Quincy Documentary Film Review

An Inspiring Documentary About A Living Legend

When it comes to living legends, Quincy Jones is one of those unique souls whose story is both inspiring and impressive. This self-confessed workaholic has been in the music business over 50 years, producing records, playing various instruments and generally being at the cutting edge of some of the most important changes in the business. For those unaware of this incredible human being, watching Quincy will be quite the eye-opening experience as this Netflix Original takes an intimate look at this extraordinary powerhouse.

With a run time of a little over 2 hours, Quincy is a pretty long film but one that packs an awful lot of content in its 120 minutes. For the entire duration of the documentary, the focus swings like a pendulum between Quincy Jones’ history, with himself narrating key events beginning in 1939 all the way through to the 90s and beyond, to his present-day struggle with old age and juggling work and family. It’s a set up that works surprisingly well, showcasing just how much Quincy has done in his life whilst presenting a man whose never lost his hunger and desire to continuously outdo himself despite an exhaustive list of achievements and awards.

The general set up of the documentary remains consistent throughout, with the first hour broken up nicely by the black and white stock photos from the early days of Bebop to working with Frank Sinatra. Contrasting this are various real-life events Quincy participates in where he’s greeted by different celebrities and interviewed by his daughter using an amateur hand-held camera. All of this works to paint a picture of an amazing talent and someone who’s done and seen it all in the music business.

The second half of the documentary keeps the footage in colour, partly thanks to the passing of time, but still manages to do enough to distinguish the difference between the historical footage and the present day drama. All of this is helped along by a score of Quincy’s own music productions, some of which may be recognisable from films and others from the very early days of Bebop. This constant flow of music really helps give some audible cues to the smattering of different accolades and celebratory events in Quincy’s life.

Whether you’re familiar with Quincy Jones or only hearing his name for the first time, Netflix have done a wonderful job painting a portrait of one of the most iconic individuals to be involved in music. From producing memorable records, including Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to touring in Europe with his own big band, Quincy Jones is a man who’s literally seen and done it all in the industry. The admirable enthusiasm he has for life and working is something that’s truly inspiring making it all the sweeter to watch and be inspired by.

  • Verdict - 7.5/10