Birka Jazz Home
   On Internet since 1998

The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

Please note!
These albums are not for sale. Click HOME to find our record store.

HOME


Scroll down and use the links to browse our comprehensive Archive of rare jazz album covers

First page  |  Previous  |  Next





AMERICAN LABELS

COLUMBIA RECORDS
The pioneers of album cover design

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (1)
David Stone Martin

CLEF, NORGRAN, VERVE (2)
The photographic covers

BLUE NOTE  10" LPs
Searching for a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE  1500 series
Defining the hard bop style

BLUE NOTE  4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles

PRESTIGE RECORDS
Images of East Coast jazz

RIVERSIDE RECORDS
Street cred with Thelonious Monk

PACIFIC JAZZ
Moods of Chet and Claxton

CONTEMPORARY
Cool West Coast, great Sound

SAVOY RECORDS
Masterworks by Charlie Parker

DIAL RECORDS
Small label, big Bird sound

ATLANTIC RECORDS
Bold and striking albums

EMARCY RECORDS
The classic drummer logo label

BETHLEHEM RECORDS
The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

DEBUT RECORDS
Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

CANDID RECORDS
Legendary, early 1960s LPs

ESP-DISK
Free jazz and silk screened covers

IMPULSE RECORDS
Edgy and experimental

RCA VICTOR
The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more

VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more



EUROPEAN LABELS

SWEDEN (1)
The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

SWEDEN (2)
The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

SWEDEN (3)
Changing times in the 1960s

SWEDEN (4)
New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

DENMARK
Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

NORWAY
Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

FINLAND
Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

FRANCE
Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

ENGLAND
Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

GERMANY
Jazz labels with strong identity

ITALY
Rare Italian jazz covers

HOLLAND
From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

POLAND
Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza


OTHER COUNTRIES
Jazz labels around the world







          

Pacific Jazz

The moods of
Chet and Claxton

PACIFIC JAZZ was started in 1952 in Los Angeles by Richard Bock. It was the very first release, a 10" LP, that really kicked off the new jazz label. The cover is shown on top to the right: Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker became a worldwide success.

The recording took place in the summer of 1952. A month before, Mulligan had opened at The Haig Club in Los Angeles. The sounds from The Haig were far from the blowing sessions on Central Avenue in the same town. It was lyrical but swinging at low decibel level. It came to be labeled as "cool" or West Coast Jazz.

   
    The Haig in Los Angeles the week that
    Gerry Mulligan Quartet opened
    in June 1952.

Pacific Jazz issued 20 LPs in the 10" format and about 40 LPs in the 12" format before the company in 1957 changed its name to World Pacific. After that they issued another 90 jazz LPs into 1960.

In 1960 the name Pacific Jazz was back as subsidiary label of World Pacific and around 90 LPs were issued into 1965. From then into 1970 about 80 jazz LPs were issued, mostly labeled as World Pacific. But some were reissues.

On the whole it is difficult to separate the releases of Pacific and World Pacific. The names were almost used interchangeably. Some issues may have one name originally and then the other on reissues. Or one name on the label, and the another name on the cover. The company was purchased by Liberty in 1964, keeping the labels alive into 1970.

      


WILLIAM CLAXTON is highly regarded for his photographs of the 1950s jazz scene as he is for his album designs.

In 1952 in Los Angeles he met Richard Bock who was about to launch Pacific Jazz. Claxton was recruited as a partner and the new company´s art director and photographer.

Photography was Claxton´s main love, but he designed numerous album covers for the label over the six next years. He also worked for most of the other companies in the Los Angeles area, notably Contemporary Records, and for New York labels such as Riverside and Atlantic.

William Claxton´s early works were dominated by black and white photography, which often were moody and melancholy. His photographs of the young Chet Baker are iconic.

He later began to use colour photography and then he was responsible for giving the visual indentity to the West Coast jazz scene. His covers emphasized the informal, outdoor enjoyment of the Californian life.

Claxton´s photographs are published in many books through the years, beginning already in 1955 with the classic portfolio "Jazz West Coast", produced by Richard Bock of Pacific Jazz.

WOODY WOODWARD took over as art director after that William Claxton left Pacific in the late 1950s. He made many covers for the company and he created the striking, colourful style that the label used in the beginning of the 1960s.

He worked as a photographer and collaborate with Ray Avery. He was a writer as well and wrote liner notes for albums. He also wrote the book "Jazz Americana" in 1956. As album designer he was nominated for three Grammies.


   
    William Claxton in 1955


    
    Woody Woodward




LINKS

Pacific Jazz Discography
jazzdisco.com


WILLIAM CLAXTON
official website


 Gerry Mulligan Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz PJLP-1   10" LP 1952
The first LP from Pacific   Design: William Claxton   Photo: Dave Pell

Pacific Jazz

 Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Lee Konitz   Label: Pacific Jazz PJLP-2   10" LP 1952
 Design and photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz 3   10" LP 1953
 Design and photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Harry Edison at The Haig   Label: Pacific Jazz 4   10" LP 1953
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 gerry Mulligan Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz 5   10" LP 1953
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Quartet feat. Russ Freeman   Label: Pacific Jazz 6   10" LP 1953
 Design and photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Russ Freeman Trio   Label: Pacific Jazz 8   10" LP 1953
 Design and photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Lee Konitz with Gerry Mulligan Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz EP 4-11   7" EP 1953
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz EP 4-14   7" EP 1953
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Ensemble   Label: Pacific Jazz 9   10" LP 1954
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Lee Konitz and the Gerry Mulligan quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz 10   10" LP 1954
 Design: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Sings   Label: Pacific Jazz 11   10" LP 1954
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Bob Gordon: Meet Mr. Gordon   Label: Pacific Jazz 12   10" LP 1954
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Bud Shank and three trombones   Label: Pacific Jazz 14   10" LP 1954
 Design: William Claxton
 
 

 Chico Hamilton Trio   Label: Pacific Jazz 17   10" LP 1955
 
 

 Clifford Brown Ensemble   Label: Pacific Jazz 19   10" LP 1955
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer   Label: Pacific Jazz 20   10" LP 1955
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Sings and Plays   Label: Pacific Jazz 1202   12" LP 1955
 Design: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker; Jazz at Ann Arbor   Label: Pacific Jazz 1203   12" LP 1955
 Design: William Claxton   Drawings: Colleen Lewis
 
 

 Cy Touff, His Octet and Quintet   Label: Pacific Jazz 1211   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Richard Twardzik Trio - Russ Freeman Trio   Label: Pacific Jazz 1212   12" LP 1956
 Design; William Claxton   Painting: Edmond Kohn
 
 

 B. Gordon - C. Brown: Arranged by Montrose   Label: Pacific Jazz 1214   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 The Bud Shank Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz 1215   10" LP 1956
 Design: William Claxton   Illustration: Pauline Annon
 
 

 Grand Encounter   Label: Pacific Jazz 1217   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker in Europe   Label: Pacific Jazz 1218   12" LP 1956   Photo: William Claxton  
First American issue of Chet Baker's Italian session with Richard Twardzik
 
 

 Bill Perkins: On Stage   Label: Pacific Jazz 1221   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker Sings   Label: Pacific Jazz 1222   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Hoagy sings Carmichael   Label: Pacific Jazz 1223   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker & Crew   Label: Pacific Jazz 1224   12" LP 1956
 Design and Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 Chet Baker - Russ Freeman Quartet   Label: Pacific Jazz 1232   12" LP 1956
 Design: William Claxton   Illustration: John Altoon
 
 

 Chet Baker - Art Pepper: Playboys   Label: World Pacific 1234   12" LP 1956
 Photo: Peter Gowland
 
 

 The James Dean Story   Label: World Pacific 2005   12" LP 1956
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Roy Schatt
 
 

 Bill Perkins: Just Friends   Label: Pacific Jazz 401   12" LP 1957
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Ray Avery
 
 

 Various Artists: The Hard Swing   Label: World Pacific 508   12" LP 1958
 Design: Charles Hyman   Photo: Leo Stashin
 
 

 Bob Brookmeyer: The Street Swingers   Label: World Pacific 1239   12" LP 1958
 Photo: Lee Friedlander
 
 

  Beauties of 1918   Label: World Pacific ST-1014   12" LP 1958
 Design: Hal Crippen
 
 

 Annie Ross: Sing a Song with Mulligan   Label: Pacific Jazz 1253   12" LP 1959
 Design: Armand Acosta   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Jimmy Witherspoon: Singin´ The Blues   Label: World Pacific 1267   12" LP 1959
 Design: Armand Acosta   Photo: Craig Simpson
 
 

 Annie Ross: A Gasser   Label: World Pacific 1285   12" LP 1959
 Design: Ted Poyser   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Joe Newman: Countin´   Label: World Pacific 1288   12" LP 1960
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Charles Stewart
 
 

 Eddie Condon: Tiger Rags & all that Jazz   Label: World Pacific 1292   12" LP 1960
 Design: William Claxton
 
 

 Zoot Sims: Choice   Label: Pacific Jazz 20   12" LP 1961
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Craig Simpson
 
 

 Bud Shank: New Groove   Label: Pacific Jazz 21   12" LP 1961
 Design and photo: Woody Woodward
 
 

 The Remarkable Carmell Jones   Label: Pacific Jazz 29   12" LP 1961
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Barry Feinsten
 
 

 Dick Twardzik: The Last Set   Label: Pacific Jazz 37   12" LP 1961
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: Ron Joy
 
 

 Kenny Dorham - Jackie McLean: Inta Somethin´   Label: Pacific Jazz 41   12" LP 1961
 Design and photo: Woody Woodward
 
 

 The Jazz Crusaders: Lookin´ Ahead´   Label: Pacific Jazz 43   12" LP 1962
 Design and photo: Woody Woodward
 
 

 The Artistry of Pepper   Label: Pacific Jazz 60   12" LP 1962
 Design: Woody Woodward   Photo: William Claxton
 
 

 
  HOME                                                  FIRST PAGE   |   PREVIOUS   |   NEXT