Granz in 1947
|Born||August 6, 1918|
Los Angeles, California
|Died||November 22, 2001 83) (aged|
|Occupation(s)||Record producer, label owner|
|Labels||Clef, Norgran, Down Home, Verve, Pablo|
|Associated acts||Jazz at the Philharmonic, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass|
Norman Granz (August 6, 1918 – November 22, 2001) was an American jazz record producer and concert promoter. He founded the record labels Clef, Norgran, Down Home, Verve and Pablo. Granz was acknowledged as "the most successful impresario in the history of jazz". Granz is also known for his anti-racist position and for integrating audiences.
Born in Los Angeles, Granz was the son of Jewish immigrantsfrom Tiraspol. After school, he began work as a stock clerk on the Los Angeles stock exchange. When America joined the Second World War, he was drafted into the U.S. Army Air Force. Subsequently, he was posted to the Morale branch, the department charged with troops' entertainment. He then emerged into the public view when he organised desegregated jam sessions at the Trouville Club in Los Angeles, which he later expanded when he staged a memorable concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 2, 1944, under the heading of "Jazz at the Philharmonic".
The title of the concert, "A Jazz Concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium", had been shortened by the printer of the advertising supplements to "Jazz at the Philharmonic". Only one copy of the very first concert program is known to exist. Norman Granz had organised the first Jazz at the Philharmonic concert with about $300 of borrowed money.
Later known as JATP, the ever-changing group recorded and toured extensively, with Granz producing some of the first live jam session recordings to be distributed to a wide market.
After several JATP concerts in Los Angeles in 1944 and 1945, Granz began producing JATP concert tours, from late fall of 1945 to 1957 in USA and Canada, and from 1952 in Europe. They featured swing and bop musicians and were among the first high-profile performances to feature racially integrated bands. Granz actually cancelled some bookings rather than have the musicians perform for segregated audiences. He recorded many of the JATP concerts, and from 1945 to 1947 sold/leased the recordings to Asch/Disc/Stinson Records (record producer Moses Asch's labels).
In 1948 Granz signed an agreement with Mercury Records for the promotion and the distribution of the JATP recordings and other recordings. After the agreement expired in 1953 he issued the JATP recordings and other recordings on Clef Records (founded 1946) and Norgran Records (founded 1953). Down Home Records was intended for traditional jazz works. Jazz at the Philharmonic ceased touring the United States and Canada, after the JATP concerts in the fall of 1957, apart from a North American Tour in 1967.
Granz married three times. In 1950, he married Loretta (née Snyder) Sullivan from Michigan; they had a daughter together, Stormont Granz, who was disabled due to lack of oxygen during the birth.Loretta was previously married and had a child, Sydney Sullivan Hamed, whom Granz adopted. They separated in 1953 and divorced in 1955. In 1965, he married Hannelore Granz, a former airline stewardess from Germany. In 1974, he married Grete Lyngby from Denmark.
He died of cancer on November 22, 2001 at the age of 83 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Many of the names that made history in jazz signed with one of Norman Granz's labels, including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Louie Bellson, Benny Carter, Buck Clayton, Buddy DeFranco, Roy Eldridge, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Billie Holiday, Illinois Jacquet, Hank Jones, Gene Krupa, Anita O'Day (the first artist to sign with Verve), Charlie Parker, Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson, Flip Phillips, Bud Powell, Buddy Rich, Sonny Stitt, Slim Gaillard, Art Tatum, Ben Webster and Lester Young.
Granz saw to it that his musicians were well paid. In the segregated society of the 1940s, he insisted on equal pay and accommodation for white and black musicians. He refused to take his hugely popular concerts to places which were segregated, even if he had to cancel concerts, thereby sacrificing considerable sums of money.
In 1944, Granz and Gjon Mili produced the jazz film Jammin' the Blues , which starred Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet, Barney Kessel, Harry Edison, Jo Jones, Sidney Catlett, Marlowe Morris, and Marie Bryant, and was nominated for an Academy Award.
It was in 1956 that the popular singer Ella Fitzgerald finally joined Norman Granz's label. Granz had been her manager for some time, and unified his activities under the common label of Verve Records. Granz became Fitzgerald's manager, and remained so until the end of her career. Fitzgerald's memorable series of eight Songbooks , together with the duet series (notably Armstrong-Peterson, Fitzgerald-Basie, Fitzgerald-Pass and Getz-Peterson) achieved wide popularity and brought acclaim to the label and to the artists. Granz was also the manager of Oscar Peterson, another lifelong friend. In 1959, Norman Granz moved to Switzerland. In December 1960, Verve Records was sold to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Granz founded his last label, Pablo Records, in 1973; in 1987, he sold it to Fantasy Records.
Norman Granz opposed racism and fought many battles for his artists, many of whom were black. In 1955, in Houston, Texas, he removed signs that previously designated "White" and "Negro" restrooms, outside the auditorium where two concerts were to be performed by Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. Between the two shows, Ella and Dizzy and Illinois Jacquet were shooting small-stakes dice in the dressing room to kill time, when the local police barged in and arrested them. After some negotiations, the artists were allowed to perform the second show and later were formally released on $50 bail. Granz, incensed by the incident, insisted on successfully fighting the charges, which cost him over $2,000.
Oscar Peterson recounted how Granz once insisted that white cabdrivers take his black artists as customers while a policeman pointed a loaded pistol at his stomach. Granz also was among the first to pay white and black artists the same salary and to give them equal treatment even in minor details, such as dressing rooms.
Granz also spearheaded the fight to desegregate the hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, arguing that it was unfair that black artists could perform on the stages, but could not stay or gamble at the hotels, or even enter through the front doors.
Granz was also interested in art, developing relationships with Pablo Picasso, whom he met in 1968.
A detailed look at Granz, his career, and his legacy can be found in Tad Hershorn's book Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice (2011).
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer, sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, and Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.
Jean-Baptiste "Illinois" Jacquet was an American jazz tenor saxophonist, best remembered for his solo on "Flying Home", critically recognized as the first R&B saxophone solo.
Harry "Sweets" Edison was an American jazz trumpeter and a member of the Count Basie Orchestra. His greatest impact was as a Hollywood studio musician, whose muted trumpet can be heard backing singers, most notably Frank Sinatra.
Verve Records, also known as Verve Label Group, founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue and includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier labels, Clef Records, founded in 1946, Norgran Records, founded in 1953, and material previously licensed to Mercury Records.
Jazz at the Philharmonic, or JATP (1944–1983), was the title of a series of jazz concerts, tours and recordings produced by Norman Granz.
Mitchell Herbert Ellis, known professionally as Herb Ellis, was an American jazz guitarist. During the 1950s, he was in a trio with pianist Oscar Peterson.
Boniface Ferdinand Leonard "Buddy" DeFranco was an Italian-American jazz clarinetist. In addition to his work as a bandleader, DeFranco led the Glenn Miller Orchestra for almost a decade in the 1960s and '70s.
Benjamin Francis Webster was an American jazz tenor saxophonist.
Charles James Shavers was an American swing era jazz trumpeter who played with Dizzy Gillespie, Nat King Cole, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Dodds, Jimmie Noone, Sidney Bechet, Midge Williams, Tommy Dorsey, and Billie Holiday. He was an arranger and composer, and one of his compositions, "Undecided", is a jazz standard.
Pablo Records was a jazz record company and label founded by Norman Granz in 1973, more than a decade after he had sold his earlier catalog to MGM Records.
At the Opera House is a 1958 live album by Ella Fitzgerald. The album presents a recording of the 1957 Jazz at the Philharmonic Concerts. This series of live jazz concerts was devised by Fitzgerald's manager Norman Granz; they ran from 1944 to 1983. Featured on this occasion, in 1957, are Fitzgerald and the leading jazz players of the day in an onstage jam session. The first half of the 1990 CD edition includes a performance that was recorded on September 29, 1957 at the Chicago Opera House, whilst the second half highlights the concert recorded on October 7, 1957 at the Shrine Auditorium, in Los Angeles. The original LP obviously included only the mono tracks (#10-18).
Between 1935 and 1955 Ella Fitzgerald was signed to Decca Records. Her early recordings as a featured vocalist were frequently uncredited. Her first credited single was 78 RPM recording "I'll Chase the Blues Away" with the Chick Webb Orchestra. Fitzgerald continued recording with Webb until his death in 1939, after which the group was renamed Ella Fitzgerald and Her Famous Orchestra. With the introduction of 10" and 12" Long-Playing records in the late 1940s, Decca released several original albums of Fitzgerald's music and reissued many of her previous single-only releases. From 1935 to the late 1940s Decca issued Ella Fitzgerald's recordings on 78rpm singles and album collections, in book form, of four singles that included eight tracks. These recordings have been re-issued on a series of 15 compact disc by the French record label Classics Records between 1992 and 2008.
This is a list of recordings by American jazz alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. Parker primarily recorded for three labels: Savoy, Dial, and Verve. His work with these labels has been chronicled in box sets. Charlie Parker's Savoy and Dial Sessions have been issued on The Complete Savoy Sessions, Charlie Parker on Dial and Complete Charlie Parker on Dial and The Complete Savoy & Dial Master Takes. His Verve recordings are available on Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve and The Complete Verve Master Takes.
Clarence "Shorty" Sherock was an American swing jazz trumpeter.
The recordings of American jazz saxophonist Stan Getz from 1944 to 1991.
This is the complete discography of the main 12-inch (8000) series of LPs issued by Verve Records, a label founded in 1956 by producer Norman Granz in Los Angeles, California. Alongside new sessions Granz re-released many of the recordings of his earlier labels Clef and Norgran on Verve.
Billie Holiday at Jazz at the Philharmonic is a live album by jazz singer Billie Holiday, originally recorded on February 12, 1945 and October 3, 1946 at the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, and at Carnegie Hall on June 3, 1946.
Eric Miller was an American jazz record producer.
The collaborations between Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong have attracted much attention over the years. The artists were both widely known icons not just in the areas of big band, jazz, and swing music but across 20th century popular music in general. The two African-American musicians produced three official releases together in Ella and Louis (1956), Ella and Louis Again (1957), and Porgy and Bess (1959). Each release earned both commercial and critical success. As well, tracks related to those albums have also appeared in various forms in multi-artist collections and other such records.
Loretta Granz passed away peacefully in Beverly Hills, CA. She led a wonderful life doing what she loved. She is survived by two daughters and a son-in-law, Sheridan Sullivan (Amir Hamed) and Stormont Granz.
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Granz and his 26-year-old German-born wife, Hannelore, have been involved in divorce proceedings brought in Switzerland. Mrs. Granz had asked the high court to impound the collection on the grounds that she was entitled to a communal share. The court said no, holding that Switzerland does not recognize such communal property claims, as California does, for example. The Granzs were married in Las Vegas in 1965