The recording date for the Pacific Jazz / World Pacific session that produced the above album has consistently been given as November 8, 1956 in jazz discographies. Jorgen Grunnet Jepsen’s JAZZ RECORDS 1942-1965 Vol. 1: A – Bl entry was one of the first discographies to annotate the album.
This pioneering work was accomplished at a time when a letter was the best method for making contact with a record company to inquire about details of a recording session. Jepsen was able to list all of the fourteen musicians as they were noted on the back liner notes, and the date was most likely given by a person at Pacific Jazz / World Pacific responding to Jepsen’s inquiry about the session.
Jazz discographies build upon the work of prior researchers. When Walter Bruyninckx published MODERN JAZZ, BE-BOP // HARD BOP // WEST COAST VOL. 1 A – D the November 8, 1956 date was repeated.
The latest CD-ROM edition of Tom Lord’s Jazz Discography continues the November 8, 1956 date for this session and also includes the other releases that have been issued including the many CD reissues of this album.
Gary Carner’s recently published study of Pepper Adams, PEPPER ADAMS’ JOY ROAD – an annotated DISCOGRAPHY, Scarecrow Press, 2013, draws attention to the inaccurate dating of the Bud Shank / Chet Baker recording of theme music from the George W. George and Robert Altman documentary film, The James Dean Story. The date listed in most jazz discographies place it on November 8, 1956, six months before Leith Stevens composed the score and recorded it for the film. Carner also notes that Pepper Adams could not have been present in Los Angeles on November 8, 1956 as he was with the Stan Kenton band in San Francisco at the time.
The original film score was released on Capitol W881 around the same time that the documentary film was showing in theaters.
Leith Stevens previous film score for THE WILD ONE had been a popular vehicle for jazz improvisation as realized by Shorty Rogers. Dick Bock and Woody Woodward approached Leith Stevens and secured permission to do a similar jazz treatment of Leith’s score with Bud Shank and Chet Baker.
There were two recording sessions in August of 1957. The first session at Radio Recorders took place on August 13th from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m. Bud Shank was noted as leader with Chet Baker, Bill Holman, Richard Kamuca, Herb Steward, Park Adams, Charles Mariano, Claude Williamson, Monty Budwig, Mel Lewis, and Mike Pacheco.
The second session took place the next day, August 14th, same location and hours. Bud Shank was noted as leader again with Chet Baker, Bill Holman, Park Adams, Milton Bernhart, Ray Linn, Don Fagerquist, Claude Williamson, Monty Budwig, Mel Lewis, and Mike Pacheco. The task of assigning which tunes were recorded on each day might be possible with an attentive listening for Milt Bernhart’s trombone work as the 14th was the only session with a trombone in the line up.
Selections from this album were released on other Pacific Jazz / World Pacific LPs and 45 singles.
Dick Bock licensed selections from this album to Kimberly as well where they were released in mono and stereo versions.
One of the first CD reissues was on the Toshiba Japanese label in 1991.
It was reissued domestically in 2000 by Capitol/EMI.
The Tom Lord Jazz Discography notes the many additional CD reissues that have been released over the years. Fresh Sound reissued an LP edition of this album in the late 1980s on FSR 110. Fresh Sound also released an ambitious commemorative set in 2005 to mark the 50th anniversary of James Dean’s death.
The first CD in the set contains the original documentary film score that was originally released on Capitol W881.
The second CD contains selections from original music scores for the three major films that starred James Dean, EAST OF EDEN, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, and GIANT.
The DVD in the set contains the film documentary, THE JAMES DEAN STORY, and three television dramas that featured James Dean early in his career.
The set also includes an 80 page booklet with many rare and previously unpublished photos documenting James Dean’s brief career.
The set can be ordered directly from the Fresh Sound subsidiary Blue Moon.
Pepper Adams’ other appearance on Pacific Jazz was as leader for his album, CRITIC’S CHOICE, PJM-407. Both Jepsen and Bruyninckx list the correct date of this recording session for Dick Bock, August 23, 1957. The session was at Radio recorders from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. Unfortunately that date and correct information has not been retained in Tom Lord’s current CD-ROM edition of his Jazz Discography that lists the session as happening on the dates of the Bud Shank / Chet Baker sessions for the James Dean album. Jepsen’s information is correct (as of 1966).
The album cover art and labels for Pacific Jazz / World Pacific are © EMI, Capitol Music.