Verve: the Sound of America (Thames & Hudson)


Hey there you hip and happening jazz cats! Have I got a book for you?! Yes, yes I have daddio, OK that’s the tired jazz cliches out of the way, lets get on with the show. Set up by Norman Grantz in 1956 primarily to promote Ella Fitzgerald Verve records offered a more sophisticated kind of jazz vibe than it’s contemporary label Blue Note’s and their more avant-garde stuff. Almost instantly Verve became one of the coolest labels on the planet and pretty much featured all the major players (including Billie Holliday, Charlie Parker & Louis Armstrong) of the modern jazz age on it’s records, bringing performers out from their smokey basements clubs (albeit often temporarily) and onto a worldwide stage. This incredibly classy tome contains everything you need to know about this seminal label with author Richard Havers illustrating his incredibly well researched history of Verve with a previously unseen collection of over 1,000 impossibly cool photos, posters and album sleeves from the Verve archive. This book is so cool it should come with a pair of gloves and it’s own ashtray.




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