Pablo Records, the Beverly Hills jazz-oriented company formed by Norman Granz in 1973, has been sold to Fantasy Records of Berkeley for an undisclosed sum.
"One reason I made the deal is that there are two sides to the record business: One is the creative end, which I love; the other is the business end, such as distribution, which I hate and became tired of," Granz said in a telephone interview from his home in Geneva on Wednesday.
Over the last 14 years, Granz had built an imposing catalogue of albums by Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Pass and Oscar Peterson--all of whom he manages--as well as Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Carter, Zoot Sims, Sarah Vaughan and many others.
Granz, who pioneered the jam session-concert concept with his "Jazz at the Philharmonic" (named after his first concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1944), was the first to issue live-concert records, in the days when a single tune might take up several 12-inch discs.
He formed the Clef, Norgan and Verve companies, then sold their catalogue to MGM in 1961 for $2.5 million, and for 12 years remained inactive in the recording studios.
Fantasy will retain the Pablo name, which now becomes part of a conglomerate that includes Contemporary, Stax, Galaxy, Good Time Jazz, Prestige, Milestone and Riverside Records.
Eric Miller, active as an artists-and-repertoire man for Granz since the early 1970s, will continue to work for Pablo under the aegis of Fantasy, Granz said.