JAZZ: Verve Records helped spread jazz around the world

Verve Records was formed in 1955 by Norman Granz and their studio albums and live recordings by Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday helped bring jazz to a world audience.

Richard Havers writes

"Jazz stirs the possibilities for creativity in the moment. Jazz is about the human character; jazz is about feeling, not just about entertainment. Jazz is healing.“ Herbie Hancock in the introduction to Verve: The Sound of America

It was at the tail end of 1955 that Norman Granz decided to form Verve Records. He did so for Ella Fitzgerald. He already managed her career, but felt he knew how to make the kind of records the singer should be making – history has proved he was right. However, the story of Verve goes back a decade or more, where it can trace its roots in Granz’s ambition to take jazz out of the clubs and into concert halls, as well as in Clef and Norgran, the record labels that he had been running for a number of years.

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