London Records was created by Decca in the 1940s to enable transatlantic releases from the UK into the US, and vice versa. Due to the presence of a Decca subsidiary company in the US, British Decca was unable to use the Decca name in North America, and released records there under the “London” label. In the UK, the London label was used by British Decca to release American recordings which British Decca licensed, such as Atlantic.

The catalogue numbering system identified the US company licensor by letter code:


LTZ-C  Savoy
LTZ-D  Dot
LTZ-J  Jubilee
LTZ-K  Atlantic
LTZ-L Carlton
LTZ-M  Chess
LTZ-N  Bethlehem
LTZ-P  Imperial
LTZ-T  United Artists
LTZ-U  Riverside

The label bears the logo “London American Recordings” and is found in Blue for Stereo with SAH-(letter)  codes and Crimson/Silver and LTZ-(letter)  codes for Mono

Being owned by Decca, naturally all the records released in the UK under this label were mastered and pressed by Decca, at their South West London plant at New Malden . Unlike Esquire Records, who pressed US recordings using original US-made stampers, the London label releases were mastered from copy tapes sent from the US. As a result it is not unusual for UK pressings to differ sonically from original US pressings, the differences being a matter of preference and not necessarily one better than the other.

1. London American Jazz Recording LTZ  15000 Series – Crimson/Silver label, mono


2. London Atlantic  8000 Series – Stereo


3. London Atlantic American 8000 Series


Photo credit – Bill B

3. London – made in France


What went on here? London, France? Obviously Decca were not above a little ooh-la-la expediently working with French opposite numbers, pressing in France too:


That’s not Decca New Malden! The impossibly rare Felsted original issued by London.(Just try finding the US original!) Probably pressed by Pathe Marconi, who seem to be the most jazz-oriented French engineers.

London Contemporary, King, Japan

Interesting provenance, a (Decca) London release, of a Contemporary recording,  but in Japan, through King Records. This is one mixed up kid, unearthed by LJC reader Antonio.

London-Contemporary-King-Japan-1000 (Photo courtesy of Antonio)

Decca released Contemporary in the UK on its Contemporary Vogue label. But as we saw with the French pressing of Felsted, Decca has form in sub-licensing overeas with its London identity, so it’s a small stretch to create London Contemporary in the manner of London Atlantic – a specialist sub-label. Decca master VMGT 1508 finds its was to Tokyo. Looks to me deep groove, which would be unheard of on a Japanese pressing, and a reference on the label to VMGT Decca matrix code, so possibly manufactured in UK for export to Japan.

Catalogue Listing LTZ 15000 American Jazz series (1955-62)

Note: incomplete – compiled from a Discogs partial listing plus my own collection and contributions from readers. A more complete listing can be found at the excellent Both Sides Now site. The genre here is Jazz – the full  London catalogue listing covering of course large numbers of rock and pop releases.

LTZ-K 15059Jimmy GiuffreThe Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet1956

LTZ-N 15111Johnny Richards And His OrchestraSomething Else By Johnny Richards1958

SAH-K 6192Milt Jackson & John ColtraneBags & Trane

SAH-K 8017John ColtraneColtrane Plays the Blues1962

Catalogue   No Artist Title Year
HA-N 2033 McGhee, Howard Life is just a bowl of cherries 1956
LTZ-C 15007 JJ Johnson and Kai Winding Jay and Kai 1956
LTZ-C 15015 Cannoball Adderley Presenting Cannonball 1955
LTZ-C 15017 Hank Jones Trio The Trio 1956
LTZ-C 15018 Nat Adderley That’s Nat 195?
LTZ-C 15046 Hank Jones Trio The Trio With Guests 1956
LTZ-C 15099 Hank Mobley The Jazz Message No. 2 1957
LTZ-C 15104 Charlie Parker The Immortal Vol 1 1958
LTZ-C 15105 Charlie Parker The Immortal Vol 2 1958
LTZ-C 15106 Charlie Parker The Immortal Vol 3 1958
LTZ-C 15107 Charlie Parker The Immortal Vol 4 1958
LTZ-C 15108 Charlie Parker The Immortal Vol.5 1958
LTZ-C 15144 Terry & McGhee Back Country Blues 1958
LTZ-C 15159 Tommy Flanagan Quintet Mainstream 1958 1959
LTZ-D 15158 Eddie Condon Dixieland Dance Party 1958
LTZ-D 15168 Clara Ward Gospel Concert
LTZ-J 15129 Charles Mingus Mingus/Hawes/Richmond
LTZ-K 15022 Modern Jazz Quartet, The Fontessa 1957
LTZ-K 15024 Wilbur de Paris And His New Orleans Jazz 195?
LTZ-K 15025 Lee Konitz, Lee Konitz with Warne Marsh 1955
LTZ-K 15033 Lennie Tristano Lennie Tristano 1956
LTZ-K 15037 Marty Paich, Larry Bunker Jazz City Workshop 195?
LTZ-K 15043 Montrose, Jack Jack Montrose with Bob Gordon 1955
LTZ-K 15052 Charles Mingus Pithecanthropus Erectus 1956
LTZ-N 15055 Russ Garcia, Frank Rosolino et al Four Horns and a Lush Life 1956
LTZ-K 15085 Modern Jazz Quartet, with Jimmy   Giuffre The Modern Jazz Quartet At Music   Inn
LTZ-K 15092 Lee Konitz Inside Hi Fi 1957
LTZ-K 15127 Mulligan Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan Meets Monk 1957
LTZ-K 15136 Modern Jazz Quartet, The The Modern Jazz Quartet 1958
LTZ-K 15137 Jimmy Giuffre Jimmy Giuffre Three Travelin’ Light 195?
LTZ-K 15140 Modern Jazz Quartet, The Film Score For “No Sun In   Venice” 1958
LTZ-K 15141 Milt Jackson Plenty, Plenty Soul 1957
LTZ-K 15142 Chris Connor A Jazz Date With Chris Connor 1956
LTZ-K 15147 Lee Konitz, The Real Lee Konitz 1958
LTZ-K 15157 Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers   w/Monk 1959
LTZ-K 15164 The Charles Mingus Workshop The Clown 1959
LTZ-K 15171 Champion Jack Dupree Blues From The Gutter 1959
LTZ-K 15173 Modern Jazz Quartet, with Sonny   Rollins Modern Jazz Quartet At Music   Inn  Vol 2 1959
LTZ-K 15179 Shorty Rogers Way Up There 19??
LTZ-K 15190 Ray Charles The Genius Of Ray Charles 1959
LTZ-K 15191 The Jazz Modes The Most Happy Fella 1959
LTZ-K 15193 Modern Jazz Quartet, The Pyramid
LTZ-K 15194 Mingus, Charles Blues & Roots 1960
LTZ-K 15197 John Coltrane Giant Steps 1959
LTZ-K 15199 Ornette Coleman Change Of The Century 1961
LTZ-K 15215 Various The Blues Roll On 1960
LTZ-K 15215 John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz 19??
LTZ-K 15225 Slide Hampton Sister Salvation 19??
LTZ-K 15228 Coleman, Ornette This Is Our Music 1960
LTZ-K 15232 John Coltrane Milt Jackson Bags and Trane 196?
LTZ-K 15237 John Lewis The Wonderful World of Jazz 19??
LTZ-K 15239 John Coltrane Ole 196?
LTZ-M 15152 Waters, Muddy Best of Muddy Waters 19??
LTZ-M 15162 Ahmad Jamal Trio But Not For Me 1959
LTZ-M 15170 Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal 1959
LTZ-N 15001 Milt Hinton Milt Hinton 195?
LTZ-N 15003 K + J.J. East Coast Jazz Series No. 7 1976
LTZ-N 15009 Mel Tormé with Marty Paich Dek-Tette Mel Tormé 1956
LTZ-N 15010 Red Allen Cozy Cole Jazz at the Metropole cafe 195?
LTZ-N 15011 Howard McGhee The Return of
LTZ-N 15014 Red Mitchell Jam for your Bread
LTZ-N 15029 Duke Ellington And His Orchestra Historically Speaking – The   Duke 1956
LTZ-N 15031 Charlie Mariano Charlie Mariano 1956
LTZ-N 15035 Oscar Pettiford Volume 2 1956
LTZ-N 15036 Conte Candoli Conte Candoli 195?
LTZ-N 15063 Sam Most Sextet Sam Most Sextet 195?
LTZ-N 15067 Frank Rosolino Frank Rosolino 195?
LTZ-N 15078 Duke Ellington Duke Ellington presents 195?
LTZ-N 15090 Frank Socolow Sounds by Socolow 1957
LTZ-N 15100 Stan Levey sextet Stan Levey sextet 195?
LTZ-N 15123 Stu Williamson Stu Williamson 1958
LTZ-P 15236 Valley Singers, The Canaan’s Land 1961
LTZ-R 15283 various Modern Jazz Gallery vol.1 1961
LTZ-R 15284 various Modern Jazz Gallery vol.2 1961
LTZ-T 15160 Johnny Mandel I Want To Live! (Soundtrack) 1958
LTZ-T 15167 Art Farmer Modern Art 1958
LTZ-T 15172 Milt Jackson with Benny Golson 19??
LTZ-T 15176 Benny Golson Benny Golson and the Philadelphians 19??
LTZ-T 15181 MJQ BennOdds against Tomorrow 19??
LTZ-T 15181 Tubby Hayes Ronnie Scott & Tubby Hayes (ex Carlton) 19??
LTZ-T 15189 Pee Wee Ervin Down By The Riverside 195?
LTZ-U 15009 Thelonious Monk Thelonious Monk plays the music of Duke Ellington 1957
LTZ-U 15075 Matthew Gee All Stars Jazz By Gee! 1957
LTZ-U 15117 Coleman Hawkins The Hawk Flies High 1957
LTZ-U 15133 Kenny Dorham Jazz Contrasts 1958
LTZ-U 15133 Howard McGhee Quintet the Connection 195?
SAH-K 6017 Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers w/Monk Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers W/ Monk 1959
SAH-K 6031 Modern Jazz Quartet, The Fontessa
SAH-K 6050 Modern Jazz Quartet w/ Sonny Rollins Modern Jazz Quartet At Music Inn Vol2
SAH-K 6061 Benny Golson and the Philedelphians
SAH-K 6162 John Coltrane Coltrane Jazz
SAH-K 6181 Ornette Coleman This is our Music
SAH-K 6235 Ornette Coleman Ornette! 1961
SAH-K 8007 Charles Mingus Oh Yeah! 196?

19 thoughts on “London

  1. I had the London American recording of Champion Jack Dupree’s Natural and Soulful Blues. It was the stereo Blue and Silver label. Found it early December 1968 (or maybe ’69) here in the U.S., in Dayton’s on 8th St. NYC. It was in the cut out bins in the back for $1.99 (if the pound’s exchange rate was still $2.40, the price would have translated to about 16/6). It played well and is a good album but I like Blues from the Gutter better. I also found in the same section that evening, a Fontana Spencer Davis with Stevie Winwood for the same price.


  2. You should add the amazing LZ-U 14040. The Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper. Originally a Tampa record. The London blows the Tampa off its socks.


      • there is some more work to do! I only now went seriously through my London stocks. Here are the results. Items missing on your list follow here:

        LTZ (monaural)
        N – 15001 Milt Hinton
        U -15009 Thelonious Monk plays the music of Duke Ellington
        N – 15036 Conte Candoli
        K – 15037 Jazz City Workshop Marty Paich, Larry Bunker
        N – 15063 Sam Most Sextet
        N – 15067 Frank Rosolino
        N – 15078 Duke Ellington presents
        R – 15083/84 Modern Jazz Gallery vols 1 and 2 (ex Kapp)
        N – 15100 Stan Levey sextet
        J – 15129 Charles Mingus/Hampton Hawes/Danny Richmond (ex Jubilee)
        K – 15137 Jimmy Giuffre Three Travelin’ Light
        T – 15172 Milt Jackson (with Benny Golson)
        T – 15176 Benny Golson and the Philadelphians
        T – 15181 MJQ Odds against tomorrow
        L – 15188 Ronnie Scott & Tubby Hayes (ex Carlton)
        K – 15219 John Coltrane “Coltrane Jazz”
        U – 15221 Howard McGhee Quintet “the Connection” (ex Felsted)
        K – 15225 Slide Hampton “Sister Salvation”
        K – 15237 John Lewis “the Wonderful World of Jazz”

        T-6061 Benny Golson and the Philadelphians
        K-6162 Coltrane Jazz
        K-8007 “Mingus Oh Yeah” Charles Mingus
        K-6181 Ornette Coleman “This is our Music”


  3. Thanks for all this helpful information. I think these London pressings are really excellent vinyl and substantially undervalued


  4. Another one for your list Kenny Dorham – Jazz Contrasts LTZU-15133 a great sounding record with the original mono crimson labels.


    • Thanks John, I have updated* the London Label page adding your contribution, and also those of Sven from Sweden (Thanks Sven!). Anyone out there who can add to the listing, email me your contributions (catalogue number, artist, title, and year recorded) Email address in the foot of the “About LJC” page.

      *Just so you know, chaps, updating has required me to grapple with the underlying HTML code, a late learning curve but useful nevertheless. Who says I.T. is just for youngsters?


      • since I was able to recognize a 1st press trough this website I feel that it is my duty to contribute.
        I found a really nice supermint copy of Olé Coltrane Mono LTZ-K 15239

        By the way, the backside also says:
        Bags and Trane/Milt Jackson & John Coltrane
        Stereo SAH-K 6192 mono LTZ-K 15232
        Coltrane Jazz/ John Coltrane
        stereo SAH-K 6162 mono LTZ-K 15219



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