Jazz producer and music impresario Norman Granz was born to Jewish immigrants in Los Angeles and came of age in pre-WWII America. During a time of segregation, fear and war Granz wanted to unite, desegregate and entertain. He arranged desegregated jam sessions in LA that later turned into Jazz at The Philharmonic. He started various record labels including Verve and Clef, and produced albums with many jazz greats such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. In this feature Rabbi Neil Blumofe highlights the important role Granz played in moving jazz forward and elevating its status as a seminal American art form.
Rabbi Neil Blumofe examines American jazz musician in this week’s Liner Notes short. The composer, arranger and pianist is most well known for his involvement in the bebop era, but also in the swing and hard bop genres. The Cleveland native collaborated with other Liner Notes artists such as Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie and Benny Golson. He is described as the “romanticist” of he bepop era, as said by saxophonist Dexter Gordon and elaborated upon by Blumofe.