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ON THE COVER:
QUINCY JONES

The inimitable Mr. Jones has earned renown as a composer, recording artist, bandleader, musician, songwriter, arranger, executive, activist, advocate and mentor. But we celebrate him here for his work on some of the most notable recordings of the modern era, including works by—among many others—Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson. With an unparalleled musical pedigree, an innate understanding of the nuances of virtually every genre and an ineffable sensitivity to vibe, Q is the quintessential producer—and the perfect choice to grace the cover of our Black History Month special issue.

The record-makers profiled therein—from Norman Whitfield and Kenny Gamble to Tom Wilson and Spot Lockett—have shaped the sound of our time, making an indelible mark on every imaginable musical style. Some are already fixtures in the pop-cultural imagination, while others have yet to receive their due. What they all share is that rare ability to shepherd a voice, a band, a sonic concept from the first inkling to the perfect take. Our record collections wouldn’t be the same without them.

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