Montreux Jazz Festival’s founder and boss, Claude Nobs, created a once in-a-life-time live musical extravaganza for his friend Quincy and a few lucky spectators. But he also wanted to document the event forever and to share on DVD. He made sure the concert was perfectly recorded, and personally asked me to document the-behind-the scenes and create a short Featurette. He was expecting a 5 minute short. When I went up to his chalet high in the Alps above Montreux to show him the over 30 minute rough cut, he was all smiles. We agreed on some small edits and we spent the rest of the aftrenoon chatting and watched an Ahmet Ertegun tribute. He loves his DVD and “ThankQ”.
And we went one step further. Production Coordinator Andrée Buchler commisioned me to design the DVD packaging and booklet! This project is one of my greatest and proudest achievements. But it is even more gratifying to read positive reviews.
“The show was outstanding with the people who have worked with him over the years. The extra portion showing the surrounding area could almost eclipse the show.”
“There’s only one bonus feature, but it’s a good one, and it’s also in HD. With a jazz backdrop acting like a voiceover we get a montage of the Montreux experience that really gives you some idea of what it would be like to attend the festival, beginning with shots of Lake Geneva, the Swiss Alps, and the little village of Montreux. We see the venue, we see fans arriving, we see performers arriving, and subtitles offer a countdown to the event by telling us the day and time. What’s nice is that we also get behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage and feel as if we’re attending the party at Claude Nobs’ elegant and expansive chalet high above the village. Without narration, it nonetheless provides a better feel for Montreux, the festival, the concert, and the performer’s life than most longer bonus features. And without interruptive talking heads, the music just washes over you as you watch the event take shape. It’s a classic case of trusting the images to tell the story, and in this feature of roughly 20 minutes, it works. And well.”
“The DVD also comes with a bonus documentary, entitled “ThankQ”, in which we get to see the artists mingling before the show (where the Swiss Army kids do nothing to dispel their image as robotically nerdy music students); thank you’s to Quincy from the musicians and some celebrity attendees like Christ Tucker and Cornell West (fans of The Office / Parks and Recreation will be disappointed not to see Jones’ daughter, Rashida, show up); as well as Jones’ speech at the end of the concert , in which he proves himself to be as cool and dapper as he always has been, and not looking anything close to 75 years of age.”
“A 25 minute ‘Thank Q’ featurette is included, showing some of the backstage shenanigans leading up to the concert, and featuring a host of heartfelt tributes to ‘Q’ from the artists involved in the concert. There’s also a fat (and phat) little illustrated booklet included as an insert filled with remembrances and personal thanks to Quincy from many artists.”
“Thank Q – a standard featurette showing a number of the musicians who contributed to Quincy Jones: The 75th Birthday Celebration expressing their gratitude. Booklet – a lavish 48-page booklet with photos and words of gratitude from many of the musicians who took place in the birthday celebration.”