There could be no more appropriate host for tonight's tribute than QUINCY JONES. Jones and Carter enjoyed a deep friendship that spanned some five decades. In fact, Jones cites Carter's 1945 recording of "Malibu," which he heard while still in high school, as inspiring him to want to become an arranger. They met in 1957 when Quincy visited Benny in his home in Los Angeles. Right after that encounter, the 24-year-old Jones wrote to Carter: "Honestly, Benny, meeting you alone made my trip to the Coast a wonderful experience - I'll never forget it. In my short association with music, I have yet to meet many musicians as musically and morally mature as yourself. I only hope to attain just one-tenth the stature." Years later he credited Carter with opening the way for him and other talented black composers to penetrate the world of the Hollywood studios: "Benny opened the eyes of a lot of producers and studios so that they could understand that you could go to blacks for other things outside of blues and barbecue… He was the pioneer, he was the foundation." Benny, in turn, admired Quincy's deep and diverse musical gifts and, above all, his humanity. As he wrote in the box set Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones (Rhino), "It's great to have a friend who believes, as I do, that true friendship is sacred and inviolable."