One of the most prestigious labels in the history of jazz, Verve Records will celebrate its 60th anniversary throughout 2016 with a trove of historic reissues and stunning new collections from its legendary archives. The release schedule constitutes a who’s-who of jazz legends, including such pioneers as Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Smith, Stan Getz, and the label’s heart and soul, Ella Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald will be honored with the release of Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set, a new compilation bringing together all of her Jazz at the Philharmonic performances previously issued by Verve on various albums, on a single collection for the first time ever. The collection—which includes concerts from 1949, 1953 and 1954 and features appearances by Parker, Lester Young, and Hank Jones among others—will feature newly re-mastered music and an essay by author Will Friedwald.
The first set of releases, due out in March 2016, is also highlighted by the new digital collection Verve 60, featuring 60 stellar tracks by 60 different artists from throughout the label’s history, spanning from Ella and Oscar through Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock to Diana Krall and Christian McBride. In addition, five favorites from the Verve catalogue will be reissued on vinyl, including Ella & Louis, the first pairing for the label of Fitzgerald and Armstrong; Billie Holiday’s Lady Sings the Blues; Charlie “Bird” Parker’s innovative Charlie Parker with Strings; Oscar Peterson’s Night Train; and Count Basie’s April in Paris.
Several classics will also make their debuts in HD digital audio and iTunes, including titles by Fitzgerald, Evans, Parker, Wynton Kelly, and Stan Getz. Organ master Jimmy Smith’s classic singles for the label will be compiled into a digital box set.