The Music of Paradise in the City of Light: Verve's "Jazz in Paris" Series

Sep 14, 2012

Starting back in 2000, or thereabouts, Universal Music France, the French cousin of the current guise of the long-running jazz record label known as Verve, inaugurated a wonderful series of reissued recordings: the "Jazz in Paris" series. These CDs were made available in the States as well as the Continent.  

Most of the albums in this series --- which began with a initial run of 50 CDs, but then expanded, a year or so later, to 100 or more --- were culled from record labels no longer in existence, or from long out-of-print LPs, or from releases that were previously only available for purchase in France. It was (and remains) a magnificent series of recordings; the discs boast a uniformly excellent quality of sound, and they feature a vast and appealing variety of jazz players --- both Americans and Europeans --- captured in a Parisian studio, or nightclub, or concert hall. (There's several different places on the web where you can find a full list of the CDs in this series; this listing [which I have selected pretty much at random] comes from a blog called Living with Music.)

The series continues, more or less, to this day. Several of the CDs are out of print by now, but not all of them. And it seems like new additions were made to the "Jazz in Series" as recently as 2008 (or later?). The Verve website --- in its American iteration, that is --- describes the series thus: "Since the dawn of jazz, there's been an ongoing love affair between American jazz stars and Paris. French audiences were first to revere and treat jazz performers as great artists, and many musicians preferred living, playing, and recording there. The 'Jazz in Paris' series reissues those exceptional titles that were recorded in, and are cherished by, the capital city."


We'll be hearing some choice cuts from various CDs in the "Jazz in Series" on our next All This Jazz show. That is, such will be the second-hour theme on our program for the night of the 15th.

Join us, dear jazz lovers and Francophiles, on Saturday night at 10pm on 89.5 FM.