Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Mercury Records Jazz Story

Mercury Record Corporation was founded in the American city of Chicago in 1945 by Irving Green, Berle Adams and Arthur Talmadge. They were a major force in jazz and blues, classical music, rock and roll, and country music recordings. Early in the label's history, Mercury opened two pressing plants, one in Chicago and the other in St.Louis, Missouri. With the use of automatic presses and providing 24-hour turnaround, they went into direct competition with major recording labels such as Columbia, Decca, and RCA Victor.

Mercury's Jazz division had two distinct and important fathers. John Henry Hammond, Jr. brought his expertise and connections when Mercury bought Keynote Records in the late 1940s. And Mercury was the issuing company and distributor for Norman Granz's pre-Norgran/Verve recordings. Although both Hammond and Granz had departed Mercury by the mid-'50s, they established the company in the jazz world. Mercury, under its EmArcy label, released LPs by many important post-swing and bebop artists including Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Clark Terry, Dinah Washington, Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Ernestine Anderson, Sarah Vaughn, Maynard Ferguson, Jimmy Cleveland, Herb Geller and others. By the early 1960s, Mercury was releasing jazz under the flagship label and was an early leader in the new stereo sound releases. Highlights of the early and mid-'60s included albums by Quincy Jones, Buddy Rich, Cannonball Adderley, Charles (then called Charlie) Mingus, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Max Roach and others. In the early 1950s, Norman Granz started his own record company, Norgran, which later became Verve. In an ironic twist, both Mercury and Verve are now owned by Universal Music Group and Mercury's jazz library falls under the Verve division. Since the early 1990s, Verve has reissued many Mercury jazz titles on CD, often taking care to use original master tapes and including session material not included on the original LPs. In addition, Mosaic Records in Stamford CT has issued several box sets spotlighting the Mercury and Verve recordings of various artists including Max Roach, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie and Buddy Rich....text from Wikipedia

Disc: 1
1. Idaho - Gene Ammons
2. Feather Brain - Muggsy Spanier
3. I Cried For You (Now It's Your Turn to Cry Over Me) - Dinah Washington
4. I'll Always Be In Love with You - Paul Quinichette
5. The Iron Hat - Ben Webster
6. Don't Blame Me - Paul Gonsalves
7. Eleanor - Art Blakey
8. Moroccan Blues - Art Mardigan
9. 'S Wonderful - Helen Merrill
10. I've Got To Be A Rug Cutter - Erroll Garner
11. Demanton - Gerry Mulligan
12. Flossie Lou - Clifford Brown And Max Roach
13. Love Letters - Max Roach
14. Hoppin' John - Cannonball Adderley
15. My Old Flame - Max Roach
16. Three Little Words - Sarah Vaughan
17. I Hadn't Anyone Till You - Eddie South
18. Weaver Of Dreams - John Coltrane
19. Willow Weep for Me - Conte And Pete Candoli
20. (Back Home Again In) Indiana - Buddy Rich

Disc: 2
1. Take the 'A' Train/Exactly Like You - Charles Mingus
2. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set - Quincy Jones
3. Improvisation For Unaccompanied Saxophones - Al Cohn And Zoot Sims
4. I Can't Get Started - Coleman Hawkins And Sol Yaged
5. Struttin' With Some Barbecue - Pete Rugolo
6. Sugar (That Sugar Baby O Mine) - George Wein
7. Scrapple From The Apple - Buddy DeFranco
8. Mood Indigo - Julius Watkins
9. The Big Cat - Terry Gibbs
10. 3-In-1 Without The Oil - Roland Kirk
11. Raincheck - Art Farmer
12. Washboard Blues - Art Hodes And Truck Parham
13. El Toro Grande - Woody Herman
14. Squeaky's Blues - Oscar Peterson
15. Waltz For Ruth - Art Blakey
16. Blues For Bird - Lee Konitz
17. Groovin' High - Dizzy Gillespie
18. Kid Dynamite - Paul Bley
19. Sometimes I'm Happy - Jimmy Smith