Archive for the 'Jazz At The Philharmonics' Category



16
jan
12

“Delightful counterpoint and thrilling ballads – the last JATP US Tour

Jazz At The Philharmonic (Google / Life Images)

In the fall of 1957 Norman Granz organised the last JATP tour in the US. After fourteen succesful years the audience numbers had been down since the opening of  the show’s twenty-one city tour in New York in September that year. The Swing Era was coming to an end and new forms of jazz events like the Newport JazzFestival were emerging. For this last tour Granz had put together a stellar line up with Ella Fitzgerald, The Oscar Peterson Trio, J.J. Johnson, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Eldridge and newcomers The Modern Jazz Quartet and tenorist Stan Getz. Especially the Stan Getz and J.J.Johnson combination was a big success  as can be heard on this recording of the last 1957 JATP tour in the US, of course on Granz’s own Verve Records label.

As a critic said:” Their [J.J.Johnson and Stan Getz] counterpoint was delightful and their individual ballads were thrilling”. They were accompanied by the Oscar Peterson Trio and MJQ’s drummer Connie Kay.

Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – University of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

10
jan
12

A smash hit: Ella Fitzgerald sings Cole Porter.

Google / Life Images

Next to his activities as JATP impressario and record producer, Norman Granz became in 1954 the personal manager for Ella Fitzgerald. Until then Ella had performed mostly in clubs and ballrooms but Granz believed he could take her to a higher level. And he did. In 1955 he signed Ella for his own Verve record label and started one of their great successes: “The Cole Porter Songbook”. It became a thirty-two-song, two-LP set and was an instant hit with over hundred thousand copies sold. It went to #15 on the Billboard charts and # 2 by the Downbeat poll of best-selling jazz albums. Granz insisted that Ella would sing verses where applicable. Verses were normally left out by singers, with the exception of Sinatra. Ella reluctantly agreed as it meant extra work and rehearsal but it al worked out. After the album was finished Granz went to Cole Porter in his Waldorf Astoria appartment in New York and played him the entire album.  Porter was delighted and said “My what marvelous diction that girl has”.

Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – University of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

05
jan
12

Norman Granz records Charlie Parker with Strings.

While Norman Granz successfully grew his JATP business he also did very well as a record producer. He was not afraid of putting money in projects which were questionable in as much they would be commercially a hit. In 1956 he founded Verve records in which he folded his earlier founded Clef, Norgran and Down Home labels. Verve would become one of the most successful independent jazzlabels. The Charlie Parker with Strings project was a controversial project. Granz later said he talked Charlie Parker into doing it whereas Parker said he had already wanted to do this way back in the forties and that Granz finally let him do it and put up the money. The album was praised and critizised but everybody seems in agreement that Just Friends is a great version by Charlie Parker with Ray Brown and Buddy Rich in the rythm section.

Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – University of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

03
jan
12

Norman Granz records the genius of Art Tatum.

Art Tatum (1909 - 1956)

Apart from his work as impressario of the Jazz At The Philharmonic Concerts, Norman Granz developed a carreer as record producer. In 1947 he founded the Clef label, which became a subdivision of Mercury Records but Granz kept ownership of the master tapes. End of 1953 he started a project to record 120 solo’s played by Art Tatum. Tatum was a formidable pianist who was praised for his unprecedented technique and brilliant creativity in terms of harmonies and cord changes. Oscar Peterson is believed to have said about him “he scares me to death”. In the first session an astonishing sixtynine tunes were recorded in four hours, all in one take, except one. In 1955 the recordings were issued as fourteen single albums of three boxed sets titledThe Genius of Art Tatum and later reissued as “The Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces”.

Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

27
dec
11

Norman Granz introduces drum battles between Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.

Over the years, when taking Jazz At The Philharmonics on tour in the US and Europe, Norman Granz developed a format consisting of a number of key elements. First he employed a core group of musicians  from which he would choose per concert or tour. Participating were a.o. singers Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and Helen Humes, saxophonists Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Lester Young and Benny Carter, The Oscar Peterson Trio, pianist Hank Jones, trumpeter Roy Eldridge and drummers Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. Second, the format included standard sets with blues, a ballad medley, swing and modern, the latter being basically bebop at the time. Also an element of competitiveness was brought in by saxbattles and the grand finale joined by all musicians. A special item were the roaring drum battles between Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In the YT video a registration of a great Krupa vs. Rich battle in the Sammy Davis Junior TV show.

Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

17
dec
11

Jazz At The Philharmonic in Amsterdam 1958.

Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson arriving at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport.

“It’s finally going to happen”. With these words from his Beverley Hills headquarters, Norman Granz announced that he was about to start the first European tour of Jazz At The Philharmonic. Making the tour were Ella Fitzgerald, the Oscar Peterson Trio with Ray Brown and Irving Ashby, Flip Philips, Lester Young, Hank Jones and Max Roach. The tour started with two sold out concerts in Stocholm and went on to Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Germany. The tour was a great succes in every aspect. The YT video shows a JATP performance in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in 1958. It is a well preserved recording by Dutch Television in both sound and vision. Norman Granz himself does the introduction.

“Eindelijk gaat het gebeuren”. Met deze woorden kondigde Norman Granz vanuit zijn hoofdkantoor in Berverley Hills aan dat hij op het punt stond de eerste Europese tournee van Jazz At The Philharomic  te starten. Aan de tournee namen deel Ella Fitzgerald, het Oscar Peterson Trio met Ray Brown en Irving Ashby, Flip Philips, Lester Young, Hank Jones and Max Roach. Het begon in Stockholm met twee uitverkochte concerten en ging daarna naar Denemarken, Holland, Belgie, Frankrijk, Zwitserland en Duitsland. De tournee was in elk opzicht een groot succes. De YT video toont een JATP optreden in het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam uit 1958. Het is een goed bewaarde opname in woord en beeld door de Nederlandse TV. Norman Granz zelf doet de introductie.

Bron / Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

14
dec
11

Norman Granz takes Jazz at the Philharmonic on tour.


JATP on tour with a.o. Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Krupa (front in the middle), Buddy Rich (behind Ella), Norman Granz (behind Buddy), Oscar Peterson (with hat on the staircase) and Ray Brown (top of the staircase)

After organizing a small tour in January 1946 which failed because JATP was unknown outside of Los Angeles, Norman Granz organised a second tour in April 1946. He  was better prepaired this time and it became a big succes. The tour started in Los Angeles and was announced as ‘The Battle of Saxes” with saxofonists Willie Smith, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker and Lester Young. Organising a tour with a mixed ensemble was a challenge for Granz who only arranged venues, hotels and restaurants that would allow black and white musicians. In his contracts Granz  introduced by default a clause that said: “it is the essence of this agreement that there is to be no discrimination whatsoever in the sale of tickets and there is to be no segregation of white from Negroes”. That became less of a problem when the tours started to be financially succesful but in Southern states there were venue owners that refused to accept the contract clause. Granz made sure that the musicians were well paid, had the best hotels and restaurants and transportation was by air as much as possible. On the YT video  you can hear the opening night of this tour with the “Battle Of Saxes” in George Gershwin’s “I Got Rythm”.

Nadat hij in 1946 een kleine tournee organiseerde die mislukte omdat JATP buiten Los Angeles niet bekend was, organiseerde Norman Granz een tweede tournee in April 1946. Deze keer was hij beter voorbereid en het werd een groot succes. De tour startte in Los Angeles en werd aangekondigd als “The Battle of Saxes” met de saxofonisten Willie Smith, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker en Lester Young. Het organiseren van een tournee met een gemengd gezelschap was een uitdaging voor Granz die zalen, hotels en restaurants alleen regelde als die zowel zwarte als blanke musici toelieten. Granz introduceerde in zijn contracten een standaardclausule: “ de essentie van dit contract is dat er bij de verkoop van kaartjes op geen enkele wijze gediscrimineerd zal worden en er geen  scheiding zal zijn tussen blanken en negers”. Dat probleem werd minder nadat de tournee’s financieel succesvol werden maar in de Zuidelijke staten waren zaaleigenaren die de clausule niet accepteerden. Granz zorgde ervoor dat de musici goed betaald werden, dat ze de beste hotels en restaurants hadden en het vervoer ging zoveel mogelijk door de lucht. Op de YT video is de opening van de tournee te horen met “The Battle of Saxes” in George Gershwin’s “I Got Rythm”.

Bron / Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

12
dec
11

Norman Granz introduces Oscar Peterson to Jazz At The Philharmonic 1949.

In 1949 it was not only Ella Fitzgerald who was introduced to the JATP  concerts but also another jazz giant to be, by the name of pianist Oscar Peterson. As the story goes in the biography “Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice” Granz had been told by Coleman Hawkins and specifically Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington about the young Canadian piano player. In the summer of 1949 Granz was in Montreal for JATP business and when driving to the airport in a cab, he heard jazz music on the radio. The cabdriver told Granz it was a live recording and Granz ordered the taxi to the club where the concert was given. There Oscar Peterson and Norman Granz met for the first time. Peterson was immediately contracted for the JATP concerts and made his first appearance in Carnegie Hall in September 1949. Since then he became one of the regular musicians who toured with JATP for decades to come. On the below YT video a magnificent 1953 performance in a JATP Japan tour of the standard “Tenderly” with an unprecedented intro by Peterson. He is accompanied by Herb Ellis on guitar and Ray Brown on bass.

Het was niet alleen Ella Fitzgerald die in 1949 werd geintroduceerd bij de JATP concerten maar ook Oscar Peterson, een andere jazzgigant in wording. Zoals beschreven in de biografie “Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice” had Granz van Coleman Hawkins en vooral Billy Strayhorn en Duke Ellington gehoord over de jonge Canadese pianist. In de zomer van 1949 was Granz in Montreal voor JATP zaken in een taxi op weg naar de luchthaven toen hij jazzmuziek op de radio hoorde. De taxichauffeur vertelde dat het een live uitzending was en Granz liet de taxi naar de club rijden waar het concert werd gegeven. Daar ontmoetten Oscar Peterson en Norman Granz elkaar voor het eerst. Peterson werd meteen gecontracteerd voor JATP en trad voor het eerst op in Carnegie Hall in 1949. Sindsdien behoorde hij tot de vaste groep musici die met JATP  tientallen jaren op toernee gingen. Op de YT staat een prachtige uitvoering van de standard “Tenderly”  van een JATP concert uit 1953  in Japan met een weergaloze intro van Peterson. Hij wordt begeleid door Herb Ellis op gitaar en Ray Brown op bas.

 

09
dec
11

Norman Granz: Introduces Ella Fitzgerald to the JATP concerts.

Jazz At The Philharmonic (Gjon Mili) - Google / Life Images

Since 1945 Norman Granz had taken the Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts on tour in the US. On one of those tours Ella Fitzgerald visited the JATP concert as a spectator to see her husband bassist Ray Brown whom she had married a year earlier. Ella was spotted during the concert by the audience which became so enthusiastic that she was invited on stage. She performed “How High The Moon” and traded fours with the ensemble. The public brought the house down. The commercially very sensitive Granz contracted Ella immediately for the JATP concerts where she made her debut in the Carnegie Hall in New York on February 11,1949. Below YT video is of a JATP concert of the second tour that year with Ella Fitzgerald – vocal,Roy Eldridge – trumpet,Tommy Turk – trombone, Charlie Parker – alto sax, Flip Phillips, Lester Young – tenor saxes, Hank Jones – piano, Ray Brown – bass, Buddy Rich – drums.

To play the video uninterrupted it is recommended to first put it on pause and upload before playing.

Sinds 1945 had Norman Granz de Jazz At The Philharmonic concerten op tournee door Amerika genomen. Op een daarvan bezocht Ella Fitzgerald een JATP concert om haar echtgenoot bassist Ray Brown te zien waarmee ze een jaar eerder getrouwd was.Tijdens het concert werd Ella door het publiek opgemerkt dat zo enthousiast werd dat ze op het toneel werd uitgenodigd. Ze zong “How High The Moon” deed “4 om4”met het ensemble. Het publiek brak de tent af. De commercieel ingestelde Granz contracteerde Ella direct voor de JATP concerten waar ze op 11 Februari 1949 haar debuut maakte in de Carnegie Hall in New York. Onderstaand is een YT video te zien van de tweede tournee dat jaar met Ella Fitzgerald – vocal, Roy Eldridge – trompet, Tommy Turk – trombone, Charlie Parker – alt sax, Flip Phillips, Lester Young – tenor saxes, Hank Jones – piano, Ray Brown – bass, Buddy Rich – drums.

Om de film ononderbroken af te spelen verdient het aanbeveling deze eerst op pauze te zetten en te uploaden voor het afspelen.

Bron / Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4

03
dec
11

Norman Granz: First Commercial Live Album Ever: How High The Moon.

JATP on Tour (Gjon Mili) - Google / LIFE Images

In 1946 Norman Granz closed his first record deal with Asch Records in New York to release the registrations of his JATP concerts. He had offered the recordings to RCA first but they did not like the noise of the public, the mistakes and the loose atmosphere which is so characteristic for jamsessions. In October 1946 Asch Records released “Jazz At The Philharmonic, Volume1”. It was the first time that a live jazz registration  was released on record and it became an instant success with 150 000 copies sold. To Granz this also meant a marketing breakthrough.  The records were played on radiostations and in jukeboxes which attracted people to the concerts, who on their turn bought the records. It was a golden formula  which made Granz  the first to sell jazz as a “mass product”. On this video Volume 1 you will hear a performance of “How High The Moon” which became the JATP anthem.

To play the video uninterrupted it is recommended to first put it on pause and upload before playing.

In 1946 sloot Norman Granz zijn eerste platendeal met Asch Records in New York voor het uitbrengen van de registraties van zijn JATP concerts. Hij had de opnames ook aangeboden bij RCA maar die hielden niet van het geluid van  het publiek, de fouten en de losse sfeer die zo kenmerkend is voor jamsessies. In  Oktober 1946 bracht Asch Records “Jazz At The Philharmonic, Volume 1 uit. Het was voor het eerst dat een live jazz  registratie op plaat werd uitgebracht en het werd direct een succes met 150 000 verkochte exemplaren. Voor Granz betekende dit eveneens een marketing doorbraak. Doordat de platen te beluisteren waren op radiostations en in jukeboxen trokken de concerten extra bezoekers aan en de bezoekers op hun beurt kochten de platen. Een gouden formule die ertoe leidde dat Granz als eerste jazz als “massaproduct” kon verkopen.  Op deze video van Volume 1 een uitvoering van “How High The Moon” dat zo ongeveer het “volkslied” van JATP werd.

Om de film ononderbroken af te spelen verdient het aanbeveling deze eerst op pauze te zetten en te uploaden voor het afspelen.

Bron / Source: Hershorn, Ted  – Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice – Univerity of California Press 2011 – ISBN 978-0-520-26782-4




Follow Bob's Jazz Blog. on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Voeg je bij 314 andere volgers

About Bob Van Eekhout

Bob van Eekhout drummer Jazz Trio JazzTraffic

Nederlands Jazz Archief

Logo Nederlands Jazz Archief

Van-Ons.nl WordPress Development

Van-Ons.nl WordPress Development & Training

JazzTraffic Trio. Uw Jazzband voor een gezellige sfeer en goede achtergrondmuziek

Jazz Trio JazzTraffic

%d bloggers liken dit: