Verve Remixed

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10/27/2009
New Imprint Verve Select Launches With Limited Edition Packages
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The Verve Music Group will launch a new label imprint this fall, it was announced today by Bruce Resnikoff, President and CEO of the Verve Music Group and UMe. Verve Select, with titles to first be made available at www.hip-oselect.com, will specialize in limited edition releases, including deluxe box sets and reissues of classic albums, complete with beautiful packaging, extensive notes, premiere remastering, and rare, previously unreleased music.

The first artists to receive the Verve Select treatment are Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Oscar Peterson, three of the marquee names from Verve’s extensive catalog. Forthcoming releases on the Verve Select imprint will include titles from Clifford Brown, Stan Getz, Nat “King” Cole, and Dinah Washington, among others yet to be announced.

The initial Verve Select releases, all available on the website on October 9, 2009 and at regular retail November 10, 2009, are Ella Fitzgerald: Twelve Nights in Hollywood, Billie Holiday: The Complete Commodore and Decca Masters, and Oscar Peterson: Debut – The Clef/Mercury Duo Recordings 1949-1951, featuring Ray Brown and Major Holley:


Ella Fitzgerald: Twelve Nights in Hollywood — A 4-CD box set of completely unreleased live recordings that takes Ella’s extended 1961 engagement at Los Angeles’ Crescendo Club – which resulted in the 12-track LP album Ella In Hollywood – and her return engagement the following year, and presents an extraordinary document of a relaxed vocalist and band. This is Ella Fitzgerald at her improvisational, intimate, swingin’ best.

Compiling the top moments of her sets across all 12 nights, this exquisite set features 73 unreleased performances, including recordings of several never-before-heard songs from Ella live on stage. Standout tracks include “But Not For Me,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and “How High the Moon,” among others. All of these performances were originally recorded under the personal supervision of Verve Records’ founder Norman Granz.


Billie Holiday: The Complete Commodore and Decca Masters — Here for the first time in one place are all 50 Milt Gabler-produced Billie Holiday masters, plus two others completing her Decca contract. These classic tunes, including “Fine and Mellow” and “Strange Fruit” on Commodore Records and “Good Morning Heartache” and “Don’t Explain” on Decca Records, showcase Ms. Holiday at the height of her vocal powers.


Oscar Peterson: Debut – The Complete Clef/Mercury Duo Records 1949-1951, featuring Ray Brown and Major Holley — Verve Select uncovers an underappreciated and hardly-compiled segment of Oscar Peterson’s brilliant career: his first U.S. recordings, when he simply played and improvised backed by two of the greatest standup bassists of all time – Ray Brown and Major “Mule” Holley – in the brief period before he settled into his world-renowned trio format. Debut is a 3-CD box set that includes all of the Mercury singles that would later be released as the Clef and Verve LPs Tenderly, Keyboard, and An Evening With Oscar Peterson, plus several stray tracks that appeared on various formats.

Debut begins with Oscar’s literal U.S. debut: a live recording from Carnegie Hall when the 24-year-old pianist, pretending to be an audience member, got up on stage to perform for an American audience for the first time. He returned to Carnegie Hall a year later; all of those rare live sides are included here, as well as a newly-discovered, unreleased live performance of “Tea For Two” and an unreleased studio version of “There’s A Small Hotel.”


All of the music in the box sets from the Verve Select launch is contained in exquisite packaging, complete with extensive liner notes, detailed annotations, rare photos, reproductions of classic singles, rare labels, and the original album artwork where applicable.

“The legacy of the Verve Music Group is rich and deep, and the passion of its fans is its equal,” said Resnikoff. “These releases honor our great musical heritage in a unique, beautiful way, and serve to deliver the music back where it belongs – in the homes and hearts of its greatest fans.”

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