Quincy Says it All

My Blog this week is short and too the point. It is the point of view of Quincy Jones-One of the Greatest producers in music history and a hero and great influence to me. Read the Quotes and absorb!!

"I see this generation loving to be rich and famous with no work. you ave to work!"

A Question...What key Lessons are you teaching these new acts?

Everything I can think of about the things I was happy to learn 1-humility with your creativity and grace with your success. I'm tired of attitude. I can't handle it anymore. I've seen it all my life. El Divos and La Divas. I remember a major artist telling me "Man I got everything I needed. I got me a Rolls Royce and da,da, da," You can't think like that. You have to make it bigger so you can hold onto your sense of humility. That's Important. We didn't think about money or fame when we started.Not Ever. It was to just be a good musician.

Words of wisdom from Quincy Jones-what do you think?
Peace, Jason

The Real Producer

The Grammys always get me thinking. I remember years ago when there were so many great albums produced and the majority of the artists who made the albums all had one thing in common. No matter what kind of music it was there was usually an excellent producer behind it. You had to really have the experience to understand the dynamic of the studio, the artist and the whole scenario. it took experience and at the end of the day really showed by having excellent song, production value and overall confidence that the artist was in good hands with the producer. It does seem like now anybody can be a producer with all of tools available to them. There are instant excellent presets on Instruments, processing and mastering tools and of course plugins to make the project sound professional-even though one may not know what they are doing. The problem is over time all of the minuses will start to show themselves. I believe it takes years to develop that ear and instinct that separates the great producers from the OK ones. So many of the pop productions I hear all have the same dynamic. They are smashed to wall with sound,no room for space or to breath.This is the formula. So wat is the answer.? if you truly want to dedicate yourself to being a great producer you have to do lots of reading,Know the history of music and the genres you work in and perfect them. Then knowing about music and understanding the craft of songwriting as well. incase you are missing it-It takes alot of time and effort to truly get to that place. I paid dues for many years learning under the best before I was ready to go out on my own. Oh yeah-you can produce and get by for awhile but it will catch up to you.

I just finished 2 wonderful albums-my Group Global Noize-Sly Reimagined-The Music of Sly and the Family Stone and Singer Amy Hanaialii-Ever Changing. Both have character attitude and are totally different for each other. It took years to understand and be confident and fearless in my production decisions. it shows. Now this isn't an ego statement,it's a statement that making music to a producer should be like breathing. it always is with you. So to all the artists who want to make albums and think it's so easy-I'm telling you it's not-It requires patience.confidence in your talent and a great producer to get you there. it is true when you hear the cliched question-how do you get to Carnegie Hall-The answer is obvious and real
Peace, jason

Being Humble

You will always get complete honesty from me. First let me wish you and yours a very happy and healthy 2013. I remember being at a very exotic location making an amazing album with an incredible artist and the best musicians. The artist brought us all together to this amazing place so there would be no distractions. Our wives and girlfriends were there and this was a dream come true after so many years of working so hard to get to this place. I was playing ping pong with the producer one night and I said"thanks so much for bringing me here". He then said,"when we get back keep this real low key. Never put this in anybodies face and be humble. Many will never experience this and sometimes good things like this come your way. I took this lesson to heart. I've done a lot over the last 39 years and try to be humble and live with humility.This brings us to 2013 where I have never seen so much narcissism in my whole life. When I post great pictures on Face Book or bring to the forefront something great happening I try to do it so people can enjoy it and share my experience. You will never see me post shit like "my life is great" I love what I do" having a blast, here I am in Italy and I was just in Paris or wherever, etc,etc etc. There are many who are out there who are not as fortunate and may never experience the things the world has to offer.Musicians are truly blessed this way. Be humble with your experiences and engage people in them.don't brag -especially musicians because envy is everywhere. I never compare my life to anybody else's.If you want to brag and put stuff out there I have no problem with the wonderful things I read about families.wives,girlfriends,boyfriends and peoples children and love proud. I also share sadness with people who have lost loved ones or tragic situations.Learn that it is how you present yourself that gets you respect.
Narcissism is abound in 2013-it's a big world and life can flip on a dime-humility grounds us and makes us realize that there is a big picture out there and it's about every bodies inclusion in it-This of course is just my humble opinion
Peace, Jason

Thank You

It's Dec 29 and I just feel that I need to put out to the few people that made a difference in my life this year a big thank you. Usually in this life people will pay attention and help you when there is something in it for them ($)
I have never looked to get anything back from the people I have helped,but reciprocity is a good thing and most of us will never see that because it's a me world. I believe in karma and I believe you have to live it everyday. it is hard to stay on that road but it is the basis of what is good in this life. I have a couple of people who want nothing more of me than to be a friend and show they care. A rarity indeed. Who is loyal when you need them? who is just a taker that masquerades as a friend. They are all around us. Fate,Luck it's all apart of life-Trust and loyalty are things you can't buy (to some you can until it's time to bail) If you can count on one hand those friends and people with that trait who are apart of your life, tell them and hold onto them. To some it takes a lifetime to realize that. It took me awhile,but I'm glad I found out what it takes to truly appreciate great relationships in life
Happy new Years and thank you to the few who have believed in me,my music and my vision-unconditionally
Peace, jason

Talking a Big Game

It is an incredibly insecure time we live in. The only thing I'm secure with are my accomplishments over the years that are fact, reality and a result of really hard work that was put into this life and career. I get contacted by a lot of people for various reasons. I've met a lot of different kinds of people as well. What really irks me is when I hear people who talk a big game and then find out as usual much of it is BS. But they are very good at it. I recently was contacteed out of the blue by a guy on the west coast who said he was into real estate etc. I spent a minute chatting with him. he asked me what I was up to and I told him I was trying to raise money for my new project.
I told him about it. He was like"this really interests me,can you get me a summary of the project and what you're looking for,I fund projects and love music and like your idea a lot. I know this musician,that artist,this guy that guy,throwing names around.

I take the time to write out a proposal and got advice from my business advisor. I sent him the proposal. The response was"hey I'm really busy but I will check this out and get back to you soon" 2 weeks go by, 4 weeks go by, no response to emails or texts. My proposal was very together,but now I realize I can add him to the list of people who talk a big game but have nothing to back it up with. It;s easy to talk your stuff up but at the end of the day do you have anything to back up your words with. It's like the honest man in the music business will tell you the struggles he goes through to stay in the business,The other side is the standard answer-"I'm a Producer !!"

Be careful what you put out there and be careful when people tell you things,bring you in, then you find out they're full of s..t. In the music world it's an everyday occurrence but as I've mentioned in the past,I try to see the good in people. I don't know why people want to project themselves to be what they aren't. Are they so unhappy or insecure they're trying to be someone else because they can flash a few dollars around. I don't know but I know I have to be more cautious and they have to prove themselves before I have to prove myself. Been there done that and the facts are available

Peace, Jason


I sold my 90 Issues of Downbeat last week. They were from 1972-1981. That was my musical library and my jazz history books. I learned a lot from them. I got a real musical footing from the great writers and reviewers who turned me onto so many great albums and artists. It was time to move them on as I am hoping that the next person will get out of them what I did. I am distressed that so many younger musicians and artists have no idea about the great music from years ago. How can you be a rock guitarist and not know every note of Layla or Purple Haze.? Same with RnB. How can a singer not know about Sam Cook or Motown or even before that ? I can't believe it when a young musician tells me they play saxophone but Coltrane is too out for them. It stuns me. These are the folks who invented music that will be played for generations.

What is the new generation going to turn out ? Many can really play but have no real direction.That is why generations need to mix. It needs to be youth meets experience

I spent hours and hours listening to my companions (my albums) play music over and over again until I totally understood what was going on. There are great musicians out there with amazing chops but still have nothing to say because they don't know the history of the music they are involved with. Wanna hear Smooth jazz Saxophone? Coltrane Ballads is totally smooth. smoother than that-Just hear Lester Young and Ben Webster. All I'm saying is those Downbeats increased my passion for the music. I just hope that in this totally screwed up music business the passion will still be there for the next generation to turn this around. It can't happen though until they know where this whole thing started


I'm a person who tries the best I can to believe in and trust people.I believe there is good in all people. I am sorry to say that my faith is dwindling. There is a real shift in our society.
I find many people these days have lost the value of true friendship and trust. In the music business trust,reliability and talent is what fuels long term relationships and friendships. I've seen it over the last 35+ years. It's unfortunate but business and friendship are tied together. You're ability to have have people trust you for money and your word are paramount in the music business. For years now nobody who works for us asks about money first.
My reputation of paying in a timely fashion and paying fairly is pretty solid. It's taken many years to get to that place. It's because of trust and respect.
I've always been involved with great artists and paying for their talent and their trust in me is an accomplishment.

I was contacted a few months ago by a musician out of Australia. He really wanted me to produce him. I thought he was very talented. I understood his financial situation as well and gave him a ridiculously low fee to make it happen. I am here to help. It was not a great experience. He always questioned my decisions. We finally finished the song. I was happy it was over and I moved on. a couple of months later he contacted me again about doing another song. I decided to give him another chance. We decided on a fee and I sent him a confirmation email. He agreed,told me the money was just a couple of weeks away and lets get started. He sent chart etc. I started the song and sent him the track. He then said "I can't pay you now and I'm putting this on the back burner I have a family problem." I was and am not very happy. I did the work because of trust and our agreement. Not only that but now he refuses to answer my emails. Of course we all understand everybody has problems at times but that doesn't change the premise. I trusted him and he betrayed my trust.

Situations like this can set a career back because without trust between us there is nothing. I recently did a session with a very famous musician who I've known and worked with for decades. He came in and played and it was a beautiful session. Tt the end of the session he looked at me and said " I forgot to ask how muchI'm getting paid for this? " I told him ,he said cool and that was that. The trust we established over the years made him not think twice about not even bringing up money first. Good news never travels,bad news does. Never put yourself in a situation where someone questions your trust. It can take years to recover. Your word and trust is your bond in this life

Peace, Jason

My first Blog Entry

This is my first Blog on my new website. There are a lot of things I could talk about but people are here because of music. This is a very tricky subject in the year 2012 because I can't tell you what is going on in this business. I have realized no matter how much I loved how the business was it will never be the same. I'll try and keep you in the loop with my feelings about what's happening, great music recommendations and stuff you'll either like me saying or not like me for saying. I am who I am and one thing you will get is honesty.

Right now we here on the east coast of the US are still in shock over Hurricane Sandy. Send your best karma and money to help a lot of musicians who lost studios and homes.