Riverside’s “Jazzland”: a Catalogue Review


The Riverside sub-label Jazzland is often overlooked, perhaps because it was initially a reissue vehicle for Riverside recordings. It developed as an interesting source of original recordings not found elsewhere, some artists from my homeland including  Joe Harriott, Don Rendell and Tubby Hayes. As a form of international debt repayment, I determined to produce a definitive visual reference set of the Jazzland label.

Text listings are ten a penny on-line, Visual Reference is something else: cover, liner, labels 1 and 2 in original pressing form, not so simple, haa haa,  not as easy as at first I hoped. Occasionally Side 2 label was unable to be found (many ebay sellers find it too onerous to picture both labels, or indeed any at all). This means rare records with few sales, only Side 1 could be found (probably out there if you look long enough). Promos were given preference, but it is still a conundrum why many Jazzland promos were not deep groove, while the commercial release were mostly if not entirely deep groove. Second wind re-issue promos? Some records later in the catalogue were found only without deep groove, others without perhaps later re-pressings. Skimming auction results reminded me that original deep groove pressings are very frequently found only on  Japanese jazz-seller sites, the records grew wings, and found their way to where collectors appreciated original provenance.

There are just under a hundred titles in the Jazzland catalogue, a few instantly forgettable, but others repaying serious interest, and all mostly at pocket-money prices. According to the Jazz Discography Project, Jazzland  – effectively Riverside recordings – were made at an eclectic mixture of West Coast and mostly New York studios – Bell Sound Studios, Reeves Sound Studios, and Plaza Sound Studios. No Van Gelder at the helm, but reasonable engineering craftsmanship. From my small sample, pressing quality can be a little uneven, as with Riverside, some copies otherwise apparently clean tend to surface noise, which I attribute to pressing, not careless handling.

I’ve tried to assemble a visual set of each record, inevitably falling short of archival quality due to the sometimes very poor standard of photography of record sellers. These are the best of what I found, in a limited amount of time, fixed in Photoshop  where I could correct wonky perspective and off white colour balance.

In the research process, I discovered a number of Jazzland records I have never seen in the flesh and didn’t even know existed, that I have put on my wanted list.  It also put my dozen or so Jazzland titles in context of the label history, a piece of modern jazz history deserving of attention. If you put to one side for a moment the royalty of modern jazz, Blue Note and Prestige, there is a rich seam of jazz musicians struggling to make a few dollars to pay the rent, and producing interesting recordings.

The research has taken a bit of time away from reviews, but hopefully you may find some new friends to make here in the full catalogue.  Given the spiralling price of “royalty”, I think there is a lot of enjoyment to be had through Jazzland, and many of the other lesser labels.

Visual Reference series: Jazzland mono
















At this point, around 1964-5, mono become exceedingly rare and difficult to track down, deep groove is replaced by “normal” single-step pressing ring,  stereo takes over , and Riverside re-issues resume in place of original Jazzland recordings, as the Jazzland label runs out of steam, but leaving behind a significant legacy of jazz in its day.

LISTING (1960-65)  indicating where Riverside re-issues


Jazzland Catalogue
JLP 1 Gryce, Gigi & Donald Byrd   – Jazz Lab (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-229)
JLP 2 Sims, Zoot   – Zoot Sims Quintet (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-228)
JLP 3 Dorham, Kenny   – The Swingers (feat. Frank Foster, Wilbur Ware, Ernie Henry)
JLP 4 Weston, Randy & Art Blakey   – Zulu (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-227)
JLP 5 Mann, Herbie   – Featuring Jack Sheldon (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-245)
JLP 6 Byrd, Donald & Hank Mobley   – Hard Bop! (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-236)
JLP 7 Kelly, Wynton   – Cruisin’ The Rhythm Sections (with Wilbur Ware, Philly Joe Jones, Paul Chambers)
JLP 8 Lowe, Mundell   – Low-Down Guitar (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-238)
JLP 9 Drew, Kenny   – Tough Piano Trio (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-224)
JLP 10 Terry, Clark & Kenny Dorham   – Top Trumpets
JLP 11 Sims, Zoot   – East Coast Sounds (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-225)
JLP 12 Griffin, Johnny & Wilbur Ware   – The Chicago Cookers (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-252)
JLP 13 Weston, Randy & Cecil Payne   – Greenwich Village Jazz (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-232)
JLP 14 Dorham, Kenny   – Kenny Dorham & Friends (feat. Kenny Drew, Wilbur Ware, Ernie Henry)
JLP 15 Elliot, Don   – Double Trumpet Doings (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-218)
JLP 16 Rhyne, Mel   – Organ-Izing
JLP 17 Herman, Woody   – The Fourth Herd (feat. Nat Adderley, Zoot Sims)
JLP 18 Baker, Chet   – In Milan
JLP 19 Rouse, Charlie   – Takin’ Care Of Business (feat. Blue Mitchell, Art Taylor, Walter Bishop)
JLP 20 Land, Harold   – West Coast Blues
JLP 21 Baker, Chet   – With Fifty Italian Strings
JLP 22 Lytle, Johnny   – Blue Vibes
JLP 23 Alexander, Joe   – Blue Jubilee
JLP 24 Collins, Joyce   – Girl Here Plays Mean Piano
JLP 25 Priester, Julian   – Spiritsville
JLP 26 Werner, Lars & Bernt Rosengren   – Bombastica! (The Werner-Rosengren Swedish Jazz Quartet )
JLP 27 Thomas, Rene   – Guitar Groove
JLP 28 Benton, Walter   – Out Of This World
JLP 29 Gordon, Dexter   – The Resurgence Of…
JLP 30 Mance, Junior   – The Soulful Piano Of…
JLP 31 Griffin, Johnny & Eddie Lockjaw Davis   – Tough Tenors
JLP 32 Red, Sonny   – Breezing
JLP 33 Land, Harold   – In New York
JLP 34 Jazz Couriers, The   – The Message From Britain
JLP 35 Spann, Les   – Gemini
JLP 36 Gonsalves, Paul   – Gettin’ Together
JLP 37 Harriott, Joe   – Southern Horizons
JLP 38 Moore, Wild Bill   – Wild Bill’s Beat
JLP 39 Griffin, Johnny & Eddie Lockjaw Davis   – Lookin’ At Monk!
JLP 40 Jordan, Clifford & Sonny Red   – A Story Tale
JLP 41 Mance, Junior   – At The Village Vanguard
JLP 42 Griffin, Johnny & Eddie Lockjaw Davis   – Griff And Lock
JLP 43 Green, Bennie   – Glidin’ Along
JLP 44 Lytle, Johnny   – Happy Ground
JLP 45 Sleet, Don   – All Members
JLP 46 Monk, Thelonious & John Coltrane   – With John Coltrane
JLP 47 Adderley, Nat   – Naturally
JLP 48 Garland, Red   – Bright And Breezy
JLP 49 Harriott, Joe   – Free Form
JLP 50 Navarro, Fats & Tadd Dameron   – Classics Of Modern Jazz, Vol. 1
JLP 51 Rendell, Don   – Roarin’ (with Graham Bond, John Burch, Tony Archer)
JLP 52 Jordan, Clifford   – Starting Time
JLP 53 Mance, Junior   – Big Chief
JLP 54 Moore, Wild Bill   – Bottom Groove
JLP 55 Shearing, George   – George Shearing & The Montgomery Brothers
JLP 56 Strozier, Frank   – Long Night
JLP 57 Anderson, Chris   – Inverted Image
JLP 58 Cook, Junior & Blue Mitchell   – Junior’s Cookin’
JLP 59 Red, Sonny   – The Mode
JLP 60 Davis, Eddie Lockjaw & Johnny Griffin   – Blues Up And Down
JLP 61 Ashby, Dorothy   – Soft Winds
JLP 62 Garland, Red   – The Nearness Of You
JLP 63 Mance, Junior   – The Soul Of Hollywood
JLP 64 Pettiford, Oscar   – Classics Of Modern Jazz, Vol. 2
JLP 65 Arnold, Harry   – Great Big Band And Friends
JLP 66 Nistico, Sal   – Heavyweights
JLP 67 Lytle, Johnny   – Nice And Easy
JLP 68 Dameron, Tadd   – Classics Of Modern Jazz, Vol. 3
JLP 69 Jordan, Clifford   – Bearcat
JLP 70 Strozier, Frank   – March Of The Siamese Children
JLP 71 Stitt, Sonny   – Low Flame
JLP 72 Rollins, Sonny   – Sonny’s Time
JLP 73 Garland, Red   – Solar
JLP 74 Red, Sonny   – Images
JLP 75 Adderley, Nat   – In The Bag
JLP 76 Griffin, Johnny & Eddie Lockjaw Davis   – Tough Tenor Favorites
JLP 77 Mance, Junior   – Happy Time
JLP 78 Metronomes, The   – Something Big!
JLP 79 Roach, Max   – Conversation (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-280)
JLP 80 Morgan, Lee   – Take Twelve
JLP 81 Lytle, Johnny   – Moon Child
JLP 82 Dorham, Kenny   – Kenny Dorham And Friends (feat. Cannonball Adderley and Sonny Rollins)
JLP 83 Kelly, Wynton   – Whisper Not (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-254)
JLP 84 Mangione, Chuck   – Recuerdo
JLP 85 Golson, Benny   – Reunion (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-256)
JLP 86 Rollins, Sonny   – Shadow Waltz (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-258)
JLP 87 Garland, Red   – Red’s Good Groove
JLP 88 Baker, Chet   – Polka Dots And Moonbeams (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-281)
JLP 90 Mitchell, Blue   – Blue Soul (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-309)
JLP 92 Jones, Philly Joe   – Big Band Sounds (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-302)
JLP 93 Griffin, Johnny   – The Little Giant (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-304)
JLP 96 Terry, Clark & Thelonious Monk   – Clark Terry Quartet With Thelonious Monk (Reissue of Riverside RLP 12-271)
JLP 97 Barretto, Ray & Eddie Lockjaw Davis   – Alma Alegre (re-issue of Riverside RLP 12-373 Afro-Jaws)
JLP 1001 Various Artists   – The Stars Of Jazz

If you have any personal favourites or recommendations from the Jazzland catalogue, please feel free to make them. If you fancy yourself as an Internet sleuth, if you can find pictures of any of the missing or substitute label photos, email me them. Some reviews of Jazzland recordings is up and coming , starting with Harold Land. Watch this space.

More of the Jazzland story in the next post, The Final Chapter.

20 thoughts on “Riverside’s “Jazzland”: a Catalogue Review

  1. I have:

    JLP 60 – Davis, Eddie Lockjaw & Johnny Griffin – Blues Up And Down

    highly recommend…

    keep up the awesome work…!


  2. Great post! Very inspiring, certainly need more of those Jazzland albums. I really like Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis & Johnny Griffin’s hard-swinging Lookin’ At Monk. And love Randy Weston’s live album featuring the warm-blooded, big-sounding bari of Cecil Payne. The Jazzland album sounds a bit chilly compared to the sweet&warm original A la Bohemia on Riverside, don’t know what happened there. At any rate, I e-mailed the missing Lee Morgan labels. And side 1 of Mel Rhyne, which looked wobbly. Good luck and keep swinging!


      • I noticed that but.. (ahem).. was too polite to mention it. No Orpheum or stereo black label guys, this is an orange mono deep groove original series.

        If anyone has the time and energy to search, the missing and/or questionable labels are:

        JLP 2 s2 not found
        JLP 7 not dg as should be
        JLP 8 s2 not found
        JLP 10 s2 not found
        JLP 15 s2 not found
        JLP 16 s1 lousy photo
        JLP 23 s2 not found
        JLP 24 s2 not dg as should be
        JLP 36 s2 not dg as should be
        JLP 49 s2 not dg as should be
        JLP 53 s2 not dg as should be
        JLP 71 is there a dg pair?
        JLP 74 is there a dg pair?
        JLP 77 no labels found
        JLP 78 no labels found
        JLP 80 is there a dg pair?

        Anything you can find, welcome, email me. This is a challenge, no cost involved, just your time.


        • Thanks for this. Great work as always.Just sent a copy of the Joe Alexander (JLP 23) side 2 to you. Greenwich Village Jazz with Randy Weston and Cecil Payne JLP13) and Griff & Lock (JLP42) were two of my first and still most favorite albums. I really dig Frank Strozier Long Night (JLP56) as well.


  3. You knocked this out of the park, LJC. Stunning.

    I’ve never seen most of these-I’d say < 10% have ever even made it to ‘silver disc’.

    I can highly recommend Harold Land’s ‘West Coast Blues’. Textbook 1960 hard bop, by a group of crack East Coast musicians.


  4. Red’s Good Groove is a favorite of mine, especially since it has Blue Mitchell on it. What a joy to listen to. I didn’t realize it was part of a whole series!


  5. Jazzland always scared me off, because I like to collect originals. But now I know exactly what I am looking for, because of your top work! You continue to be the best!


  6. Congratulations on your impressive research results.
    For me the definitive book on Riverside and Jazzland is:
    The Riverside Book (discography of all series)
    Issued by Jazz Critique 1997, no. 3, Special Edition, Tokyo
    Jazzland is underrated indeed because of its cheap re-issue policy in the beginning. Later on it caught the groovy atmosphere of the time.


  7. In Februari 1984 there was a very handsome booklet issued in Japan called “Riverside Jazz Records” compiled by Shinjiro Furusho.It presents a complete overview of all 10″ and 12″
    Riverside and Jazzland records.It not only mentions all recording dates,line- ups,etc.but has also a 17 pages-section black/white frontcover fotographs ( not complete,only a selection!).As a collector,I am very happy with your excellent work.I printed it and will use it.Thanks you for this beautiful update!


  8. Dear London Jazz Collector, I continue to be so glad that I’ve subscribed to your email newsletter – really, a newsletter of jazz discography research!

    Your current email, the results of your Jazzland label research, is simply amazing! Thank you for taking the time and effort to research and assemble this, and many more thanks for sharing it with subscribers to this list.

    During the mid 1990s, I saw one of those Japanese jazz magazines (the ones that look like oversize paperback books – resermbling the old “King Penguins” maybe? Ha, Ha!) that devoted its issue to a pictorial discography of the Riverside label. I don’t remember anything about Jazz being in the magazine, but I’m sure it must have been.

    But yours may be a real first here on-line, or close to it. Not only an album listing, but pictures of the covers and labels too! Again, this is valuable and welcomed by us on the list.

    I really find it rewarding and fascinating to have this (for all intents and purposes) complete album discography at my fingertips, for browsing (always enjoyable) and research.

    I have had four of the Jazzland releases, two of which were original: I bought a French edition of “Harold Land in New York” in Paris, 1985 with the familiar “Carerr Distribution” credit on the back cover.

    The Lee Morgan Take Twelve album (JLP80) was a US “OJC” series release, with (of course) much thinner album cover stock.

    The Tough Tenor Favorites (JLP 76) I bought used, copy played pretty well. A nice session from Griff and Jaw.

    Sonny’s Time (JLP 72), I also bought used. IIRC Some, or all of the tracks, may have been alternates from a session released on Riverside.

    And yes, it goes without saying that all were very good albums.

    I know what you mean about finding undiscovered gems amidst Jazzland’s output. Albums that interested me included, the Julian Priester LP; Tadd Dameron band 1948 in NY (nice to have anything – live or studio by Tadd Dameron – in addition to the Prestige releases and are there any on Savoy [??]); Wynton Kelly’s “Cruising”; Dexter Gordon “Resergence” holding his ubitquitous cigarette in one hand, his face with a thoughtful and questioning look); Nat Adderly’s LP; Fats Navarro & Tadd Dameron. These are the first ones that caught my eye, there are several more I was interested in as well.

    Interesting that there are several more releases by Sonny Red – I only knew about the one on Blue Note.

    The English jazz session with Graham Bond also piqued my interest, since, to us from the 60s (those on this side of the pond who know about him) he was known more for being a kind of rocker, with Graham Bond organisation, and of course his link with Jack Bruce (RIP) and Ginger Baker as future Cream members. I would love to hear his playing on this session.

    I found the cover art for the Jazz Couriers “The Message from Britain” very amusing – the sterotyped Englishman (from “The City”?), wearing a bowler hat decorated with a Union Jack, with a family coat of arms style British Lion on his right, and a horse (unicorn) on his left.

    So I can expect that if there’s an album where an American jazz musician sits in with British artists, perhaps Ted Heath’s big band, he will be characterized, as an overweight guy playing a sax, dressed up in cowboy attire, with a ten gallon hat, and wearing a belt with guns and holsters? Ha, Ha!!

    Well, I’ll sign off for now, until next time. Always wonderful to get your newsletters with the results of your in-depth research! Thank you! Respectfully, Ed Edward Fenning (in New York)


  9. Finally gettin’ their due! I would highly recommend the Frank Strozier albums. What a fantastic and truly under rated player. Listen to him !, thanks and keep swinging !


  10. Hello.
    Wonderful work. I have japan pressing of Red Garland Quartet “Solar” which has Riverside Black Label, but the cover says Jazzland – JLP 973. Is the same USA pressing Jazzland?, because your guide finished in JLP 97.

    Thank you,
    Diego, from Buenos Aires.


    • Hello Diego, JLP 97 is the Mono release and JLP 973 is the Stereo. Jazzland Mono/Stereo titles both used JLP as the prefix but added the “9” to denote Stereo.


  11. Great reference, thank you! I own the Rene Thomas original, a wonderful LP! I sent you some pics in email.

    We have a shop here in Denver which I went into last week, I seldom frequent it due to their lack of clean vinyl, but there were about a dozen Jazzland pieces, my eyes lit up, until I saw the vinyl condition… as usual in this shop, they were G to VG if I am being really generous, and asking way too much money, but have never seen so many of these titles.

    As I recall, they had Jazz Lab, Top Trumpets, Tough Tenors, Looking’ At Monk, Griff & Lock, Sonny’s Time, multiple copies of a few, and 2 or 3 white promos too.


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