Q's background music


Quincy Jones is adding his special touch to a production music library. The composer for such films as "In Cold Blood" and "The Color Purple" is producing a heritage black music series for Extreme Music to license for film, television and commercial use.

The first three CDs in the Q-Series — jazz, gospel and hip-hop music — should be available before summer.

Russell Emanuel, co-CEO of Extreme with Dolph Taylor, said Jones will produce nine CDs during the next few years. Extreme is a wholly owned unit of Viacom's Famous Music Publishing.

Jones said he produced the jazz album like any other album he has produced during the past 50 years, picking the best songs and working with top composers and musicians like Kenny Werner and Tom Scott.

For the hip-hop album, Jones reached out to his son, hip-hop producer QD3. "He referred me to some young guys — JAM Music — who were absolutely exceptional and who helped us put together some really catchy grooves."

Making music for a production house — certainly not the most glamorous territory of the music business — seems like an unusual gig for someone of Jones' caliber, but Jones said he loves to support new ways of getting music out to people.

"I was blown away by Extreme as a company," Jones said, "and this is representative of the paradigm shift we are seeing in music. For those of us who still love to make music in the age of P2P, this is a new and exciting way to get music out."

Susan Butler is a senior correspondent for Billboard.