Verve and Impulse! Records, together with UMe, have launched their new series Vital Vinyl, a celebration of essential jazz LPs from the iconic labels’ enduring catalogs. Throughout the year, the labels are making some of their most beloved must-have albums from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s available once again as non-limited editions LPs, pressed on audiophile grade 180-gram black vinyl and showcased with their original cover artwork, track listings and liner notes. The records will be released in three batches with the first available today followed by the second on May 3 and the final installment on June 7. Almost all major jazz artists are included within this series, from the joyful vocals of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong to the Brazilian Jazz revolutions of Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd and Antonio Carlos Jobim, through to the powerful soloing of Charlie Parker, Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Jimmy Smith, Lester Young, Oscar Peterson, Ben Webster, Wes Montgomery and Gerry Mulligan. View the trailer to learn more about the series:

Verve and Impulse! Records, together with UMe, have launched their new series Vital Vinyl, a celebration of essential jazz LPs from the iconic labels’ enduring catalogs.
Verve and Impulse! Records, together with UMe, have launched their new series Vital Vinyl, a celebration of essential jazz LPs from the iconic labels’ enduring catalogs.

The nine classic records available today include Billie Holiday’s Songs For Distingué Lovers and Body and Soul, Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster’s Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster, Ella Fitzgerald’s Mack The Knife: Ella In Berlin, Jimmy Smith’s The Cat, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s The Composer Of Desafinado Plays, Wes Montgomery’s California Dreaming and Stan Getz’s collaborations with Bill Evans and Charlie Byrd: Stan Getz & Bill Evans and Jazz Samba, respectively. All titles are available to order now:

May 3rd will see the release of Oscar Peterson’s We Get Requests and his collaboration with Lester YoungThe President Plays With The Oscar Peterson TrioBenny Carter’s Further Definitions, Gil Evans Orchestra’s Out Of The Cool, Dizzy Gillespie’s Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac, Roy Haynes’ Out of The Afternoon and Oliver Nelson’s The Blues and the Abstract Truth.

The series will conclude with the June 7th release of Sonny Rollins’ On Impulse!, Archie Shepp’s Fire Music, McCoy Tyner’s Inception, Ella Fitzgerald’s Sings The Cole Porter SongbookGerry Mulligan/Ben Webster’s Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben WebsterCharlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie’s Bird And Diz and a pair of Charles Mingus records: The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus.

In all, 40 titles comprise the Vital Vinyl series, making some of these albums available for the first time in years while others already in print will now be perennially available. Vital Vinyl is rounded out by 16 records already recently newly reissued including revered titles from Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Count Basie, Charlie Haden, Charlie Parker andKeith Jarrett, out now. More info about all releases is below.

Whether you’re a serious collector looking to complete your collection or a music fan just getting into jazz who wants to pick up a few classics for your turntable, the Vital Vinyl series has you covered with high quality reissues of some of the best records from this exciting, prolific era in Verve and Impulse! Records history. 


Billie Holiday – Songs For Distingué Lovers: Norman Granz brings together Barney Kessel on guitar, Ben Webster on tenor sax and Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison on trumpet to back up Billie on this 1956 classic.

Billie Holiday – Body And Soul: A perfect companion piece to Songs For Distingué Lovers featuring classic versions of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.”

Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster – Coleman Hawkins Encounters Ben Webster: Two titans of the tenor collaborate on this landmark 1957 album, perfectly distilling their differing styles to produce a bona fide jazz classic.

Ella Fitzgerald – Mack The Knife: Ella In Berlin: One of the great live jazz albums, this 1960 collection features the famous title track and a superb four-piece band including Jim Hall on guitar.

Jimmy Smith – The Cat:The Hammond Organ maestro’s best-known album, featuring perennial favorites “Main Theme From The Carpetbaggers” and the killer title track.

Stan Getz & Bill Evans – Stan Getz & Bill Evans: Recorded in 1964 but not released until 1973, this classic double-header also features an all-star rhythm section of Ron Carter on bass and Elvin Jones on drums.

Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd – Jazz Samba: This famous 1962 collaboration sounds as fresh today as it did when it was released, an all-time classic album including evergreen versions of “Desafinado,” “O Pato” and “One Note Samba.”

Antonio Carlos Jobim – The Composer Of Desafinado Plays: This Claus Ogerman-arranged masterpiece was the debut album from the legendary Brazilian composer/pianist, featuring landmark performances of “The Girl From Ipanema,” “Once I Loved” and “Corcovado.”

Wes Montgomery – California Dreaming: A career highlight for the guitarist, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio during September 1966, this Creed Taylor-produced album was an artistic and commercial smash, reaching #1 on the US Billboard Jazz chart.


Oscar Peterson – We Get RequestsNothing less than one of the great jazz piano trio albums of all time. First released in 1964, We Get Requests features all-time-classic versions of “The Girl From Ipanema,” “Quiet Nights” and “The Days Of Wine And Roses.”

Lester Young & Oscar Peterson – The President Plays With The Oscar Peterson TrioA landmark collaboration between two jazz titans, this classic 1952 collection also features the stellar rhythm section of Barney Kessel on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and JC Heard on drums.

Benny Carter – Further DefinitionsThe alto sax pioneer takes his place in one of the heaviest horn frontlines in jazz history – alongside Phil Woods, Coleman Hawkins and Charlie Rouse – on this classic 1961 studio album, also featuring Coltrane bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Jo Jones.

Gil Evans Orchestra – Out Of The CoolA classic big-band album and one of the first-ever releases on the Impulse! label, this 1961 recording features a superb line-up including Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Ron Carter on bass and a fiery Elvin Jones on drums.

Dizzy Gillespie – Swing Low, Sweet CadillacA perennially-popular 1967 live album from the bebop trumpet pioneer, an effervescent, electrifying quintet recording also featuring his great friend and fellow bebop legend James Moodyon various saxophones and flute.

Roy Haynes – Out Of The AfternoonRecorded at the Van Gelder Studio in May 1962, this classic quartet album features Roland Kirk on saxophones and several famous Haynes drum solos, most notably on his own composition “Snap Crackle.”

Oliver Nelson – The Blues and the Abstract TruthThe saxist/composer/arranger offers up six unique takes on the blues for this 1961 classic, alongside one of the great pick-up bands in jazz history: Eric Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Roy Haynes.


Sonny Rollins – On Impulse!: The tenor sax master attacks five standards and in the process produces some of his most intense performances on record. Taped at the Van Gelder Studio in one marathon session on July 8th 1965, this electrifying Impulse! Records debut also featured Ray Bryant on piano and Mickey Roker on drums.

Archie Shepp – Fire Music: The tenor firebrand and avant-garde hero’s second Impulse! album, released in 1965, was an ensemble masterpiece featuring an original tune dedicated to Malcolm X (“Malcom, Malcolm Semper Malcolm”) plus unique takes on Antonio Carlos Jobim (“The Girl From Ipanema”) and Duke Ellington (“Prelude To A Kiss”).

McCoy Tyner – Inception: The piano pioneer’s 1962 debut solo album was a groundbreaking trio date featuring Art Davis on bass and his John Coltrane Quartet bandmate Elvin Jones on drums. Concentrating mainly on original compositions, Inception also featured inspired takes on “Speak Low” and “There Is No Greater Love.”

Ella Fitzgerald – Sings The Cole Porter Songbook: Nothing less than one of the great vocal jazz albums, this Grammy-winning 1956 collection showcased a large orchestra arranged by Buddy Bregman and famous versions of “Miss Otis Regrets,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “Night And Day,” “Love For Sale” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster – Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster: Recorded in two sessions during November and December 1959, this historic summit meeting between the baritone and tenor sax masters produced some classic Mulligan compositions (“The Cat Walk,” “Tell Me When”) and also unique takes on Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge” and Jule Styne’s “Sunday.”

Charles Mingus – The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady: There’s nothing else in jazz quite like this collection recorded – astonishingly – in just one session on 20th January 1963. With liner notes written by Mingus’s psychotherapist, the album uses ornate ensemble orchestration to produce a sound somewhere between jazz and folk.

Charles Mingus – Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus: Mingus’s second Impulse! album, released in 1963, was another large-ensemble masterpiece featuring two of the bassist/bandleader’s greatest compositions – “Celia” and “Better Get Hit In Yo’ Soul” – plus a famous version of Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo.”

Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie – Bird And Diz: One of the bedrock albums of the bebop era, 1950’s Bird And Diz saw producer Norman Granz bring together a formidable rhythm section – Thelonious Monk, Curley Russell and Buddy Rich – to bring Parker’s effervescent compositions to life, producing a timeless jazz landmark.

Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda
Bill Evans – Conversations With Myself
Charlie Haden – Liberation Music Orchestra
Charlie Parker – Charlie Parker With Strings
Count Basie – April In Paris
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane – Duke Ellington & John Coltrane
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – Ella & Louis
Keith Jarrett – Treasure Island
John Coltrane Quartet – Ballads
John Coltrane – Coltrane
John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman – John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
John Coltrane Quartet – Crescent
John Coltrane – “Live” At The Village Vanguard
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
Oscar Peterson Trio – Night Train
Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto


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