Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Records

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

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

16
nov
11

Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice (2)

Norman Granz (1918 - 2001)

Op 2 November j.l. berichtte ik over het recent verschenen  boek “Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice”. Een fascinerend verhaal over een jazzgigant die zelf geen noot speelde. Maar als promotor van de Jazz At The Philharmonic concerten en tournees, platenproducer en oprichter van o.a. Verve en Pablo Records en  en manager van Ella Fitzgerald en Oscar Peterson, zette Granz zo’n beetje in zijn eentje jazz op de wereldkaart. Bovendien was hij een actief  strijder tegen racisme en vocht voor gelijke rechten van de zwarte muzikanten die voor hem werkten. Zijn liefde voor de jazz en strijd voor gelijke rechten wist hij te combineren met een groot zakelijk inzicht dat hem tot een van de weinige miljonairs in de jazzwereld maakte. In een korte serie blogposts  zal ik uit het boek een aantal belangrijke gebeurtenissen beschrijven van dit unieke stuk jazzgeschiedenis.

Norman Granz (afkorting van Granzinski) werd op 6 Augustus 1918 geboren als zoon van  joodse immigranten van Russische afkomst en groeide op in Los Angeles. Zijn  ouders waren niet streng orthodox maar er werd kosher gekookt en elke morgen om 06.00 werd er gebeden en vrijdagavond gingen de kaarsen aan. Granz had een normale jeugd, doorliep highschool en zat enige tijd op de University of California maar dat werd geen succes. Hij nam diverse baantjes en op een dag in 1939 hoorde hij Coleman Hawkins’ versie van “Body and Soul”. Dat was een bekend nummer in 1930 geschreven door Johnny Green en was eerder vertolkd door o.a. Louis Armstrong en Benny Goodman. Maar over de Hawkins versie zei Granz: “It kind of grabbed hold of me. I think too that the more I listened, the more I found, which is really I think the mark of good jazz: that you keep finding things” Jazzmuziek werd Granz’ grote levenslange passie. Op de YT film staat de versie van Coleman Hawkins uit 1939 met een geheel eigen interpretatie die het nummer beroemd maakte als jazzstandard.

On November 2 last I wrote a blogpost about the book “Norman Granz – The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice” which book has recently been published. A fascinating story about a jazz giant who himself could not play any instrument at all. But as promotor of the Jazz At The Philharmonic” concerts and tours, record producer, founder of Verve and Pablo Records, business manager for Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson, he more or less  put jazz music personally on the forefront of music worldwide. He was an active advocate for equal rights for black musicians who worked for him. Granz combined his love for jazz and the battle against racism with an outstanding business talent which made him one of the few millionaires in the jazz scene. Based on the book I will describe important episodes of this unique part of jazz history in a short series of blogposts.

Norman Granz (abbreviation for Granzinski) was born August 6 1918 as son of Jewish immigrants from Russian origin and raised in Los Angeles. His parents were not Orthodox but meals were prepared kosher, they prayed every morning at 06.00 and on fridaynight the candles were lit. Granz had a normal youth, went to highschool and started studying at the University of California  but that did not work out. He had several jobs in Los Angeles and one day in 1939 he heard Coleman Hawkins’ version of “Body and Soul”. That was a well known song which had been written in 1930 by Johnny Green and recorded by, amongst others, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman. About the Hawkins version Granz said: “It kind of grabbed hold of me. I think too that the more I listened, the more I found, which is really I think the mark of good jazz: that you keep finding things”. Jazz music became Granz’ lifelong passion.  The attached YT film shows the original 1939 Coleman Hawkins interpretation which made the song a famous jazz standard.




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