Norman Granz

Norman Granz ( born August 6, 1918 in Los Angeles, † 22 November 2001 in Geneva ) was an American jazz impresario and producer.

Life and work

After attending the University of California Granz worked as a film editor in the Metro -Goldwyn -Mayer Studios and supervised 1944, production of the short film Jammin 'the Blues by Gjon Mili, with whom he 1950 the musical film improvisation turned. On 2 July 1944, he organized the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles first concert with jazz musicians, which initially occurred in small groups and came together at the end of a jam session on stage. This Granz developed a whole series of Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts. After initial success in Los Angeles, he expanded the concert tours of 1946, the United States were first organized, and finally to the end of 1960 worldwide.

1944/45 and 1948-1951 he worked as a record producer for various labels. Significantly his record series The Jazz Scene was because of their experimental nature and not yet available recordings of jazz concerts on recordings. In 1946 he founded a first independent record company ( Clef Records) for the classic jazz, then in 1953 the label Norgran for the modern jazz; published here recordings of Lester Young and Dizzy Gillespie. He also founded the label Down Home for Traditional Jazz by Kid Ory and Red Allen. Since 1951, he bought the rights to his productions ( like that of Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown or Sarah Vaughan with Mercury Records) back and took it in 1957 under the label Verve Records together, where he first produced important recordings especially with Ella Fitzgerald. In 1957 he shifted his activities to Europe, in 1960 settled in Switzerland in 1961 and sold his label to MGM. The position of Granz took a Creed Taylor. Granz devoted himself increasingly to the management of Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, and partly also Duke Ellington and Jazz at the Philharmonic.

In 1973 he founded after the production had come to a standstill at Verve, Pablo Records as a new label. Especially with jam session -like concerts of his artists at the Montreux Jazz Festival or with the recordings made ​​there he prepared the Renaissance of swing and bebop.

Granz was repeated that he had three goals: to produce music without racial discrimination, to provide the Auditorium good products and earn money. Although not a musician, he was one of the most important contributors to modern jazz. Norman Granz was the great patron of the German concert promoter Fritz Rau.