The Verve Music Group (VMG) is launching the Verve Pen Collection in partnership with the A.T. Cross Company. The pen's design is said to be inspired by the recordings of such classic VMG artists as N

The Verve Music Group (VMG) is launching the Verve Pen Collection in partnership with the A.T. Cross Company. The pen's design is said to be inspired by the recordings of such classic VMG artists as Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Herbie Hancock and Oscar Peterson. Offered in three unique finishes -- Platinum, Merlot and Selenium Blue -- the pen will retail from $95 to $450. The collection goes on sale worldwide later this month.

Through June, purchasers will receive a CD featuring 10 songs by legendary and contemporary Verve artists, including Fitzgerald, Bill Evans, Lizz Wright and British newcomer Jamie Cullum. Additional promotional tie-ins throughout the spring include radio giveaways and contests which consumers can enter at the point-of-purchase or via the A.T. Cross Web site. The purchase/CD gift program will also be in effect in the Far East, Latin America, Britain and Europe.

An official launch party takes place March 2 at Manhattan's Le Jazz Au Bar with a performance by Wright, broadcast live on New York jazz station WBGO.

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