Norman Granz

I was sorry to hear that Norman Granz died on Thanksgiving. After bringing such wonderful music to so many folks, I had kind of hoped that he would be given special treatment and allowed to live forever.

Tonight, I’m going to go home, pour myself a good Scotch, turn down the lights, light a cigarette (if I can find any in the house), and listen to a bunch of wonderful music. That seems to be a fitting tribute to the man who worked so closely with Ella, and Billie, and Count Basie, and on and on and on and on.

More power to ya, plnnr - I only got to see Tommy Flanagan once before he passed away this month, and he was so fluid and amazing. Definitely worth a listen in his honor.

Hear hear! Few non-musicians can be said to have transformed jazz for the better, but Norman Granz was one of them.

For those Cafe members wondering, “Who is Norman Granz?” he was a jazz impressario and record producer who founded Verve records and recorded some of the most important artists in jazz history. A brief description of his career can be found here:

A good steak dinner, a couple of hefty J&B and waters, a Camel or two later, and Billie Holiday’s Silver Collection on the stereo. Here’s to you, Mr. Granz. Thank you.

Thanks for posting this remembrance thread, plnnr! The obit in the NY Times the other day made for fascinating reading…not only did Granz put on a LOT of good music, he did much to make jazz welcome in “respectable” venues, and much to break down the color line during the pre-Civil Rights Era.

I had my copy of the 1946 JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC out last night, recorded in January and April at Los Angeles’s Philharmonic Auditorium, and featuring Dizzy Gillespie, Willie Smith, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Buck Clayton, Howard McGhee, Mel Powell, and Buddy Rich. Not to mention a Charlie Parker so swacked on heroin that he stepped out to take his first chorus on “Blues for Norman” and forgot to play…just stood there with the horn in his mouth. Arnold Ross stepped in to take a piano solo until Bird remembered just where the hell he was.

This was follwed by two choruses in “Oh! Lady Be Good” of such intense brilliance that none of the other horn players were willing to follow Parker’s solo. McGhee and Smith snuck backstage and found Prez, who was sneaking a drink, and dragged him out, feeling that he was the only one there who could answer Bird.