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Verve Records

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Verve Records is an American jazz record label. It is now owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded by Norman Granz in 1956, absorbing the catalogues of his previous labels: Norgran Records and Clef Records (founded 1953) and material that had previously been licensed to Mercury previously.

History[change | change source]

Verve's catalogue grew throughout the 1950s and 1960s to include most of the major jazz figures, although Granz tended to record established artists, sometimes those on the decline, rather than new talent. It also recognized the potential of comedy albums, producing Spike Jones' first LP, Dinner Music For People Who Aren't Very Hungry in 1956 and several best-selling albums featuring live performances by Shelley Berman beginning in 1960.

Granz sold Verve to MGM in 1961 for $3 million. Creed Taylor was named producer and took a more commercial approach, cancelling several contracts. Taylor brought bossa nova to America with the Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd LP Jazz Samba as well as Getz/Gilberto. Several noted arrangers also worked for the Verve label in the 1960s, including Claus Ogerman and Oliver Nelson. Claus Ogerman, by his own admission in Gene Lees' Jazzletter, arranged some 60-70 albums for Verve under Creed Taylor's direction between 1963 and 1967.

Shortly before leaving Verve in 1967, Taylor oversaw the creation of a folk music subsidiary named Verve Folkways (later renamed Verve Forecast) by Verve executive Jerry Schoenbaum. But now, new recordings began to slow down and cease entirely in the early 1970s.

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