is plainly evident in the way this story is framed: beginning with Quincy nearly dying and showing how he came back strong enough to produce a stirring TV special.
“Quincy” doesn’t ignore Jones’ history of philandering and drinking. But even when it’s considering a great man’s flaws, it does so with understanding, taking its cues from Q’s own philosophy: “You only live 26,000 days. I’m going to wear them all out.”
Running time: 2 hours, 4 minutes
Playing: Starts Sept. 21, Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica