Jazz West Coast Vol 2 (1956) Pacific Jazz



Chet Baker: Summertime – Chet Baker (t) Gerard Gustin (p) Bert Dale (d) Jimmy Bond (b) recorded Paris, France, November 24, 1955

Chico Hamilton:  Topsy –  Chico Hamilton (d) Jim Hall (g) Buddy Colette (ts) Carson Smith (b) Fred Katz (cello)  recorded Hollywood, February 13, 1956

Hampton Hawes: I Hear Music –  Hampton Hawes (p) Mel Lewis (d) Red Mitchell (b) recorded Hollywood May 2,1955

Year: 1955-6 context

1956Lima Juliette Charlie: 1956 saw the introduction of the  International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet, essential communications infrastructure as the world took to the skies, as for the next few years, airplane crashes punctuate the news.

Western Electric 640AA microphone condenser headsThese recordings were made mostly using microphones fitted with Western Electric 640AA condenser heads. Their presence here warranted a couple of lines on the liner notes. Along with the Neumann U47 and AKG C12,  microphone technical  developments  gave sound engineers a huge leap in the quality of recorded music, on the way to its vinyl destination.

However much of this good work was subsequently undone by the record playing habits of Fifties listeners, for whom the floor was the main place for storing records during a record playing session.

50s record playing Capture


From the coast of abundant sunshine, and work for jazz musicians in the mid Fifties., this anthology puts onto one disc the cream of the mid-Fifties West Coast jazz scene.

Vinyl: Pacific Jazz JWC 501 deep groove, vinyl 157 gm



Collectors Corner: The Zen of Filing

It is an old saw of record collecting that there is one type of record that will never have any value: a compilation. (Add to that “The Best of <insert artist name>” which more or less confirms that your musical career is over, and 48 CD box The Complete Works of <insert artist name>  that announces to the world you are almost certainly dead)

Helpfully, some record shops have a “New Arrivals” section. If not, it’s usually a sign they rarely have any. Most rely on an alphabetic filing system by name of artist.  Some also  include a section dedicated to notable artists like “Coltrane” , full of reissues and 180 gm new pressings, or labels like  “Blue Note” , full of reissues and 180 gm new pressings, plus the odd Jimmy Smith. Some even group artists by instrument, like piano or saxophone, which has to be the least useful. The one place that is almost never worth looking is the one section at the very end, entitled Various. That is where they stick the compilations.

There is another saw in collecting, which is Expect the Unexpected, which combines well with The Practice of Random Behaviour  Under PRB, randomly, you sometimes do things differently to the way you normally do. I am convinced this practice makes a positive contribution in natural selection and species evolution. I never bother to look in the Various section, so this time I did. There was this little beauty from Pacific Jazz, vintage 1950’s, an original US deep groove “anthology” showing off the artist register of Richard Bock’s Californian Pacific Jazz  label. The label is one of Pacific Jazz’s earliest designs, which I had never seen in the flesh. It is extremely unlikely I would ever see any of the original albums of this sampler and a treat to have them here in a vintage pressing, for a single figure price.

Complex filing systems, ones with many sub-categories for genres, instruments, labels, selected artists, vocalists, a separate section for  modern audiophile reissues, Japanese pressings, jazz from the “early years”, new arrivals, and “big hitters” up on the wall, in addition to alphabetic groups, mean you are always in danger of looking in the wrong place or not looking in the right place. But then so is everyone else.

The “wrong place” is where you very occasionally make the most serendipitous discovery. It was under the uninviting generic heading Piano, I chanced on my beautiful vintage Riverside stereo copy of  Bill Evans Trio Waltz for Debby, which had just arrived. Someone behind the counter concluded Evans plays piano, so stuck it under “piano”, a section that has rarely has anything of interest and which I usually skip over. PRB turned up trumps

LJC Poll

How do you file the records in your collection? Are you a filing zealot, or a filing slut? Do you have an original method of record filing that works for you? Before I went alphabetic I tended to use the Archaeological Method: a large pile with most recent acquisitions on the top, oldest at the bottom. Then, as the piles got bigger and bigger, I saw the light.

Confession is good for the soul. Tell all.


LJC Spam Post of the Day – the best of 35 received today

Submitted on 2013/10/11 at 17:16

I really enjoy reading your blog, it is actually among the highlights of my week. I particularly enjoy reading it within my lunch break.


Always cheers me up, reading the spam posts before deletion. Spamming: what a miserable way to make a buck.


35 thoughts on “Jazz West Coast Vol 2 (1956) Pacific Jazz

  1. I forgot to mention my collection of 12-inch 78 RPM V-Discs recorded between 1943 and 1946 or ’47 and produced for the U. S. military during World War II. The Army had its own program and the Navy-Marines-Coast Guard a separate program. While recordings produced for the two military services included classical and eclectic genres, my collection has only the jazz and big band selections, including examples of early Bop. Part of my collection includes about 20 new discs rescued from being bulldozed over cliffs on Guam. By order of the U.S. Government, all extant V-Discs were supposed to be destroyed but obviously weren’t. The discs I have are organized by catalog number, with Army and Navy co-mingled.

    I also have a number of videos that include Dick Gibson jazz parties, dubs of American TV broadcasts, and CDs and cassette tapes of jazz on U.S. radio from the 1930s and ’40s This includes a succession of Camel Caravan broadcasts dubbed for me by Jack Towers from broadcast lacquers. Also included are CDs and tapes of British radio and television from the 1980s and ’90s. Concert programs go in manila folders, beginning with Benny Goodman’s 1938 concert at Boston Symphony Hall, his 1953 concert at Boston Symphony Hall under the direction of Gene Krupa, plus JATP, Stan Kenton, Newport Jazz Festival programs, and others.

  2. I generally file my 78s by label and catalog number, except for certain artists for whom I have many dozens of records (I have around 10,000 jazz 78s). Since the Metronome All Stars recorded for different labels, I file them together by year. I file 78 book albums alphabetically by label and catalog number (I have about 300 of these). I file 10-inch LPs by label and catalog number (I have about 300 of these). Exception to this is grouping Bop and post-Bop LPs alphabetically by label and catalog number. I file lacquers by size and artist; transcriptions by size, label, and catalog number. I file 12-inch LPs by artist, label, and catalog number and group compilations separately alphabetically by title. I have about 10,000 12-inch jazz LPs.

    Tape cassettes and CDs are neatly packed in boxes in no particular order. I have no idea how many of each I have. Books are all over the place in no particular order. I have many jazz books. Periodicals are organized in boxes by title and issue. I have 54 different titles from the U.S, Canada, Europe, and Australia, some in complete runs. Photos, sheet music, and autographs are stored in manila folders; hotel and night-club matchbooks in plastic baggies. I bought my first jazz record in 1942 and have been collecting selectively ever since. Since 1982, I have recorded each record purchased in three-ring binders by date, artist, titles, labels, catalog number, and in some cases, by condition. I try not to buy anything that is less than E+.

  3. I have a handsome, like-new copy of JWC-501 where the background color and the typography are crisp and clean. The illustration is taken from the cover of the oversized Claxton paperback book, “Jazz West Coast.” The album’s notes on the back liner present interesting summations of each track and the albums from which they are drawn. Two tracks are original to this album: Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Line for Lyons, recorded in France; and Hampton Hawes Trio, I Hear Music, recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. The Claxton book is rare and expensive, and difficult to find without the cover being separated from the text. I was lucky to buy my clean copy on an auction site that specializes in pre-War 78s and paper. I may well have been the only bidder on this 1950s book.

    I was attending UCLA from the Fall of ’56 to the Summer of ’58, and believe me, few were the days that were smog-free, the sky clean and vividly blue. I would occasionally go to lodge-like Dino’s at 8524 Sunset Blvd., wander over to the giant picture window, and gaze at Downtown invisible in the smog. The sign outside had a huge caricature of Dean Martin, who actually was a co-owner of the place. The opening 30 seconds of the TV show “77 Sunset Strip,” with comic-relief “Kookie” Kookson III, was filmed at Dino’s; the rest of each program was filmed at Warner Bros.

  4. I have all 4 of the JWC comps. 1-3 are Pacific Jazz, 4 is World Pacific in simulated stereo (yuc). Great overview of the label, and the first 3 sound good too !

    I file LPs alphabetically by artist, then lavel, then title. Box sets are stored separately. 10 inch are stored separtely and filed alphabetically. Compilations are stored separtely and files by label or title (if multi label theme).

    KISS. Keep it simple stupid !

    • So there are actually five volumes in this series. As noted below, editing leaves much to be desired. However, also note the takes often differ from those selected for the original releases and thus these recordings are invaluable additions to the catalogue. Do seek out these albums and enjoy what you have. PJ and WP compilations are all worthy of your attention!

  5. One caveat regarding original 50s – 60s jazz comps – I have seen more than one case where the tracks were edited down in order to fit more ‘samples’ on the ‘sampler’. It is an enormous let down when the track suddenly fades out just when it is starting to get good……..

    I have been a lurker in the online mist for a while now and I always mean to post something. Great site LJC! Hi everyone.


  6. Thanks for writing about this one, while on vacation I found a copy for under $5 the day after you posted! When I got home I discovered it was the same music I have on the Jazztone release J1243 but the sound on this original is much better (surprise, surprise!)

  7. Although I catalogue by artist’s last name, I plan on switching to label by spine number when my collection becomes large enough that the gaps are fewer and farther between; until then, It doesn’t make as much sense. I will use reissues/ Japanese or British pressings merely as place-holders for the originals and file them where their counterpart should be. For instance, I may have a Liberty, Japanese, and a 180gram pressing of the same record, all will be filed where the original goes.

  8. Gentlemen, I think I have the beginnings of a solution for me, though there’s a few things more I have to work out. I’m going to call it “The Goldmine Plus System” after Goldmine, which it resembles.

    I am wedded to keeping the primary index as ARTIST LAST NAME. However I am going to make the second sort variable not the TITLE, but the RECORD LABEL, and the third sort variable the CATALOGUE NUMBER.

    Hence for each artist: we have a chronological sequence within record label


    MONK/ RIVERSIDE/ RLP 201, RLP 202, RLP203 ; MONK/COLUMBIA/CLP 1234, CLP 2345…

    There are problems as yet unresolved:

    1. UK editions say of Impulse recordings, or Prestige, at present have a different label (eg HMV, Esquire) and a different catalogue number from the original US number. How to keep them all together within the title, without going back to find the original US catalogue number on the label or cover?

    2. Blue Note for example is both a label and issuer, but some Blue Notes are reissued by Liberty or UA, some by King and Toshiba and I have various issues of the same title – how to keep all these together within the title under Blue Note.

    3. Mono and stereo have different catalogue prefixes but I want to sort them together under the same title so both the mono and stereo are found together. Not so easy.

    Who would have imagined filing could be so interesting? I love a programming challenge – there is always a solution, I just haven’t found it yet, but part way there.

    • 1. if space permits, would you consider a separate section for UK editions?
      2. create an order within the same title of the various issues, ie King, Liberty, Toshiba, UA. If you have multiple copies of the same issue, add a sticker to the outer plastic sleeve to denote differences (grade.
      3. alphabetically, M is before S. How about mono before stereo?

    • There is an elegant solution. Using an ordinary database application, you can create categories for all desired values–artist first name, artist last name, album title, re-issue title, original issue date, label, format, secondary and tertiary labels, genre, valuation, ad infinitum. You can then filter for artist, title, West coast, etc. And then sort up or down by preferred category (thus you derive chronology for an artist). You’re​ free to decide if it’s worth the trouble to list tracks and artists. These are, of course, readily available on the web to peruse or copy and paste.

      Key to the enterprise is your methodology for actually filing the physical artifacts. Alphabetical by last name followed by​ compilations for each form factor–albums, CDs, digital files–is easiest. Alternatively, to filing by label is a sure-fire guarantee you’ll not often be listening to minor or reissue labels cobbled together at the end of the gold plated names.

      So what have you achieved? A rapidly searchable catalogue of your collection across all form factors, a record of your collection you can drop with your insurance agent, and a much more intimate knowledge of what you actually possess. And that should satisfy the rage for order.

      What is missing is the other key element: how we listen. We don’t ordinarily want to listen to all Prestige albums, or all​ Art Pepper albums, or just compilations. Perhaps it’s best to allocate a well-defined space for those random or purposeful pulls and re-file them later.

  9. I’m personally still new to collecting having only been at this for a year and several months now. So for me I guess I still follow the ‘Archaeological Method’ though also for somewhat practical purposes since it also reminds me which records I still need to clean!

  10. I think compilations are a great opportunity to introduce yourself to artists or labels you have have never heard before. LJC nailed it saying, ” It is extremely unlikely I would ever see any of the original albums of this sampler and a treat to have them here in a vintage pressing, for a single figure price.”

    If you can find a decent copy that was not butchered by a radio DJ, you potentially have a nice collectable. It might not be worth crazy prices but is a nice companion piece alongside your regular label catalogue.

    I find it comical when a store includes compilations within regular artist sections and significantly marks up the comp simply because that artist is present, ie an Impulse comp in the Coltrane section with one Trane tune. Oppositely, LJC experience with Waltz for Debby is always a dream that easily could become reality. You just need to look.

    I’ve always been interested in compilations because most people are not. They offer a different listening opportunity, and most of all, a learning opportunity.

    Oh, I file alphabetically by artist. However, I have always wanted to file all the Impulse’s I own together to see the spines flow.

  11. By Genre (Jazz, Blues, Rock, Electronic, R+B, Hip Hop/Urban/Soul, Classical, World) and then alphabetically by artist (Classical by composer). 78’s and 10″ are separate and un-organised

  12. I have long considered filing my Blue Notes in catalogue number sequence. I reflected that it overly focuses on the gaps, which is detrimental to my financial well being, as the gaps tend to be the rare expensive ones. (Of course if you have no gaps that is another matter).

    I like my Miles, Monks and Mingus’s together rather than scattered between their various labels. It was also only when I alphabeticized I realized that that to be a successful jazz musician you really needed a surname beginning with M. What doesn’t work so well is filing within the name – sticking them all randomly under Davis, Miles is messy, but as I have a computer database, I simply sort my 1200 records by Lead Artist Lastname / Firstname, then Title, so Davis, Miles records are in title alpha order when I print off the essential Filing List, which arbitrates what goes where.

    It works, after a fashion. The problem with titles alphabetically is those starting with “A … ” and “The …” mess up where you enter the Titles sloppily. The benefit of a printed Filing List is that it catches records on the shelf that are missing from the database, where I have been lazy and failed to update for new purchases. Happens more than it should.

    I have updated some of the Poll options as I realised I hadn’t been as clear as I should have been. Won’t help anyone already voted, but may help latecomers. Anyway , your comments are much more thought-provoking, thank you, appreciated as always.

    • My records and CDs bear numbers starting with the very first acquisition down to the last one. I started filing information centuries ago using card-index boxes but then changed to dBase file back in 1988, which I am still using. So the physical order of my collection is basically chronological. All the relevant information such as personnel, title, tracks, recording dates etc. is on hard disk, and somewhere up in a cloud. Apart from that, I have a printed list which has grown into a book, in alphabetical order (sorted on artist name followed by album title). The only real challenge is in keeping the printed list up to date, which I do from time to time. Very rarely so, to be honest.

  13. If you file under artiists’ name, how do you file Period 1204?. Under Rollins or Thad Jones? and JWC-500? Under Clifford Brown or Laurindo Almeida or Jack Montrose? And how about the messy situation with 10″ LP’s between the 12″?
    The only system where you never get stuck is by label and catalogue number. E.g. Savoy MG 12000 until 12197, then the sublabels, Regent, World Wide etc. Prestige 7000 to 7800 ditto, then New Jazz, incl. Status 8200 to 8326, Swingville ditto.
    Metronome, the Prestige series 7005 to 7201, the Atlantic series ditto, and the proper Metronome recordings in the 15000 series. Blue Note 5001 until 5070. Then 1501 until 4225 (the end for me). All Philips / Fontana numerical order, Columbias too, but separate. Esquires 32-001 to 32-179. One can never go wrong. It is easy.
    When I started to collect I filed under artists name, and I think all beginners do that, but in the end you get stuck and re-think the system. I favour the label/numerical approach and it suits me well.
    The only problem are the small labels. E.g. Studio 4 of Monterose, or Jaro Jam, or Baton. I have some fifty small labels all together instead of mixed up between the big ones, but still alphabetical.

    • Rudolf,when you file the records by label it looks very attractive,but to find a record you have to know the labelnumber.With so many records in my collection that is impossible;it would take me to much time to find a certain item.I forgot to mention that I have a section VARIOUS only for the samplers.These are stored alphabettically by label,so first Argo,etc.I am not very consequent because my 10″ records are indeed filed by label.
      If a record bears two or three names,I chose the one that is mentioned in the discography.

      • I forgot an important element in my filing system. I file first by name and then by recording date, so in chronological order. For instance: the 67 Chet Baker records are all stored in alpabetical order. When I have 5 different issues of the same recording, which happens, I store them together. So I just counted 97 Chet Baker records, all easy to find. I sometimes just buy an extra copy for the cover (Jean Pierre Leloir foto,etc.)

        • In the end, each collector has the system which suits him best. It is a matter of habit. Of course, the presence of Jepsen and/or Bruyninckx helps.

    • Exactly the way I do it for my jazz records (and classical, which can be especially difficlult in this regard) it keeps everything in alphabetical, then numerical order. Pop/rock gets the more traditional “record store style” by artist in chronological order.

  14. In filing I seperate the essential records ( in general original first issues from the fifties and sixties) from the more ordinary and current records(issued after ca. 1970) as well as Japanese and other reissues.I have a special division “vocals” and “avant garde”.There is a small department with only 45’s and 78’s.All records are stored on alphabet.At this moment I consider to split up the originals into an American and a European section.As I mentioned before I am trying to downsize( Rudolf is my inspiration).As soon as I find an early European pressing in NM condition ,I try to sell the American original for a good price( not easy these days).

  15. I learned this precise lesson just a few years ago, when I randomly looked into a Various bin and came up with a VG++ copy of the classic Clifford Brown Jam Session, Emarcy MG 36002, for a grand total of $5. Now, not surprisingly, I dig through every bin and section – one never knows.

  16. I alphabetize my BNs and Impulses, but leave the rest in one alpha group. I group the BNs together to make in easier to run back and forth after reading your or the Jazz Collector blogs in the hopes of misremembering that I really had a NY23 and not a earless NYC which is usually the case . I alphabetize the Impulses because it just looks cool with all the orange and black jackets lined up.

    I also occasionally delve into the R&B sections hoping to find some misplaced Mobleys or Morgans, but unfortunately have never found anything interesting. (unless of course you find 17 copies of Can’t Slow Down by Lionel Ritchie interesting.) Now if someone could expunge all the Mantovani or Command Persuasive Percussions from the Jazz bins, I’d be a happy man.

  17. The album you just bought is the second issue in a series of four Jazz West Coast records,subtitled “An Anthology of California Music” (World Pacific Records JWC 500,501,507,510)They are a very nice cross section of West Coast Jazz produced by Richard Bock.I like them a lot,but “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.Some months prior to the issuance of these albums the portfolio of jazz pictures by William Claxton “JAZZ WEST COAST ” was published.Together they give a nice aural and visual overview of this highly interesting period.

      • Dottore, that is correct. The JWC series offer new, unissued material, or alternate versions, which have not been issued elsewhere. E.g. the Clifford Brown Ensemble track and “Lady be good” by Konitz and Gerry Mulligan on JWC-500 are examples of such alternates. JWC 507, vol. 3, has unissued Art Pepper. Phil Urso and Bill Perkins tracks. “Solo Flight”, JWC 505 is another example: unissued tracks by James Clay, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Richie Kamuca and Phil Urso. A real tenor treat this one! The advantage is the generally moderate prices, they are shunned by collectors. Wrongly so.

      • The tracks on the first one(JWC 500) are mostly alternate and unreleased masters.On the second (JWC 501) you will find excerpts from different Pacific records,with only two unissued tracks(Hampton Hawes and Jack Sheldon).Vol. 3 and 4 (JWC 507 and 510 ) contain mainly alternate takes.There is a great variety,but it is coherent,it’s all WEST COAST MUSIC by the top players!

        • true: coherent variety. Good presentation and value for money.
          Not to be confused with HFS-1 and HFS-2. The former is a Hi-Fi sampler of the first 20 P.J. albums, with a narrative, and the latter a stereophonic demonstration recording highlighting the first fourteen albums in WP’s 1000-series and showing the elegant Mrs Claxton on the front sleeve.
          Absolutely nothing to discover here.

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