Roy Harte paid his dues during the final years of the Swing Era in the 1940s when major bands and orchestras were regularly booked at dance halls, auditoriums, and theaters across the United States. To paraphrase Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, “Roy Harte was a contender,” and regularly placed in the annual Down Beat […]Continue Reading
Zardi’s 1954. 1954 provided a cornucopia of modern jazz for Los Angeles jazz fans. In addition to booming business at the city’s leading jazz clubs, jazz impresarios Gene Norman and brothers Norman and Irving Granz staged sell out concerts to meet the growing demand for modern jazz. Gene Norman continued to wear several musical […]Continue Reading
Tiffany Club – 1956/1957 Shelly Manne and His Men continued to be the headline attraction through December 1955 at Tiffany Club and were carried over into January of 1956. The continuing engagement included a special “New Year’s Eve Gala” at the club with favors, hats, horns, and noisemakers. Manne’s working quintet comprised Stu Williamson […]Continue Reading
Pete Welding wrote liner notes for many reissues of classic West Coast sessions for a variety of record labels. His notes for the Xanadu collection, The Hampton Hawes Memorial Album, provide a snapshot of Hampton Hawes place in the emerging jazz scene in Los Angeles. Before West Coast Jazz exploded in the ears […]Continue Reading
Los Angeles in the mid 1950’s was a jazz lovers paradise. A snapshot of January 1954 provides an example. Billie Holiday was ending her current engagement at Tiffany Club, Bud Powell was opening at The Haig, Chet Baker and Russ Freeman were at Zardi’s, Nat “King” Cole was at Ciro’s, June Christy was at Trianon […]Continue Reading
The club space at 5510 Hollywood Boulevard was vacant for nearly a year after Maynard Sloate closed Jazz City. It gained new life in February of 1958 when Carl Greene opened Jazz Cabaret.Continue Reading
Jack Lewis began his career as a jazz producer in Los Angeles in the early 1950s, most notably albums with Shorty Rogers and other West Coast artists.Continue Reading
The first major building to occupy the 3300 block of Wilshire Boulevard was the Gaylord Apartments, designed by the Walker & Eisen architectural firm in 1924. The apartments were named for Gaylord Wilshire who named the boulevard that bears his name. The vintage photograph below shows the surrounding area shortly after the building was completed. […]Continue Reading
THE GENE NORMAN PRESENTS, EMARCY, AND PACIFIC JAZZ SESSIONS Clifford Brown arrived in California in the spring of 1954. He came west at the invitation of Max Roach who had recently completed a six month tour of duty with Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars replacing Shelly Manne in the drum chair. Roach and Brown shared […]Continue Reading
The November 26, 1977, issue of Billboard devoted major space in the newspaper to saluting the achievements of Arista, its founder, and the significance of its place in the music industry. The following excerpt focuses on the acquisition of the Savoy and Freedom labels. Savoy / Freedom Labels Almost from the moment Arista Records began […]Continue Reading
The Art Pepper Discovery sessions experienced a rebirth when Herman Lubinsky acquired all of the Discovery masters from Jack Bergman and his partners. A column in the December 22, 1956, issue of The Billboard announced the transfer. “The Savoy Record company was founded late in 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, by Herman Lubinsky; among the […]Continue Reading
Albert Marx resigned as A&R vice president at Musicraft in the spring of 1948 when that label was undergoing reorganization. He moved to Los Angeles that summer and established Discovery Records, Hollywood, in the fall of 1948. A Hollywood column in the September 4, 1948, issue of Billboard magazine noted that “Marx leaves here September […]Continue Reading
When Maynard Sloate and Joe Abrahams leased the space at 5510 Hollywood Boulevard and opened Mambo City they essentially kept everything the way it was when it was known as the Mural Room. The wall murals were left intact, the cocktail tables and dance floor were left intact, and the only change needed was the exterior sign.
For Jazz City they remodeled the front using glass blocks, added a large marquee where guest jazz artists could be announced, and a new neon sign proclaiming Jazz City.
STARS OF JAZZ premiered on local Los Angeles television, channel 7 KABC, on June 25, 1956. It was a half hour show that aired at 10:30 PM on Monday nights following Lawrence Welk’s New Faces, also an American Broadcasting Company program. Several employees at ABC including producers, writers, and technical staff were jazz fans and […]Continue Reading