Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Founded in 1956 by jazz impresario Norman Granz, Verve Records, along with its associated labels, has consistently been at the forefront of jazz’s development as both an American art form and an influential commercial force for more than half a century. In this time, Verve continued to nurture and foster the careers of many of jazz’s most original and influential artists, building a catalog that encompasses the most celebrated recordings while working to popularize the music with new and larger audiences.

On December 10, 2013, Verve Records/Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) will release Verve – The Sound Of America – The Singles Collection, a 5-CD collection featuring 100 singles from the Verve catalog, over 20 of which have been out of print for years, all packaged in a stylish two-part, lift-off box with a 48-page booklet and extensive liner notes. Included are tracks from jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Smith, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins and Astrud Gilberto.

It was at the tail end of 1955 that Norman Granz decided to form Verve Records; he did so for Ella Fitzgerald, as he already managed her career, but also felt he knew how to make the kind of records the singer should be making – history has proven he was right. However, the story of Verve goes back a decade or more where it can trace its roots in Granz’s ambition to take jazz out of the clubs and into concert halls, as well as in Clef and Norgran, the record labels that he had been running for a number of years.

His “Jazz at the Philharmonic” concerts were groundbreaking and, for Granz, starting a record company was a way of expanding his JATP franchise, but almost immediately the artists that appeared in his concerts recognized the opportunity of making studio recordings. By the late 1940s and early 1950s the artists that Granz recorded for his Clef and Norgran labels included Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Count Basie and Stan Getz.

Verve – The Sound Of America – The Singles Collection takes you through the history of one of the most influential jazz labels of all-time with tracks such as Ella Fitzgerald’s Top 50 hit “Mack The Knife” (1960); Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto’s Top 5, GRAMMY® Award winning hit “The Girl From Ipanema” (1964); Jimmy Smith’s Top 100 hit “The Cat” (1964) and Diana Krall’s “The Look Of Love” (2001). Also featured are jazz renditions of contemporary classics such as Wes Montgomery’s version of The Mamas & The Papas’ classic hit “California Dreaming” (1966), Don Sebesky’s version of the Beatles “The Word” (1968) and Willie Bobo’s original version of “Evil Ways” (1968), the song made famous by Santana.

The Sound Of America also features many singles from the those early Clef and Norgran eras including Charlie Parker’s “Just Friends” (1949) and “Bloomdido” (1950) featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Curly Russell and Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie’s “I Can’t Get Started” (1956) featuring Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson’s “Debut” (1950), and Billie Holiday’s “You Go To My Head” (1952) and “Tenderly” (1952).

The box set is being issued in conjunction with the November 4, 2013 publication of a lavishly illustrated, 400-page new book Verve: The Sound of America written by Richard Havers and published by Thames & Hudson.

A stunning volume, Verve: The Sound of America tells the entire story of jazz—from its earliest days in New Orleans to the 1970s and beyond—through Verve archival material. This superb book presents some of the rarest records and unseen ephemera from the label that helped define the world of jazz. Hundreds of the best examples of iconic seven-inch, ten-inch, and twelve-inch records appear along with publicity reports, news clippings, ledger books, telegrams, and contracts. Looking beyond the music scene, the book discusses segregation in America, the missions to take jazz to Europe and the world, the clubs, the places, and the people who made jazz vital. Commentary from the biggest names in jazz today, including some of Verve’s own artists, complements the text. Richard Havers’s previous books include Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey and Sinatra. He is a consultant to Universal on jazz and has produced box sets including Louis Armstrong: Ambassador of Jazz and Ella Fitzgerald: The Voice of Jazz.

With a vital combination of respect for the past and a drive towards the future, Verve continues to pursue the same sense of musical adventure that first motivated its creation and continues to evolve with the times, reinventing and reinvigorating itself with the infusion alike. With jazz currently reaching a broader audience than very before, Verve is a stronger musical and social force than ever, preserving its remarkable legacy while building towards a bright musical future.

Jazz at the Philharmonic - Perdido, Pt. 1&2 
Charlie Parker/Flip Phillips/Machito -  No Noise, Pt.1&2 
Slim Gaillard - Opera In Vout, Pt.1&2 
Charlie Parker - Just Friends 
Lester Young - I Cover the Waterfront 
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie (with Thelonious Monk) - Bloomdido 
Coleman Hawkins - There's a Small Hotel 
Oscar Peterson - Debut 
Johnny Hodges - Castle Rock 
Illinois Jacquet - Port Of Rico 
Billie Holiday -You Go To My Head 
Roy Eldridge - Dale's Wail 
Billie Holiday - Tenderly 
Ben Webster - Tenderly 
Count Basie/Joe Williams - Alright, Okay, You Win 
Count Basie - April In Paris 
Dizzy Gillespie - I Can't Get Started 
Anita O'Day - The Rock And Roll Waltz 
Ella Fitzgerald - Too Young For The Blues 
Gene Krupa - Boogie Blues 
Fred Astaire - Hello Baby 
Ella Fitzgerald - (The End of) A Beautiful Friendship
Ella Fitzgerald - Stay There 
Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong - Stars Fell On Alabama 
Bing Crosby - Mountain Greenery 
Ella Fitzgerald - Manhattan 
Woody Herman - I Wonder 
Oscar Peterson - I've Never Left Your Arms 
Ella Fitzgerald - It's All Right With Me 
Johnny Hodges - I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter 
Buddy Bregman - Derek's Blues 
Teddy Wilson - Sayonara 
Oscar Peterson - The Golden Striker 
Gene Krupa - Sing, Sing, Sing, Pt. 1&2 
Ella Fitzgerald - Stairway To The Stars 
Dizzy Gillespie - Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac, Pt. 1&2 
Mel Torme - Frenesi 
Louis Bellson - Lulu's Back In Town 
Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit 
Louis Armstrong - Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen 
Oscar Peterson - On The Street Where You Live 
Ella Fitzgerald - Mack The Knife 
Terry Gibbs - Let's Do It 
Gerry Mulligan - I'm Gonna Go Fishin', Pt. 1&2 
Ella Fitzgerald - How High The Moon, Pt. 1&2 
Roy Eldridge - Bossa Nova 
Ella Fitzgerald - Mr. Paganini 
Ella Fitzgerald - Cry Me A River 
Jimmy Smith - Walk On The Wild Side, Pt. 1&2 
Stan Getz - Desafinado 
Jimmy Smith - Ol' Man River 
Blossom Dearie - Teach Me Tonight 
Terry Gibbs - The Hippie Twist 
Ella Fitzgerald - Desafinado 
Stan Getz - Manha De Carnaval (Morning Of The Carnival) 
Jimmy Smith - Hobo Flats, Pt. 1&2 
Ella Fitzgerald - Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home 
Stan Getz & Luis Bonfa - Sambalero 
Bill Evans - On Broadway 
Kai Winding - More 
Bill Evans - Theme from The VIPs 
Kenny Burrell & Jimmy Smith - What'd I Say? 
Jimmy Smith - Theme From "Any Number Can Win" 
Oscar Peterson -  Hymn To Freedom 
Antonio Carlos Jobim - Corcovado 
Ella Fitzgerald/Count Basie - Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall 
Wynton Kelly - If That's The Way You Want It 
Kai Winding - Mondo Cane, #2 
Jimmy Smith - Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, Pt. 1&2 
Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - Blowin' In The Wind 
Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto - The Girl From Ipanema 
Ella Fitzgerald - Hello, Dolly 
Louis Armstrong - Makin' Whoopee 
Jimmy Smith - The Cat 
Lalo Schifrin - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 5 
Ella Fitzgerald - Ringo Beat 
Donald Byrd -You've Been Talkin' About My Baby 
Cal Tjader - Soul Sauce 
Jimmy Smith - Goldfinger, Pt. 1&2 
Astrud Gilberto - Agua De Beber 
Jimmy Smith - Organ Grinder Swing 
Kenny Burrell - Loie 
Ella Fitzgerald/Duke Ellington - Imagine My Frustration, Pt. 1&2 
Willie Bobo - Spanish Grease 
Wes Montgomery - Goin' Out Of My Head 
Jimmy Smith - Got My Mojo Workin', Pt. 1&2 
Bill Evans - Pavanne 
Jimmy Smith - Hoochie Coochie Man, Pt. 1&2 
Wes Montgomery - Bumpin' On Sunset 
Willie Bobo - Sunshine Superman 
Wes Montgomery - California Dreaming 
Astrud Gilberto - Dindi 
Willie Bobo - Evil Ways 
Chico O'Farrill - Manteca 
Jimmy Smith - Chain Of Fools, Pt. 1&2 
Don Sebesky - The Word 
Kenny Burrell - The Preacher 
Lalo Schifrin - Agnus Dei 
Stan Getz - Communication '72
Diana Krall   The Look of Love 

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