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Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Complete Recordings on Verve: 1944-1949

illustration of Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker

I don’t know Norman Granz. But if I ever have occasion to go to dinner with him, I’ll let him choose the wine. What he accomplished with his various record labels from 1948 to 1961 has never been equaled by anyone else before or since. He made more great jazz records than any other producer did and he did it because he hired the best musicians. This long delayed ten-CD cube consists of the Jazz at the Philharmonic concert recordings of the 1940s: the rock upon which Granz built everything else.

Of the material included we have three separate categories: that previously issued on Verve CDs; music issued on LP but not on CD; and, lastly, previously unissued performances. In the first category we have The First Concert (July 2, 1944) with Illinois Jacquet, Les Paul, and Nat Cole. There are also the various JATP performances of Charlie Parker available individually or in the multi-disc Charlie Parker set. The Billie Holiday performances are all items that have been available. Slim Gaillard’s “Opera in Vout” was included in his Verve CD. Some of Ella Fitzgerald’s 1949 set was issued in the Parker box. The programming is chronological.

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