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Jazz BubbleNeoclassical Jazz in Neoliberal Culture$
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Dale Chapman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520279377

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520279377.001.0001

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Selling the Songbook

Selling the Songbook

The Political Economy of Verve Records (1956–1990)

(p.103) Chapter 3 Selling the Songbook
Jazz Bubble

Dale Chapman

University of California Press

Chapter 3 addresses the corporate history of Verve Records, the erstwhile independent label founded by Norman Granz and subsequently acquired by PolyGram. The revitalization of the Verve legacy under the stewardship of PolyGram A&R executive Richard Seidel, beginning in the early 1980s, provides us with an intriguing window onto corporate strategy in the music industry at the height of the neoclassical jazz “boomlet”: what began as the jazz division’s effort to take advantage of PolyGram’s strengths in the marketing of classical records and back catalog soon expanded into a more ambitious strategy of new artist development, as Seidel sought to cultivate what Verve saw as the commercial viability of the “young lions” movement.

Keywords:   PolyGram, Norman Granz, Richard Seidel, Verve Records, neoclassical jazz, young lions

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