Posts tagged with "verve records"

Holiday Jazz Albums Available in New Vinyl Set

FOUR TIMELESS HOLIDAY JAZZ TITLES BY ELLA FITZGERALD, KENNY BURRELL, RAMSEY LEWIS AND JIMMY SMITH BOXED UP FOR NEW VINYL SET, VERVE WISHES YOU A SWINGING CHRISTMAS

MOST ALBUMS REPRESSED FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 50 YEARS AVAILABLE NOW VIA VERVE/UMe

This holiday season, Verve Records/UMe is boxing up some of the most classic jazz holiday titles and wrapping them in a new vinyl box set titled Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas. This lavish collection brings together Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960), Kenny Burrell’s Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (1966), Ramsey Lewis’s Sound of Christmas (1961) and Jimmy Smith’s Christmas ‘64 (1964) (also known as Christmas Cookin’) for the first time. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect swinging, syncopated backdrop to get you in the Yuletide spirit and soundtrack your festivities.

Purchase Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas now: https://Verve.lnk.to/SwingingChristmas

Since the dawn of jazz, the genre’s innovators have pulled material from all corners of the Great American Songbook and beyond as springboards for improvisation — and the Christmas canon is no exception. On Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas, the First Lady of Song approaches Great American Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “The Christmas Song,” and “Frosty the Snowman” with vivacity and sophistication. Sixty Christmases after its release, the album’s timeless appeal has only grown over the years. In a retrospective review, All Musicproclaimed, “this is as good as jazz Christmas albums get,” and just last year, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 1 on their “40 Essential Christmas Albums” list, calling the set “superb” and praising Fitzgerald’s “exquisite phrasing and subtlety.” In celebration of the album’s 60th anniversary, “Frosty The Snowman” has received its first-ever official video, a charming animated video by Fantoons Animation Studio that features Ella and Frosty in a winter wonderland storybook setting. Watch here: https://youtu.be/Hmw4Fu4XupE

Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas includes a variety of jazz greats’ instrumental takes on the Christmas canon via three albums that haven’t seen a vinyl reissue since the ‘60s. On Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas, guitar master Kenny Burrell serves up soulful renditions from the carol book (“The Twelve Days of Christmas,” “Away in a Manger”), down the church aisle (“Mary’s Little Boy Chile,” “Children Go Where I Send Thee”) and the R&B wheelhouse (“Merry Christmas, Baby”). JazzTimes declares it “was and is a landmark album” while All Music admires Burrell’s “pensive, meditative, precise playing” and calls it “a must-have.”

The box cranks the fun up a notch with Sound of Christmas by the Ramsey Lewis Trio, which features bassist Eldee Young, drummer Isaac “Red” Holt, and string arranger Riley Hampton. By swerving around any potential treacle and keeping things light at a mere 29 minutes, Lewis and his colleagues ensured Sound of Christmas was a highly accessible slice of holiday cheer. “Lewis avoids the overly reverent… in favor of songs he can tear through with the brisk gait of a sleigh ride and the delight of a full stocking,” All About Jazz mused.“[H]is sensitivity to the tastes of the public served him well here.”

Rounding out the collection is a yuletide offering from Jimmy Smith, the master of the Hammond B-3 organ. On Christmas ‘64, which was known for decades as Christmas Cookin’ after being reissued in 1966 with the alternate cover and title, Smith offers up a mix of secular Christmas songs and traditional carols backed by a big band and several trios. He makes a heel-turn from dignified orchestral overtures, like on “We Three Kings (of Orient Are),” injecting the proceedings with funky, down-home energy to get bodies moving this December. “It’s hard to believe that ‘Silent Night’ could ever swing as much as it does here,” All About Jazz noted. But all you have to do is drop the needle on these bluesy interpretations to believe Christmas could be so danceable. For the first time in more than five decades, the LP will be released with its original cover and title.

Why wait until the Christmas shopping rush to secure your vintage sounds? Verve Wishes You a Swinging Christmas offers four titles in their original packaging, all beamed from jazz’s past to warm up your holiday season in the present.

Ella Fitzgerald Wishes You a Swinging Christmas (1960)

Side A:

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  4. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?
  5. Sleigh Ride
  6. The Christmas Song

Side B:

  1. Good Morning Blues
  2. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
  3. Winter Wonderland
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  5. Frosty the Snowman
  6. White Christmas

Kenny Burrell — Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas (1966)

Side A:

  1. The Little Drummer Boy
  2. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  3. My Favorite Things
  4. Away in a Manger
  5. Mary’s Little Boy Chile
  6. White Christmas

Side B:

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. The Christmas Song
  3. Go Where I Send Thee
  4. Silent Night
  5. Twelve Days Of Christmas
  6. Merry Christmas Baby

Ramsey Lewis — Sound of Christmas (1961)

Side A:

  1. Merry Christmas Baby
  2. Winter Wonderland
  3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  4. Christmas Blues
  5. Here Comes Santa Claus

Side B:

  1. The Sound Of Christmas
  2. The Christmas Song
  3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  4. Sleigh Ride
  5. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Jimmy Smith — Christmas ‘64 (a.k.a. Christmas Cookin’) (1964)

Side A:

  1. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  2. Jingle Bells
  3. We Three Kings (Of Orient Are)
  4. The Christmas SongSide B:
  1. White Christmas
  2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  3. Silent Night
  4. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

“What a Wonderful World” Music Video

For the first time ever, the Louis Armstrong classic, “What a Wonderful World,” is getting a music video.

The song, which was released in 1967, has become as iconic as Armstrong himself and is Verve‘s most streamed jazz song with more than a billion streams.

You can see the video by clicking right here. With every single frame created by hand by Springtime Jellyfish, it’s beautiful and meticulous enough to make you believe that the world truly can be wonderful, even with everything going on today.

Written by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, it was meant to heal a nation in the middle race riots and anti-war protests. Does that sound at all familiar? Maybe this is the perfect time for the song’s video to be released.

Louis Armstrong is also the perfect voice for the song of multiple generations.

Bob Thiele said, “We wanted this immortal musician and performer to say, as only he could, the world really is great: full of the love and sharing people make possible for themselves and each other every day.”

Released by ABC Records, it wasn’t originally a hit. It topped charts overseas, but didn’t become a megahit in the United States when it was featured in “Good Morning Vietnam.” It cruised up the Billboard chart to No. 33 and became a mainstay in American pop culture. It was eventually inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame in 1999.

The video was released in honor of Armstrong’s birthday, premiering on Facebook and reaching over 5 million views.

It’s now available right here for anyone to see and be reminded of how wonderful the world truly is.

Charlie Parker “Bird 100” Continues

On the 100th anniversary of Charlie Parker’s birth – August 29, 2020 – it is impossible to imagine the evolution of jazz and modern music in general without the indelible influence of one of the most important Black American figures in history. Parker’s incomparable life and extraordinary, trailblazing career is being celebrated all year with a centennial celebration lovingly dubbed Bird 100, after the nickname of the preeminent alto saxophonist who was one of the fathers of bebop and progenitors of modern jazz. Leading up to Bird’s 100th birthday and throughout the year, the celebration will encompass a series of releases spanning a variety of media and perspectives in order to explore the full span of his inestimable legacy. In addition to enlightening new releases of Parker’s music and stunning vinyl reissues, it will also feature the first-ever graphic novel chronicling Parker’s life, a new animated video for one of his most beloved classics, a collection of scores for his immortal compositions, gorgeous canvas artwork culled from Parker’s visually striking album covers, and virtual events.

“The centennial of Charlie Parker is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate his life, legacy and art form with the world. We are thrilled to honor Bird’s transformative musical impact on past, present and future generations,” said Jeff Jampol, CEO of JAM, Inc., the manager of the Estate of Charlie Parker.

This fall, Parker’s longtime label Verve Records, in conjunction with UMe, the global catalog company of Universal Music Group, will offer an illuminating new perspective on a previously underexamined chapter of Parker’s life with a new collection titled Bird In LA, featuring unreleased songs recorded during Bird’s storied visits to Los Angeles in the mid ‘40s through the early ‘50s.

“Few artists have made such an impact on the music of an era as Charlie Parker did in shaping the sounds of the 20th century. We are honored to be entrusted with his legacy as we continue to offer fans quality reissues of his remarkable work and explore new platforms for new fans to discover and appreciate his artistry,” said Bruce Resnikoff, President & CEO, UMe.

“Charlie Parker is one of the enduring icons of Verve Records. He is a peerless artist and his legacy is far-reaching. We are proud to celebrate his centennial with many different initiatives – from a graphic novel and incredible reissues, to new videos and live events – so that everyone can be reminded of the greatness of Bird,” said Jamie Krents, EVP of Verve/Impulse! 

In conjunction with Bird In LA, Z2 Comics (Gorillaz, Grateful Dead, The Doors) will release the graphic novel, “Chasin’ The Bird: Charlie Parker In California,” which chronicles the story of Bird’s time in Los Angeles starting in December 1945, where Bird and Dizzy Gillespie brought frenetic sounds of bebop from the East Coast jazz underground to the West Coast for a two-month residency at Billy Berg’s Hollywood jazz club. This marked the beginning of a tumultuous two year-stint for Bird, bumming around LA, showing up at jam sessions, crashing on people’s couches, causing havoc in public places, and recording some of his most groundbreaking tracks such as, “A Night in Tunisia” and “Ornithology,” as well as “Relaxin’ At Camarillo,” inspired by the end of his time in SoCal at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. The novel explores Bird’s relationship with the characters and events he encountered during his time in L.A., including recording some of his signature songs with Dial Records founder Ross Russell, a brief but influential stay at the home of famed jazz photographer William Claxton, a party for the ages at the ranch home of artist Jirayr Zorthian, and others who found themselves in the orbit of the jazz genius. Beautifully told by Dave Chisholm, colored by DreamWorks Animation Director Peter Markowski and featuring a foreword by Hall of Fame basketball legend and cultural icon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “Chasin’ the Bird,” named for Parker’s 1947 standard, adapts one of the sunnier, albeit darker chapters in the life of Bird. The graphic novel is available for pre-order now directly through the Z2 webstore, as either a standard or a deluxe edition, with two tracks to be announced on a Flexidisc in the standard version and an accompanying 45” LP for the deluxe version when purchased exclusively via the store. Early reviews have been nothing short of glowing with Comic Bookcase hailing it as “One of the best graphic novels of the year.”


ABOUT CHARLIE PARKER:

If jazz history can be divided into two epochs — danceable swing and improvisational bebop — then Charlie Parker is the fault line. During his brief but remarkable career, the alto saxophonist nicknamed “Bird” gave jazz lightning tempos, mind-bending chord substitutions, and previously unexplored harmonic depth, paving the way for hard bop, free jazz, fusion and everything after. Miles Davis summed up his accomplishments: “You can tell the history of jazz in four words. Louis Armstrong. Charlie Parker.” Parker, who died in 1955 at only 34, was a meteoric musician that burned bright and much too quick. But his legacy more than lives on; it’s jazz scripture. Jack Kerouac called him “as important as Beethoven.” Four of his recordings were inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame including albums Charlie Parker With Strings and Jazz At Massey Hall and the songs “Ornithology” and “Billie’s Bounce.” In 1974, he was awarded a posthumous GRAMMY for Best Performance By A Soloist for “First Recordings.” In 1988, the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic “Bird” brought his story to the silver screen. The U.S. Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp in his honor in 1995. The Parker composition “Koko” was included in the National Recorded Registry in 2002, declaring the song as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform(s) or reflect(s) life in the United States.” Although his life and career were short, the New Yorker has praised Parker as “one of the wonders of twentieth-century music” and the New York Times deemed him “matchless” and a “bebop exemplar.” Parker’s popularity continues to grow as the world celebrates the 100th birthday in 2020.

Harry Connick, Jr., 360 MAGAZINE

Harry Connick, Jr.

Following the announcement of his album True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter (Verve Records, October 25), Harry Connick Jr. releases the video for the first single “Just One of Those Things.” Watch the video here.


Directed by Bobby Bruderle, the video showcases an exciting use of MIDI technology to create a visual orchestra. Each time Harry plays a note on the keyboard it sends a signal to the hanging lights surrounding him to synchronize and light up, each note coordinated with a specific light bulb. “This is one of my favorite Cole Porter songs,” says Harry. “It’s actually a sad song, but I had so much fun making the video, I was smiling the whole time… I LOVED the concept and the simplicity of me, some bare light bulbs and a piano.” 

 

After 30 million albums sold worldwide, 13 No. 1 jazz albums in the United States, and a music, film, television and Broadway career spanning three decades, Harry Connick, Jr. returns with a sensational new record, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter.


Comprised exclusively of Cole Porter compositions, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter highlights Harry’s talents as a pianist, singer, arranger, orchestrator, and conductor, as he breathes life into the popular songs. It is not surprising that Porter would appeal to Harry since, like Harry, he wrote both music and lyrics and redefined what it meant to be the complete songwriter. Harry, whose success in several styles of music as well as film, theater, and television, has similarly reshaped the notion of what it means to be the complete entertainer.


Follow Harry Connick, Jr.

http://www.facebook.com/harryconnickjr


http://twitter.com/harryconnickjr

http://www.instagram.com/harryconnickjr/

Ella Fitzgerald × Louis Armstrong 

ELLA FITZGERALD AND LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S BELOVED MUSICAL PARTNERSHIP CELEBRATED IN NEW 4CD SET, CHEEK TO CHEEK: THE COMPLETE DUET RECORDINGS, OUT NOVEMBER 10 ON VERVE/UMe FOR ELLA 100

 
INCLUDES THEIR TIMELESS THREE VERVE ALBUMS, DECCA SINGLES, LIVE TRACKS, B-SIDES, RARE RECORDINGS AND UNRELEASED MATERIAL

 

 
By the time Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong collaborated on their first duet together, they were each already jazz giants. Fitzgerald was an acclaimed solo artist for Decca with many hits and more than 200 songs under her young belt, first with the Chick Webb Orchestra and then as leader of her own big band. Armstrong, known affectionately as Pops, was one of the leading singers, trumpet players and entertainers of the day; a star of both sound and screen. Together their talent knew no bounds and propelled them further to stardom, and today are some of the biggest highlights of both of their extraordinary careers.

 
For the first time, all of Fitzgerald and Armstrong’s classic duets are in one place: Cheek To Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings, a new 4CD and digital set will be available November 10. Part of Ella 100, Verve Records/UMe’s yearlong celebration of Fitzgerald’s centennial, the 75-track collection gathers their three timeless Verve albums – newly remastered versions of Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess – along with all of their Decca singles, live recordings from Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, recorded as a warmup for Ella and Louis, plus several alternates and false starts from the Decca and Verve eras, illuminating their craft and good humor. Cheek To Cheek also includes unreleased material: “The Memphis Blues,” with Bing Crosby, from his radio show; several takes of Armstrong’s solo showcase, “Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess;” and an instrumental mix of “Red-Headed Woman.” The comprehensive collection is rounded out with extensive essay by Ricky Riccardi, the world’s leading authority on Armstrong, plus detailed annotations and rare images from the archives. Preorder Cheek To Cheek here: http://UMe.lnk.to/CheekToCheek4CD

 
Armstrong and Fitzgerald were first paired together by Decca label head Milt Gabler when they were both recording for the label. For the inaugural session in January 1946, Gabler had them cut the new song “You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)” and a recent Nat King Cole hit, “The Frim Fram Sauce.” The former became a jukebox hit and hinted at the magic they could create together. Over the next few years they would reunite for a string of singles – all eight are presented here in order of release – before recording their first album together. Fitzgerald’s manager Norman Granz, on the heels of founding Verve Records with his highly successful first release, Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Cole Porter Song Book, put Fitzgerald and Armstrong in the studio on August 16, 1956 to record the entire eleven-song Ella and Louis album in a day. The record was a critical and commercial success when released in the fall of 1956. Down Beat gave it five stars and, in November, the album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Jazz charts. The night before recording the album, Fitzgerald and Armstrong performed together at the Hollywood Bowl, and these rare, impromptu performances of “You Won’t Be Satisfied,” along with “Undecided,” marking their earliest collaborative recordings for Granz, are included on the fourth disc.

 
Knowing he needed to get them back in the studio as soon as possible, Granz recorded them in several ambitious sessions from July 23 to August 19, resulting in the follow up album Ella and Louis Again as well as Porgy and Bess, the folk opera with music and lyrics by George & Ira Gershwin. Ella and Louis Again once again captured their chemistry and resulted in the irresistible “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off,” the joyful “Stompin’ At The Savoy,” and “Autumn In New York,” one of their finest ballad performances. They also each turned in separate solo features, notably extended interpretations of “These Foolish Things” by Fitzgerald and “Let’s Do It” by Armstrong. The sessions for Porgy and Bess included their final four duets. The recordings capture their teamwork at the peak of its powers, exemplified in the way they seamlessly traded roles of singing and scatting on “Summertime” and “Bess, You Is My Woman Now.” Granz held the album until 1959, when the big-budget film version was in theaters, and it was another success.

 
In addition to gathering all of Fitzgerald and Armstrong’s duets, Cheek To Cheek also gives a unique opportunity to hear what it was like to be in the studio with these two titans. The closing disc is rife with a bevy of alternate takes and false starts, displaying their camaraderie, with many previously unreleased, until now. 

 
The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation

The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation was created and funded in 1993 by Ella Fitzgerald in order to fulfill her desires to use the fruits of her success to help people of all races, cultures and beliefs. Fitzgerald hoped to make their lives more rewarding, and she wanted to foster a love of reading, as well as a love of music. In addition, she hoped to provide assistance to the at-risk and disadvantaged members of our communities – assistance that would enable them to achieve a better quality of life. The Board of Directors of the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation seeks to continue Ella Fitzgerald’s goals by making charitable grants serving four major areas of interest:

 

  1. creating educational and other opportunities for children
  2. fostering a love and knowledge of music, including assistance to students of music
  3. the provision of health care, food, shelter and counseling to those in need
  4. specific areas of medical care and research with an emphasis on Diabetes, vision problems and heart disease

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Cheek To Cheek: The Complete Duet Recordings

 
Disc 1
The Decca Singles

1. You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart)

2. The Frim Fram Sauce

3. Dream A Little Dream Of Me

4. Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No!)

5. Necessary Evil

6. Oops!

7. Who Walks in When I Walk Out

8. Would You Like to Take a Walk (Sump’n Good’ll Come From That)

 
Ella and Louis

9. Can’t We Be Friends

10. Isn’t This A Lovely Day

11. Moonlight In Vermont

12. They Can’t Take That Away From Me

13. Under A Blanket Of Blue

14. Tenderly

15. A Foggy Day

16. Stars Fell On Alabama

17. Cheek to Cheek

18. The Nearness of You

19. April In Paris

 
Disc 2
Ella and Louis Again

1. Don’t Be That Way 

2. Makin’ Whoopee 

3. They All Laughed 

4. Comes Love

5. Autumn In New York 

6. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) 

7. Stompin’ At The Savoy 

8. I Won’t Dance 

9. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You

10. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off 

11. These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)

12. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm 

13. Willow Weep For Me 

14. I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket 

15. A Fine Romance 

16. Ill Wind

17. Love Is Here To Stay

 
Disc 3
Ella and Louis Again (cont’d.)

1. I Get A Kick Out Of You

2. Learnin’ The Blues

 
Porgy And Bess

3. Overture

4. Summertime 

5. I Wants To Stay Here

6. My Man’s Gone Now

7. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ 

8. The Buzzard Song

9. Bess, You Is My Woman Now 

10. It Ain’t Necessarily So 

11. What You Want Wid Bess?

12. A Woman Is A Sometime Thing

13. Oh, Doctor Jesus 

14. Medley: Here Come Da Honey Man/Crab Man/Oh, Dey’s So Fresh And Fine 

15. There’s A Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon For New York 

16. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess?

17. Oh Lawd, I’m On My Way

 
Disc 4: Bonus Tracks
Ella and Louis Live

1. The Memphis Blues (Live from The Chesterfield Show) with Bing Crosby *

2. You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart) (Live at the Hollywood Bowl)

3. Undecided (Live at the Hollywood Bowl)

 
Decca Extras 

4. You Won’t Be Satisfied (Until You Break My Heart) false start and breakdown

5. The Frim Fram Sauce false starts/takes 1 and 2 *

6. The Frim Fram Sauce alternate take

 
Ella and Louis Again Extras

7. Makin’ Whoopee take 1

8. Makin’ Whoopee take 2

9. I Get A Kick Out Of You take 2 (run-through) and take 3 (breakdown)

10. I Get A Kick Out Of You take 4

11. I Get A Kick Out Of You take 13

12. Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) take 3

13. Willow Weep For Me take 4

 
Porgy And Bess Extras

14. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ (mono master)

15. A Woman Is A Sometime Thing (mono master)

16. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? takes 5 and 6

17. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? take 7

18. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? take 8 *

19. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? take 9 *

20. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? insert for take 9 *

21. Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess? take 10 *

22. Red-Headed Woman instrumental *

* Previously unreleased

 
ellafitzgeraldfoundation.org | facebook.com/ellafitzgerald