A precocious talent in his teenage years, Quincy Jones had made a point of learning all the instruments in jazz orchestras, played for President Eisenhower and left more than one scholarship to join big bands led by the likes of Lionel Hampton. By the time of this 1961 he was in his late 20s and had built a reputation both in the US and in Europe as not only a fully-fledged conductor but also as one of the most exciting and hungry new arrangers on the scene.
Having grown up in poor and crime-ridden Chicago neighborhoods, his early mentors like Hampton, Count Basie, and Dizzy Gillespie showed him that status and swagger was to be won by leading a big band and Quincy wasted no time getting involved. Here, we see him in one of his first few European tours, playing under the title of his Birth of a Band album from 1959.
With him is a staggering line up including the great Clark Terry, Bud Johnson and Jerome Richardson as well as many more. Tight, polished and bursting with energy, the band interprets tracks by Lester Young, the famous “Moanin’,” and Quincy originals. The show marks a glimpse of yet more greatness to come in the bandleader’s career.