Pacific Jazz

Pacific Jazz: short company history

The Pacific Jazz label was founded in Los Angeles in 1952 by Richard Bock and drummer Roy S. Harte, initially  to release West Coast jazz, including  musicians such as  Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan.  In 1957 Bock changed the company name to World Pacific, to reflect the wider range of music styles in its catalogue, however maintaining the identity “Pacific Jazz” for jazz releases, though subsequently,  both names were used more or less interchangeably.

In 1965 the label was sold to Liberty Records, who went on to purchase Blue Note the following year. Liberty Records continued new jazz releases on both Pacific Jazz and Blue Note, however Liberty became increasingly financially troubled , and in 1968, was sold to the financial conglomerate Transamerica, including  both its World Pacific and Blue Note labels and their respective catalogues.

Transamerica eventually consolidated all its music holdings into its United Artists division, in 1970, and for most of the next decade UA controlled re-issue selection, manufacturing, distribution and overseas licensing, but few if any new releases appeared, and the label had effectively ceased to exist.

At the end of the 1970s EMI acquired United Artists Records, including all of its former Liberty-owned  labels. The  Pacific Jazz catalog is now controlled by EMI’s legacy management division, “Blue Note Records”.

For more on Pacific Jazz:
see: James Harrod’s Pacific Jazz complete disc and labelography

4 thoughts on “Pacific Jazz

  1. In December 1958 in NYC Pacific Jazz recorded Gerry Mulligan on three occasions: the Reunion album with Chet, the G.M. Quartet with Annie Ross and G.M. with jazz strings, a 45 rpm for D.J.’s only.
    Out of 16 tracks, of which two alternates, only eight made it to the Reunion album PJ 1241, the rest was to be found on Playboy albums or remained unissued on vinyl.
    When playing the Mosaic box MR5 102, giving the complete original 1952 and 1954 PJ recordings of G.M. and Chet , I discovered that two numbers, Festive Minor and All the things you are, marked as recorded by the original quartet on 27/3/1953, are in reality takes from the Dec. 1958 session.

    • Hi James,
      out of respect for your monumental discography/ labelography on Pacific Jazz, (and your copyright), I have not reused any of your material (I think!) and I put a link to your site at the foot of my own humble effort. I am trying to cover the main variants in labels from a jazz collectors perspective, in the same manner as all the other great jazz labels of Fifties and Sixties, using records I own personally or that followers of LJC have contributed from their own collections, so it is “original work”.

      I have just the one MIV, and yours was the first and only insight I ever found as to what it meant, kudos to you and your research.

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