Featuring Original Music Composed By Quincy Jones
(June 21, 2016 – Los Angeles, CA) – Varèse Sarabande will release the original ROOTS – Television Mini-Series Soundtrack on CD July 1, 2016. The album features the original music composed by Quincy Jones (THE COLOR PURPLE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT).
“I’m so thrilled to know that the ROOTS soundtrack is being relaunched for our younger generations to have the opportunity to learn about the evolution of black American music from its African origins to the late twentieth century,” Quincy stated. “I got involved in the early stages of the project back in 1976 because I was passionate about educating listeners on the essence of what African music was truly about. I felt that America did not have a true understanding of the ramifications that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade had on music as a whole, and sadly I believe we still do not have an understanding of it to this day; as such, the words I wrote in the 1977 liner notes are as pertinent today as they were back then, and it brings me great pleasure to be able to share the message with a new audience.”
ROOTS is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland of The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America, where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history, including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation. The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.
Considered to be one of the greatest minds in music and television history, Quincy Jones, Jr. has had one of the longest, most successful careers in popular music. He is a record producer, conductor, arranger, film composer, television producer and trumpeter. He has worked with such artists as Michael Jackson, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, to name just a few. He has been nominated for a record 79 Grammys – and won 27 – and in 1991, he received the Grammy Legend Award.
Quincy Jones began playing trumpet, and, in Seattle, he met Ray Charles, who was three years older than him. In 1951, he won a scholarship to what is now the Berklee College of Music. He moved to Boston to attend the school, but he soon wound up taking an offer from Lionel Hampton to tour with his band as a trumpet player. While on the road with Hampton, Jones began showing talent as a song arranger. He left Hampton’s band in 1953 and moved to New York, where he arranged songs for several artists, including Count Basie, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Tommy Dorsey and Ray Charles, with whom he had become a close friend.
During the Fifties and into the Sixties, he wrote charts and directed the orchestra for concerts and recording sessions by several singers, including Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, and his friend Ray Charles, helping him become a major force in American popular music. He was hired as musical director of Mercury Records’ New York division, and he was soon promoted to vice president, the first African-American to hold such an executive position with a white-owned record company. Around that same time, Jones began writing film scores. At the invitation of director Sidney Lumet, he composed the music for THE PAWNBROKER (1965). It was the first of Jones’ nearly 40 major–motion picture scores that would also include such classics as IN COLD BLOOD (1967) and IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967). He also wrote scores and composed music for hundreds of television shows, including the long-running IRONSIDE series, SANFORD AND SON, and movies like THE COLOR PURPLE.
During the Seventies and Eighties, he produced albums for Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, and others, but most notably “Off the Wall”, “Thriller” and “Bad for Jackson.” A major film documentary, LISTEN UP: THE LIVES OF QUINCY JONES was released in 1991. In 2001, Jones’ autobiography, Q: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF QUINCY JONES, was published. Jones continues to work and make frequent appearances on TV shows and in documentaries about popular music.
ROOTS is available worldwide digitally, on DVD and Blu-ray. Varèse Sarabande will release the ROOTS – Television Mini-Series Soundtrack on CD July 1, 2016.