Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Playlist: Quincy Jones

In 2009 at SxSW I heard Quincy Jones deliver the kind of nostalgic 90-minute stream-of-consciousness keynote speech that can only be pulled off by someone who produced Thriller and counted Frank Sinatra as a dear friend ("Q, live every day like it's your last and one day you'll be right."). Amid the stories, the friends ("Now Steve Ross, he was the kind of guy who could see around the corner."), and the inspirational quotes ("We are instruments of a higher power. Music comes through us, it's not about us."), he also dropped a small amount of advice ("Hey, and when it rains? Get wet.").

The most notable for me was a variation on the tidbit "Lesser artists borrow, great artists steal," attributed to Igor Stravinsky (who I am employed to promote, thank you very much FTC blogger guidelines). Quincy said the best thing any musician can do to develop their voice is to put their top ten favorite artists in a playlist on their iPod and listen to that playlist over and over every day. So I did—because I figure Quincy Jones can tell me what to do anytime he wants.

Here it is. I want to sound like all of this smashed together but, at the same time, totally different.

Do you hear any recurring themes?

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