Eric Miller, Jazz Producer and Record Executive, Dies at 75

Eric Miller

He helped Norman Granz launch Pablo Records in the early 1970s and produced albums for the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Ray Charles.

Eric Miller, a longtime A&R executive and jazz producer, died Saturday of an apparent heart attack at his Los Angeles home, his daughter Julie told The Hollywood Reporter. He was 75.

Miller was a close friend and protege of Norman Granz, the founder of Verve Records and the pioneer of the famed Jazz at the Philharmonic jam sessions. He worked with the celebrated jazz impresario on concert tours and recording projects and helped him launch Pablo Records in 1972.

Miller headed A&R at Pablo and oversaw dozens of album projects for the label. He also produced new recordings and previously unreleased sessions for legendary artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Jimmy Smith, John Coltrane, Count Basie, Joe Pass, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles.

When Granz sold Pablo to Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Records in 1987, Miller continued to work with the label as a producer and head of A&R until the early 2000s.

Miller’s extensive archive of unreleased jazz master tapes has been used for numerous reissue projects, most recently for the Verve CD sets The Complete Charlie Parker With Strings (2015) and Unheard Bird: The Unissued Takes (2016).

A native of Cleveland, Miller grew up in L.A. and frequented jazz clubs around town. He began his career in the business in the mid-1960s as a tape archivist at MGM’s recording studios in Hollywood, and a few years later, Granz hired him as his assistant. 

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his son, Andrew, and grandson, Joseph.