Jazzland: The Missing Final Chapter

Many jazz collectors have kindly sent in pictures missing from the Jazzland catalogue review, keep ’em coming, more work to update all the files, thank you. However, I sensed at the time I should have finished the Jazzland story, and not left it hanging by a thread at JLP 75.

Unfinished business, the final chapter of Jazzland JLP 76-100 encompasses the death of Riverside co-founder Bill Grauer in December 1963 following a sudden heart attack , the death of mono, the death of the deep groove pressing ring, the death of the JLP catalogue number replaced briefly by AM, and finally the death of the Riverside and Jazzland label itself, which filed for bankruptcy in July 1964.

After JLP 75, Jazzland issued ten titles which are simply reissued Riverside recordings, but not to be sneered because they are still ’60s vintage from original recordings, many with intruiging alternative covers, even alternative titles.


There are also seven catalogue numbers which were not used – 89, 91, 94, 95, 98, 99, and 100.

More unexpected is the role of Orpheum Productions Inc.in maintaining the blood-line of mono. Sales of mono must have been dwindling fast judging by the paucity of mono copies coming to auction: the home listener had by now invested in a stereo gramophone, most copies of Jazzland towards the end of series are stereo.

I mistakenly assumed Orpheum were merely reissues of the Riverside /Jazzland catalogue. Whilst many of course are just that, here, at the end of the catalogue series, they are the first original mono issues.


JLP 88, Chet Baker Polka Dots and Moonbeams marks the transition to Orpheum and its maroon label (mono). Maroon is the new orange, and they are not deep groove, and neither it seems are most of the end of series orange. As often with labels in transition, some titles are found on both labels.

The Final Chapter

Picking up the story at JLP 75, many pictures now found, though not all. Junior Mance may be smiling but  Happy Time labels were not found anywhere, I suspect the accountants were not happy with sales. Deep groove has ceased to be signature of original Jazzland pressings, often stereo is all that is available.

Beyond here, the Jazzland magic stopped working, the founding label is gone, the shadowy presence of Orpheum remains, though who is Orpheum remains unclear. If you know something, umm, leak.

Update: according to Chuck Nessa, who knows a little about the jazz scene, “a bank wound up with the Riverside holdings and eventually created Orpheum to showcase the label for sale.”

Billboard tells us more:

Billboard December 4, 1965:

Jazzland Stereo

Preview: work in progress…white promo, orange mono and black stereophonic label…


and some alternative stereo covers…

Alt-covers-mono-stereo white back

to be continued….

5 thoughts on “Jazzland: The Missing Final Chapter

  1. I attended many record cover photo sessions for Riverside/Jazzland when in the employ of Donald Silverstein as his printer and photo assistant , it is a shame he is largely un noticed for many of their great album covers Silverstein actually so I have heard, died in London maintaining a career in the UK as a magazine illustrator after leaving New York City.

    During the shooting of “Afro-Jaws ” or perhaps it was “Tough Tenors” Eddie Lockjaw wished to have me go out on 5th avenue to a local restaurant to buy him a large container of milk ,I thought he was thirsty or had ulcers , What the cup of milk was for became apparent suddenly as Lockjaw put in his Sax reeds into the milk with an ounce of scotch to soften them.
    I might add the Jazzland record cover of” The Soulful Piano of Junior Mance” was selected by the
    famous entertainment US news paper Variety as the best illustrated cover of the month.

  2. Stereo is now on the to so list, see update at foot of post, more to follow. I noticed a number of mono covers stickered as stereo, I haven’t bottomed out the way stereo ran, but I will do, we’ll see what comes to light. Unfortunately, legible back covers are few and far between.

    • Soulful Piano of Junior Mance – excellent album.For info I have a copy on black label but the design of the Jazzland lettering on the vinyl label is different to your photo and it doesn’t say Stereophonic on the sleeve The record and sleeve are catalogued as JLP 30, again different to your photo. No idea what this is or when it was released – but this may assist your excellent research project.
      The music is brilliant!

      • Hi

        The black Jazzland label design for the Junior Mance album is exactly the same as the photo of the Jazzland label photo you posted for the Don Rendel “Roarin”album in your “Guide to Labels – Riveside UK/Europe “section.This may assist



  3. Thank you for constructing another very helpful label catalog. My collection contains a meager three Jazzland LPs, all stereo. They are all on the purple Orpheum label, non-DG, with the mono JLP catalog number prefixed by “9”. Generally good sound with horns, piano, drums hard-panned left or right, and a diffuse bass in the middle. Two of these stereo LPs are housed in original mono cardboard jackets with a “stereo” sticker on the front. What I thought was intersting is that the mono jackets advertise both mono and stereo releases of various Jazzland artists (stereo serial numbers with a prefix “9” and sufix “5”). This seems to be the practice on mono jackets back to the JLP 20’s (from examination of the reproduced images that had sufficient resolution). So, did you notice in your research that stereo versions of Jazzland recordings were being released in parallel with mono as suggested by the jackets? I suppose the recordings were made in stereo, then the channels folded together for the mono release.

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