Posts Tagged ‘ellafitzgerald

19
feb
12

Norman Granz presents film: “IMPROVISATION” with unique Charlie Parker / Coleman Hawkins duet

Gjon Mili shooting Improvisation (Google / LIFE Images)

In 1950 Norman Granz started to produce a new short film with photographer Gjon Mili as sequel to their earlier film Jammin’ The Blues“. It was only released in 1996 as part of a film called “Improvisation”  which included a compilation of performances of Granz’ musicians over the 1950 – 1970 timeframe. Several parts of this film are on You Tube available (at least until the day of writing this blogpost).

Credits.

Part 3 – Announced by Norman Granz, this part of the film is about a piece performed by the rythm section with Hank Jones (piano), Ray Brown (bass) and Buddy Rich on drums.

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

 

06
feb
12

Last JATP concert Tokyo 1983.

In 1983 the Jazz At The Philharmonic series came to an end after Norman Granz started the first JATP in 1944 in Los Angeles. The concerts were held in Japan by invitation of a large Japanese music publisher. JATP had toured Japan a number of times and Granz selected the musicians which had been JATP core members for so long, Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson. The line up was completed with Joe Pass, Harry Edison, Clark Terry, Zoot Zims, Eddy ‘Lockjaw” Davis and J.J. Johnson. Listen to this incredible version of ‘On Danish Shore” with Oscar Peterson’s Big 4 with Joe Pass, Niels Pedersen en Martin Drew.

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

28
jan
12

Oscar,Niels and Joe: The Trio.

As Norman Granz was the business manager of both Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass it was logical he would bring the two giants together on his new founded Pablo recording label. He did so by recording and releasing the album The Trio with Joe Pass and Niels Pedersen on doublebass. The albums showed how seamlessly Pass had combined his own playing with the highly competitive dialogue of Petersen and Pedersen. The album won a Grammy Award. Here is a video recorded twelve years later in Italy where the trio performs “Cake Walk”. It is a witness of the longtime period this fantastic trio worked together.

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

26
jan
12

“Piano players do it.Segovia does it”.

Joe Pass (1929 - 1994)

“Piano players do it. Segovia does it !”. That’s what Norman Granz said in 1973 to guitarist Joseph Anthony Jacobi Passalaqua” who was somewhat reluctant to record an album with solo jazz guitar. Joe Pass, as he was called, had behind him a life of heroine addiction and spent years in hospitals and a rehabilitation facility when in 1972 he got a visit from Norman Granz and Oscar Peterson when he worked in Donte’s, a jazzclub in Hollywood. Both men were highly impressed by Pass’s command of the instrument and his inventive melodic approach. Granz contracted Pass for his just founded Pablo label and had him record the Virtuosoalbum in three days. It became one the label’s all-time top sellers. Peep this video and listen to Joe Pass’s formidable musicianship.

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

23
jan
12

” I Just Do Whatever Norman Tells Me To Do”.

“I just do whatever Norman tells me to do”. These are words uttered by Count Basie who completely trusted Norman Granz‘ intuition and judgment as a record producer. In 1960 Granz had sold his record company Verve to MGM for US$ 2.8 million. He stayed in business as impressario and manager. But by 1972 Granz was back in the recording business and founded Pablo Records, named after his  friend Pablo Picasso. At its core, Pablo was a showplace for those artists Granz managed nominally and without fees, Ellington and Basie, as well as those he represented exclusively: Joe Pass, Oscar Peterson and Ella  Fitzgerald. He also saw the label as a means of providing better venues for many jazz musicians who he felt, had not enough recording opportunities offered by the big companies. One of his first projects was bringing together Oscar Peterson and Count Basie in a small setting. It was Basie who came up with the album title “Satch and Josh. In below video a BBC recording of these two giants behind a grand piano, supported by Niels Pedersen on bass and Martin Drew on drums in Basie’s “Jumpin At The Woodside”

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

20
jan
12

“I’m afraid Duke that I’ve had it with you”

“I’m afraid Duke that I’ve had it with you” comes from a letter that Norman Granz wrote to Duke Ellington April 11 1967. After Granz stopped the JATP tours in the US he concentrated on his management for Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, organizing JATP tours in Europe and producing jazz albums for Verve records. Granz also started to work for and with Ellington. Their relationship resulted in a number of projects like the film Jazz on A Summer’s Day in 1966, tours in Europa and albums. However their relationship deteriorated as Granz felt that Ellington treated him merely as a servant rather than a manager. In the same letter Granz asked Ellington to hire “a new so called manager”. But in 1965 things were OK and they worked on the album “Ella at Duke’s Place and here is an incredible swinging live version of Ella and Duke’s band in “Sweet Georgia Brown”.

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

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




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