Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones

Opened October 5, 1990

Listen Up poster

“Listen Up” Credits

  • Directed by Ellen Weissbrod
  • Cinematography by Stephen Kazmierski
  • Cast (Partial):

  • Ray Charles
    Miles Davis
    Ella Fitzgerald
    Michael Jackson
    Frank Sinatra
    Steven Spielberg
    Barbra Streisand
    Sarah Vaughan
    Mervyn Warren
    Oprah Winfrey

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Listen Up DVD cover art

This 1990 film was a documentary which traced music producer Quincy Jones from his origins in the streets of Chicago to the heights of his success as a music and film industry heavyweight.

Barbra Streisand was one of the many musicians, stars, and recording artists who paid tribute to Jones in the film.

The documentary's format was simple: all of the celebrities were filmed in spotlight against a black background. They introduced themselves by saying, "My name is ..."

Their comments were highlighted by reverse angle shots and dynamically composited camera shots (by cinematographer Stephen Kazmierski).

Streisand in Listen Up
Quincy has that aura. You just want to please him. You want to impress him.

Barbra also said she trusted Quincy Jones' musicality so much that she was allowed to "play" and be free.

Barbra appeared in the closing credits sequence of the film.

Streisand closing credits

Barbra and Quincy Jones have worked together only once—on the 1988 track "The Places You Find Love" which appeared on Barbra's album Till I Loved You. It's interesting to note that the same song appeared on Quincy's own album, Back on the Block (1989) and was performed on that album by Chaka Khan and Siedah Garrett. Quincy's arrangement for the song on his own album was very similar to Barbra's. He incorporated some African chanting during the bridge and climax of the song.

Streisand talks about Quincy Jones

Another "six degrees" fact about this song is that Streisand's backup singer in Timeless, Peggi Blu, was a member of the chorus on "Places You Find Love".

Also interesting to note is that Glen Ballard, Jerry Hey, Quincy Jones and Clif Magness won a 1991 Grammy award for their arrangement (on Jones' album) of "The Places You Find Love."

End.

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