Posts Tagged ‘Norman Granz

23
dec
12

Ter Nagedachtenis aan Oscar Peterson

peterson

Vandaag 23 december is het op de kop af vijf jaar geleden dat de “Maharadja van het Klavier” (zo genoemd door Duke Ellington) overleed. Oscar Peterson werd in 1949 ontdekt ontdekt door impressario Norman Granz. Die was voor zaken in Toronto en terug op weg naar het vliegveld toen hij tijdens de taxirit een fantastische pianist op de radio hoorde. De taxichauffeur die wist wie en waar het was kreeg van Granz opdracht om rechtsomkeert te maken en zo ontmoette Norman Granz voor het eerst Oscar Peterson.

Granz was zo onder de indruk van Peterson’s kwaliteiten dat hij hem dat jaar naar New York haalde voor een concert in Carnegie Hall. Het zou het begin worden van een lange samenwerking waarbij Granz als platenbaas en manager van Peterson diens carriere tot grote hoogte bracht. Als is het aannemelijk dat Peterson het ook zonder hem ver zou hebben geschopt.

Uit de vele video’s die er van Peterson zijn is het moeilijk kiezen maar zijn (en dat van zijn trio) uitvoering van Nigerian Market Place is en blijft heel bijzonder.

04
jul
12

Swing Of Change.

Deze Franse video animatie zou jazzgigant Norman Granz zeer gewaardeerd hebben. Granz heeft zich zeer ingezet voor de gelijke behandeling van zwarte musici en daar gaat deze animatie over. het speelt in de jaren ’30 in New York waar kapper Harry een zaakje drijft dat alleen toegangelijk is voor blanken, hetgeen ook zeer duidelijk op zijn winkelraam staat. Maar dan gebeurt er iets geheimzinnigs in het leven van Harry en doet de jazz intrede in zijn leven. Dat brengt hem tot inkeer…………

25
feb
12

Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz For Justice (last episode).

Norman Granz - 1918 -2001.

This is the last blogpost about the live of  Norman Granz, based on the book “Norman Granz, The Man Who Used Jazz For Justice” by Tad Hershorn.

On November 22, 2001, Norman Granz died in bed in his Geneva appartment in the early hours of the morning. His tremendous contribution to the world of jazz will never be forgotten. As founder of the Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts which he rolled out in the USA, Europe and Japan, his innovative first live jazz recordings, the Clef, Norgran,Verve and Pablo labels he founded, his business management over decades for Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Joe Pass, his commitment to numerous and famous jazz musicians, his involvement in the Montreux Jazz Festivals, one can say the world of jazz would have looked totally different without him.

As The Los Angeles Time wrote: “Norman Granz set the business of jazz through most of the twentieth century. He helped end the two-track system in which white players generally earned more than blacks and helped integrate jazz on a large commercial scale”. An extensive interview with author Tad Hershorn of the book cab be found on JazzWax. To close the circle, here is the famous Coleman Hawkins version of “Body and Soul”  which made Norman Granz a jazz fan when he heard this for the first time in his life.

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

 

13
feb
12

Basie’s jam with Ray and Jimmy in “Nob’s Blues”.

Through his involvement in the famous Montreux Jazz Festivals Norman Granz used the ample opportunities the festival gave him to promote his Pablo musicians. As someone said, “Granz is not an innovator but a popularizer”. That remains to be seen in the light of history but fact of the matter is that through Montreux he used a lot of commercial opportunities like selling records and video’s / DVD’s of the festival. In 1977 he put together a group of musicians lead by Count Basie. In this video we hear the announcement of Norman Granz introducing the Basie Trio with Ray Brown and drummer Jimmie Smith in a brilliant jam playing Nob’s Blues.

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

12
feb
12

Norman Granz introduces the Clark Terry Sextet at The Montreux Jazz Festival.

Ella and Norman (on the background Joe Pass)

In 1975 Norman Granz got heavily involved in the Montreux Jazz Festival In Switzerland when director Claude Nobs gave Granz three nights of programming as a showcase for his Pablo Records artists. The Montreux Casino was equipped with television capabilities, so the proceedings were videotaped. Granz’ involvement in Montreux lasted till 1983 during which period he relased video’s and recordings of this main jazz event. In the video below we see a group of musicians performing in Montreux in the best JATP tradition. It is The Clark Terry Sextet with Terry on flugelhorn, Milt Jackson (vibes), Joe Pass (guitar), Ronnie Scott (tenorsax), Oscar Peterson (piano), Niels-Henning Pedersen (double bass) and Bobby Durham (drums) in a nice swinging composition called ” Minor Blues”.

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




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