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Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990)

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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 139 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

A unique look at the legendary musician, arranger, composer and producer offers a collage of memories, sounds and intimate interviews with musical greats in a rousing showcase.



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Credited cast:
George Benson ...
Tevin Campbell ...
Alvin Chea ...
Himself (as Take 6)
Cedric Dent ...
Himself (as Take 6)
Billy Eckstine ...


A unique look at the legendary musician, arranger, composer and producer offers a collage of memories, sounds and intimate interviews with musical greats in a rousing showcase.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Listen Up  »

Box Office


$776,699 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Michael Jackson' refused to be lit for his interview so it is conducted in the dark. See more »


References The Wiz (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

Absolutely Outstanding! A Fine Showing of the Life of a Great Man
9 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

Both informative and entertaining, this is an extremely intimate portrait of the man who knew no boundaries. It showed his European tours, both as a 19-year-old jazz musician AND later as a band leader who went broke (midtour!) and had to sell everything to get home. I was amazed at his countless works with legendary artists and composers. As the title states, it's hard to imagine all those experiences fitting into JUST ONE lifetime.

I was unaware of how much of a pioneer he was for many African Americans. Not only do the "old jazz tour" pictures and interviews with Dizzy, Miles, et al show this, but also his accomplishments -- 1st black VP of A&R for a major record label, produced "It's My Party (and I Cry if I Want To)", furthered the civil rights movement through music, 1st black to write movie scores -- are discussed as well.

It is all told in a very entertaining way -- narration, studio recording footage, and chats with Q, his siblings, his kids, and the myriad of artists he has impacted (Streisand, Sinatra, Spielberg, Ice-T, Flavor Flav, Oprah, you get the idea). Who else has worked with such a wide range of people? What I especially liked was the way many different interviews were spliced together in a point-counterpoint style, so that you could hear all of their views about the same subject.

I came away with a new respect for him, especially considering all of the financial, social, and even medical hardships he has had to overcome. However, anyone who does not already have a profound interest in music or someone who never faced hard challenges in life may not be able to relate to this story very well.

I would rate it 8 out of 10 - no question.

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