“Any book on my life would start with my basic philosophy of fighting racial prejudice. I loved jazz, and jazz was my way of doing that,” Norman Granz told Tad Hershorn during the final interviews given for this book. Granz, who died in 2001, was iconoclastic, independent, immensely influential, often thoroughly unpleasant—and one of jazz’s true giants. Granz played an essential part in bringing jazz to audiences around the world, defying racial and social prejudice as he did so, and demanding that African-American performers be treated equally everywhere they toured. In this definitive biography, Hershorn recounts Granz’s story: creator of the legendary jam session concerts known as Jazz at the Philharmonic; founder of the Verve record label; pioneer of live recordings and worldwide jazz concert tours; manager and recording producer for numerous stars, including Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson.
Tad Hershorn is an archivist at the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.
“The JAZZ AT THE PHILHARMONIC concerts were a turning point in my life. My fellow Californian Norman Granz figured it out. This biography lays out, in impressive detail and insight, the incredible contribution of Mr. Granz to the world of music and art. The deed of the vast recordings of ART TATUM says it all.” —Clint Eastwood
“Norman Granz was one of the most important people in the world of jazz. He did more to escalate respect for jazz and raise our salaries than anybody else. He absolutely loved jazz and jazz musicians. I’m honored to have shared a beautiful friendship with Norman for many, many years. Hopefully, with this incredible book by Tad Hershorn, the world will have a chance to learn about Norman, and his phenomenal contribution to our beloved music—jazz.”—Clark Terry, author of Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry
“Tad Hershorn’s Norman Granz: The Man Who Used Jazz for Justice is a relentlessly readable, rigorously researched, deeply empathic portrait of the complex and heroic man who was arguably the greatest champion of this great American art form—and its great artists. Essential reading for anyone who loves jazz.” —James Kaplan, author of Frank: The Voice
“Norman Granz was renowned as a vivid force in jazz history, both as a producer of invaluable classic recordings by many of the music’s most original performers and also for his world-wide, all-star Jazz at the Philharmonic tours. Moreover, he broke the color line dividing jazz audiences by mandating the end of segregated seating his continually popular concerts. Yet until this magisterial, deeply researched biography of Granz by Tad Hershorn, there has been no full-scale inside account of the achievement and combats of this often larger-than-life personality who, without playing an instrument, was so swingingly instrumental in making jazz an international language.” —Nat Hentoff, author of At the Jazz Band Ball: Sixty Years on the Jazz Scene
“Norman Granz, one of the most significant non-musicians in jazz history, took gutsy public stands but remained a private person. Tad Hershorn's years of dedicated research reveal the man behind the lasting legacy, on which he sheds new light as well.. This great American story is a must read—and not just for jazz fans!” —Dan Morgenstern, author of Living with Jazz
“Norman Granz was an institution in jazz. He was loved by some, hated by others, often controversial, and always fearless. But Granz was also elusive and, until now, sometimes came across as more symbol than man. Tad Hershorn has changed all that in this stunning, beautiful biography of the music's most relentless advocate of social justice.” —Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original
“Norman Granz was an important man, and Tad Hershorn tells his story with a fearless compassion grounded in yeoman research. Imperious, vain, and rude, Granz was also generous, inventive, and brave. He fought valiantly for jazz and civil rights, made pots of money, and never failed to bet it on his passions and beliefs. If you do not know him, you couldn't ask for a better introduction than Hershorn's judicious portrait; if you think you do know him, you are in for more than a few surprises.” —Gary Giddins, author of Visions of Jazz
"You're probably smarter than you present yourself." —Norman Granz to author, 2001
ARSC Awards for Excellence, Association for Recorded Sound Collections
Book of the Year, Jazz Journalism Association
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