Billie Holiday and the Pete Jolly Trio engagement from December of 1956 continued into the first few days of January 1957. Corky Hale provided piano accompaniment to Lady Day with Pete Jolly’s rhythm section of Bob Bertaux and Bob Neel continuing rhythm backup to Corky Hale and Billie Holiday.Continue Reading
The Australian Jazz Quartet/Quintet engagement that began in June carried over to July 5, 1956. The Chet Baker Quintet opened the following day, Friday, July 6, 1956. The Chet Baker Quintet appeared on Stars of Jazz the next Monday, July 9th, with the addition of Bill Loughborough on boo-bams, a percussion instrument consisting of calf skin stretched over varying lengths of timber bamboo. Chet would frequently play boo-bams during the engagement at Jazz City.Continue Reading
The December 28, 1955, issue of Down Beat magazine ran a short column announcing a series of West Coast bookings for Miles Davis’s current combo with Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, Red Garland, and John Coltrane. The new quintet had a recent release on the Prestige label, MILES, that featured the new quintet. Miles Davis’s new quintet opened at Jazz City on Friday, January 6, 1956. The quintet’s engagement ran through Thursday, January 19, 1956. Prior to heading north to San Francisco for their booking at the Black Hawk, Paul Chambers joined a combo led by Kenny Drew for Jane Fielding’s second album for Herb Kimmel’s Jazz:West label.Continue Reading
Jazz City patrons were treated to jazz vocals in February 1955 when the Chet Baker Quintet appeared at the club. Chet had introduced vocals in his sets after the successful introduction of this facet of his talents on his first vocal album, Chet Baker Sings, PJLP-11. Jazz vocals continued to be an attraction when Jackie Cain and Roy Kral joined the Conte Candoli Quintet at Jazz City in May of 1955.Continue Reading
Barney Kessel opened Jazz City in October of 1954 and featured Art Pepper as a guest soloist for four weeks and then Zoot Sims for four weeks. Kessel continued to be the headliner until mid January of 1955 when Maynard Sloate hired Lee Konitz for a two week run at Jazz City. Konitz and his quartet, Jeff Morten, drums; Ronnie Ball, piano; and Peter Ind, bass played an extended gig at The Tiffany Club that ended mid January when the Bob Scobey group arrived. The Lee Konitz Quartet opened at Jazz City on Friday, January 14, 1955.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.
The noun “city” had been used with modifying attributes over the years to define an entity that personified the ultimate of that “______” city. New York and San Francisco both had their “Bop City” clubs and in the spring of 1952 Roy Harte and Remo Belli opened “Drum City” in Hollywood as the headquarters for all things drumming. Maynard and his new partner, Joe Abrahams, opened “Mambo City” at 5510 Hollywood Boulevard in 1954 and at the same time opened a burlesque club, “Strip City” at the corner of Western Avenue and Pico Boulevard.Continue Reading
JAZZ CITY PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAY AVERY & HOWARD LUCRAFT © James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved Frequent visitors to my blogs will have noticed that I feature the jazz photography of Ray Avery and Howard Lucraft. Both were contemporaries who documented the jazz scene in Los Angeles at recording sessions, jazz clubs, and […]Continue Reading