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The sound of America? Jazz, presented in the superb Verve: The Sound of America

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Verve: The Sound of America

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Verve signed practically every major jazz artist of the 1950s and 1960s and is home to some of the greatest music ever recorded. Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, and Ella Fitzgerald all released records through Verve.
And all that jazz.
Verve: The Sound of America (Thames & Hudson , $75) is superb.
Make that Superb.
Richard Havers’ new volume presents some of the rarest records and unseen ephemera from the label that helped define the world of jazz. Hundreds of the best examples of iconic seven-inch, ten-inch, and twelve-inch records appear, along with publicity reports, news clippings, ledger books, telegrams and contracts.
The ultimate music guide, the book includes features on key artists as well as infographics and timelines that reveal the connections between leading artists and Verve. Looking beyond the music scene, the book discusses segregation in America, the missions to take jazz to Europe and the world, and the clubs, the places, and the people who made jazz vital. Commentary from the biggest names in jazz today, including some of Verve’s own artists, complements the text.
Coinciding with the publication of the book is the new CD release Verve: The Sound Of America–The Singles Collection (Verve Records/Universal Music Enterprises), a 5-CD collection featuring 100 singles from the Verve catalog, more than 20 of which have been out of print for years, packaged in a stylish two-part, lift-off box with a 48-page booklet and extensive liner notes. Included are tracks from jazz legends such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Smith, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins and Astrud Gilberto.

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