Verve: The Sound of America | Richard Havers

Thames & Hudson

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Verve signed practically every major jazz artist of the 1950s and 1960s and is home to some of the greatest music ever recorded. Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, and Ella Fitzgerald all released records through Verve.

This superb new volume presents some of the rarest records and unseen ephemera from the label that helped define the world of jazz. Hundreds of the best examples of iconic seven-inch, ten-inch, and twelve-inch records appear, along with publicity reports, news clippings, ledger books, telegrams, and contracts.

The ultimate music guide, the book includes features on key artists as well as infographics and timelines that reveal the connections between leading artists and Verve. Looking beyond the music scene, the book discusses segregation in America, the missions to take jazz to Europe and the world, the clubs, the places, and the people who made jazz vital. Commentary from the biggest names in jazz today, including some of Verve’s own artists, complements the text.

"Every jazz fan will love having Verve: The Sound of America (Thames & Hudson, 2013), or the newly released Blue Note: Uncompromising Expression (Thames & Hudson/Chronicle Books, 2014)…Celebrating the jazz masterpieces that came wrapped in cellophane, carefully placed in bins, ready to give our lives pleasure and joy, these books are reminders of the greatness of our musical heritage and the wonderful teams of talented people who made our recording industry the best of all time." - Jazz Police

"[A] glorious volume commemorating one of the premier record companies of jazz from its founding by one of the great impresarios of jazz, Norman Granz." - Jazzhouse Diaries

 "Well worth acquiring for the priceless photos." - LA Jazz Scene

About the Author:

Richard Havers is a consultant to Universal Music on jazz and has curated box sets including ​Louis Armstrong: Ambassador of Jazz and Ella Fitzgerald​: The Voice of Jazz. He has written extensively on the topic of 20th-century music and pop culture. His previous books include ​Verve, ​Bill Wyman's Blues Odyssey, and ​Sinatra.​​​​​​​

Product details:

Book title:

Verve: The Sound of


Richard Havers


Thames & Hudson



Number of pages:


Product Dimensions:

8.9 x 1.8 x 11.2 inches

Release Date:





Music History, Music Criticism, Music Record Label History, Jazz

Catalog No: