- Number of Discs: 3
- Released: November 3, 1998
- Label: Polygram Records
Full title: The Complete Johnny Mercer Songbooks.
Originally issued as three separate CDs: BLUES IN THE NIGHT: THE JOHNNY MERCER SONGBOOK, TRAV'LIN' LIGHT: THE JOHNNY MERCER SONGBOOK, and TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS: THE JOHNNY MERCER SONGBOOK.
Includes liner notes by Dave Gelly.
BLUES IN THE NIGHT:
Producers include: Norman Granz, Russell Garcia, Jesse Kaye, Harry A. Meyerson, Quincy Jones.
Recorded between September 3, 1954 and December 1992.
Producers: Norman Granz, Bob Shad, Quincy Jones, Creed Taylor, Kiyoshi Koyama, Jean-Philippe Allard.
Personnel: Louis Armstrong (vocals, trumpet); Jack Teagarden (vocals, trombone); Oscar Peterson (vocals, piano); Buddy Rich (vocals, drums); Cleo Laine, Tom Kenny, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Ginny O'Connor, Helen Merrill, Sue Allen, Bernie Parke, Joe Williams , Margaret Whiting, Mel Torm‚, Anita O'Day, Shirley Horn, Astrud Gilberto, Woody Herman, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, Bing Crosby (vocals); Henry Johnson, Herb Ellis, Joe Beck , Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Bill Frisell, Bob Bain (guitar); Kathyrine Julye, Margaret Ross (harp); George Ockner, David Katz, Danny Levan, Paul Winter , Tosha Samaroff, Aaron Rosand , Jack Zayde, Max Pollikoff, Gene Orloff, Paul Gershman, Emanuel Green (violin); Kenneth Essex, Alfred Brown (viola); Raymond Clark, Kermit Moore (cello); Phil Bodner (flute, alto flute, bass clarinet); Chris Hunter (flute, clarinet, oboe); Danny Bank (flute, bass clarinet); Harry Klee, Buddy Collette (flute); Gene Quill (clarinet, alto saxophone); Ronnie Ross (clarinet, baritone saxophone); George "Harmonica" Smith, George W. Smith, Abe Most, Bob Wilber, Buddy DeFranco (clarinet); Wally Kane (bass clarinet, bassoon); Gene Allen (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Norman Benno, Seymour Schoneberg (oboe); Howard Terry, Lloyd W. Hildebrand (bassoon); Bob Cooper (reeds, tenor saxophone); Arthur Herfurt, Maurice Stein, Jerome Richardson, Phil Woods, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Seldon Powell, George Berg, Romeo Penque (reeds); Gene Cipriano, William Smith , Schwartz, Joe Koch, Wilbur Schwartz (woodwinds); Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Wayne Shorter (soprano saxophone); Art Pepper (alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Maynard Stein, Dick Meldonian, Johnny Hodges, Willie Smith, Benny Carter , Bud Shank, Charlie Parker (alto saxophone); Dick Hafer, Coleman Hawkins, Arno Marsh, Don Byas, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Lester Young , Plas Johnson , Richie Kamuca, Stan Getz , Ted Nash, Babe Russin, Zoot Sims, Ben Webster, Bill Perkins, Bud Freeman (tenor saxophone); Chuck Gentry, Sam Staff, Gerry Mulligan, Jack Nimitz (baritone saxophone); Uan Rasey, Conrad Gozzo , Conte Candoli, Roy Caton, Don Ferrara, Don Fagerquist, Ernie Royal, Carroll Lewis, Lee Fortier, John Bello, Bert Courtley, Harry "Sweets" Edison , John Howell , Jack Sheldon, George Seaberg, Vito Mangano, Johnny Coles, Al Porcino, Maynard Ferguson, Pete Candoli, Ray Linn, Ray Triscari, Shorty Sherock, Snooky Young, Stu Williamson , Jimmy Maxwell, John Audino, Nick Travis, Bobby Hackett, Frank Huggins (trumpet); Jim Decker , Richard Perissi, William Hinshaw, George Price, James Buffington, Ray Alonge, John Cave (French horn); George Roberts , Tony Studd (trombone, bass trombone); Milt Bernhart, Ken Wray, Frank Rosolino, Dick Hixson, Francis Howard, Gilbert Falco, Marshal Cram, Vern Friley, Jimmy Cleveland, Jimmy Knepper, Joe Maini, Quentin Jackson, Si Zentner, Urbie Green, Wayne Andre, Tommy Pederson , Alan Raph, Billy Byers, Trummy Young, Gus Chappell, Tommy Shepard, Bob Brookmeyer, Bob Edmondson, Jack Green, Carl Fontana, Charlie Kennedy, Lloyd Ulyate (trombone); Nat Pierce (piano, celesta); Claude Williamson, Ken Kersey, Erroll Garner, Gene Harris, Thierry Eliez, Gil Evans, Kirk Stuart, Hank Jones , Hilary James , David Lee , Jimmy Rowles, Joe Zawinul, Al Haig, Norman Simmons, Paul Smith , Art Simmons, Teddy Wilson, Wynton Kelly, Gil Goldstein, Roger Kellaway, Bill Evans , Billy Strayhorn, Pat Moran, Gene Schroeder, Bobby Scott, Bobby Tucker (piano); Marty Paich (celesta); Victor Feldman, Gary Burton , Frank Flynn , Terry Gibbs, Doug Allen (vibraphone); Chico Hamilton, Eugene "Fats" Heard, Bill Clarke, Ronald Zito, Bill Dowdy , Grady Tate, Kenny Clare, Gerryck King, Jimmy Cobb , Jo Jones , Larry Bunker, Terry Clarke , Louie Bellson, Max Roach, Mel Lewis, Alvin Stoller, Andr‚ Ceccarelli, Osie Johnson, Paul Motian, Ray Price, Roy Haynes, Sam Woodyard, Sonny Igoe, Vernel Fournier, Ed Shaughnessy, George Hughes (drums); Candido Camero (congas); Phil Kraus , Emil Richards (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Brian Priestley; Dave Gelly.
Recording information: Fine Sound, New York, NY (10/07/1946-08/02/1991); Fulton Studio, New York, NY (10/07/1946-08/02/1991); Hollywood, CA (10/07/1946-08/02/1991); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (10/07/1946-08/02/1991).
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Photographers: Herman Leonard; Sung Lee.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Francisco Donaruma; Schwartz.
Arrangers: Don Sebesky; Gerry Mulligan; Gil Evans; Hal Mooney; Hilary James ; Jimmy Giuffre; Johnny Pate; Marty Paich; Nelson Riddle; Norman Simmons; Quincy Jones; Ralph Burns; Russell Garcia ; Belford Hendricks; Roger Kellaway; Bill Holman; Buddy Bregman.
One of the giants of American popular song gets his due with this three-disc Verve box, comprising a trio of separately released compilations. Though Mercer's repertoire of classic songs doesn't quite make for three discs, Verve ably solves the problem by pairing a vocal track and an instrumental version on separate discs, such as "Too Marvelous for Words" (by Joe Williams and Lester Young), "Laura" (by Billy Eckstine and Don Byas), "I Remember You" (by Dinah Washington and Charlie Parker) and "Come Rain or Come Shine" (by Anita O'Day and Bill Evans). Verve was the label for jazz vocals, and the combination of a classic songwriter and the roster here -- including Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Sarah Vaughan, Mel Torm‚, Shirley Horn, and many others -- makes for an excellent compilation box. ~ John Bush