A Verve founder has died

A Verve founder has died


norman lebrecht

January 09, 2017

Composer Buddy Bregman, Verve’s first A&R man, has died at 86.

A nephew of Broadway tunesmith Jule Styne, Bregman was music director for the Eddie Fisher Show and later worked for the BBC and ITV’s Rediffusion.



  • Larry says:

    He arranged several great albums for Ella Fitzgerald, among many others. Not a “household name” by any means but he was definitely a “musician’s musician.”

  • Halldor says:

    A really important and influential arranger – his orchestrations on Ella Fitzgerald’s Rodgers and Hart Songbook (to name but one project) are up there with Nelson Riddle and Conrad Salinger. Rest in peace.

  • Clarrieu says:

    Certainly a respected bandleader and producer, but it’s funny you both say that, for it’s not what some musicians recall: not a very skilled arranger himself apparently, he used to put his name on scores written by others. I’m only quoting what my late friend saxophonist Herb Geller told me about a Bregman CD he plays on: “Every time there was a great chart, we said him ‘Hey, Buddy, nice arrangement!’ but we knew he hadn’t written it”

  • Robert Oxley says:

    Bergman was a hack, not close to being in the same league and Nelson Riddle. Mind you, I would hate to learn “his” arrangements” were really written by Riddle!

  • Tomsk Rahma says:

    I self-produced B.B’s very last pop-jazz album sessions in 2006, with 18 piece big band, (and got to know him very well between 2004 – 2008). The 16x swing & ballad charts (plus 8 extra) he wrote and conducted for me are amongst the most kicking and/or poignant I’ve ever heard…Aside from Billy May’s well known resentment at Buddy getting a huge career leg-up c/o his uncle, Jule Styne, much of this criticism comes from the same 1 or 2 critics, who simply didn’t get that Norman Granz recruited Buddy to Verve Records (his brand new “All-pop operation”) precisely because he didn’t want ‘pure jazz’ on the label, but Buddy’s brand of pop-jazz & Broadway…Indeed, at the celebrated impromptu meeting at Rosemary Clooney’s home, where Granz accidentally met and recruited B.B, Granz admitted that he just couldn’t get Buddy Bregman’s arrangement for ‘The Cheer’s’, “Bernie’s Tune” out of his head…Probably, the last word on Ella’s 2x B.B Songbooks should probably come from Cole Porter, who personally wrote to Buddy telling him how ‘thrilled’ he was with the Masters, after Granz played them to him in New York. http://buddybregman.wixsite.com/buddybregman