For over two decades, the Hi-Hat Club occupied a choice location among the jazz clubs of Boston’s South End district, at the corner of Columbus and Massachusetts Avenue. After the end of World War II, lesser luminaries took over the band-stand, and after a while entertainment practically stopped altogether. Dave Coleman, a jazz promoter, had taken over management of the club in 1949. Through Coleman’s personal initiative, the Hi-Hat enjoyed its most successful years, and by 1951 it was the only club featuring a consistent policy of presenting modern jazz.
Verve Records was originally the product of the vision of jazz impressario Norman Granz (1918-2001). He formed the label in 1956 and moved all of the recordings released on his earlier Norgran Records and Clef Records labels to create the new Verve catalog.
Anyone daunted by the expense of acquiring the 10-disc Bird: The Complete Charlie Parker on Verve may well have their prayers answered by this 2-CD distillation of the big box. It covers a wide stretch of material from Parker's career, going back to the first JATP concert in 1946 and stretching almost to the end of his Norman Granz period. ~ AllMusic
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Two different sides of Verve Records in the 50s – one modern, one a bit more traditional – and both represented in live material from the Newport Jazz Festival in 1957! Side one features a stunning live performance from pianist Teddy Wilson – working in a tight trio with Milt Hinton on bass and Spec Powell on drums – and really blowing away any conceptions we might have had about Wilson being aging or flowery at the time. Instead, he's got a sharp edge and command of the keys that's amazing – and which almost seems to have a bit more bite than usual in this concert setting.
“Maceo! Blow your horn!” That’s how James Brown would dynamically signal his favorite horn player to take another stinging sax solo — and Maceo Parker never once let his boss down. Parker’s jabbing workouts in the midst of “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Cold Sweat” made him a household name among ’60s funk fans — not bad for a kid fresh out of college who got the gig primarily because Brown coveted his brother Melvin’s drumming chops.
Verve 60th Anniversary Rare Albums SHM-CD Reissue Series. Reissue with SHM-CD format. Phil Woods' recordings with his short-lived European Rhythm Machine are among the most adventurous of his career, though few of them have been available in the CD era. This 1969 concert at the Montreux Jazz Festival features the alto saxophonist with pianist George Gruntz, bassist Henri Texier and drummer Daniel Humair in a wide ranging set.
Musicians like to observe that for all his notoriety as the wellspring of bebop, Charlie "Bird" Parker's music was loaded with the blues. SWEDISH SCHNAPPS is as good a place as any to make that connection with Parker's music, including as it does two of his most enduring bop heads based on the blues, "Au Privave" and "Blues For Alice." While you wouldn't mistake either composition for a Muddy Waters tune, both relate Bird's off-kilter accents and serpentine melodicism at walking tempos that let you hear what's actually going by, instead of leaving you astonished but bemused. To really drive the point home, there's "K.C. Blues," which finds the altoist at his hollerin' best, and "Lover Man," certainly one of the bluesiest 32-bar standards around.