Wednesday, December 5, 2012

THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS PART FOUR - TAMPA


THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS
PART FOUR - TAMPA
© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

This research was originally published in the Dutch discography journal, Names & Numbers, No. 42, July 2007 and No.  44, January 2008 in slightly different form.


The recordings to be examined are commercial recordings that were issued on the Skylark, Lighthouse, Contemporary and Tampa labels within the time frame of the early 1950s when Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars launched west coast jazz from their beachhead in Hermosa Beach.  The recordings under discussion were the first commercial records to hit the retail market and make the Lighthouse All Stars an international sensation in jazz.

This fourth and final examination of the first recordings of the Lighthouse All Stars returns to BIG BOY and the multiple releases by Robert Scherman on his Skylark and Tampa labels.

The first releases on Skylark SK 538 and SK 538-45 were identical, all timing at a little under 4:10.  Scherman manipulated the basic master recording of BIG BOY to produce M.M.B. (MORE BIG BOY) that was released on Skylark SK LP 12, JAM SESSION, VOL. 2, taking up one side of the 10” LP release. The same expanded version, M.B.B., was also released on Skylark EP 100.



SWEET GEORGIA BROWN had been released on Skylark SK LP 11, JAM SESSION, VOL. 1, where it was listed under the leadership of Paul Nero.  Scherman used two label imprints for his fledgling record company, Skylark and Tampa.  The reason for the two different labels is not clear as he seemed to mingle jazz releases on both labels with the same release numbers such as Tampa TP 11, THE HERBIE HARPER QUINTET, and Skylark SK 11, JAM SESSION, VOL 1.  As we shall soon see, he also issued the same material on both labels.  The 500 series 78 and 45 singles did not differentiate music styles either.  The series included releases by Ace Dooley, Billy Devroe’s Devilaires, George Jenkins and the Lighthouse All Stars among others.


Scherman released two more variations of BIG BOY as 45 singles, one using the Skylark imprint and the other using the Tampa imprint, the standard timing on the original 78 and 45 singles, 4:08, was reduced to 3:52 on these releases, eliminating 0:16 of the introductory ensemble chorus repeats.



The commercial success of the Contemporary Lighthouse All Stars releases most likely played a part in Robert Scherman’s decision to reissue Skylark LP-12 as Tampa LP-12, SHORTY ROGERS AND THE LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS.  Scherman noted in his liner notes that Shorty and his group were currently playing at Zardi’s in Hollywood.  Shorty’s group included former Lighthouse All Stars members Jimmy Giuffre and Shelly Manne. Shorty’s group had been playing at The Haig and switched places with the Chet Baker Quartet that had been playing at Zardi’s (as noted in the February 24, 1954 issue of DOWN BEAT, page 3).


To his credit, Robert Scherman did remaster the original February 1952 recordings for the Tampa record reissue.  The Jimmy Giuffre Orchestra credit for the second and third vocals by Vivien Garry was deleted from the Tampa reissue leaving Shorty Rogers and The Lighthouse All Stars credit as backing all three tracks.  Scherman does mention in the liner notes that Dick Taylor replaces Shorty Rogers on Whispering, but no mention is made concerning the guitar backing. Tony Rizzi had appeared on the Skylark and Tampa labels and is a likely candidate for the guitar backing on this track. The backing on these tracks as noted in Part One of this examination was by Dick Taylor and His Taylor Made Music.

The remastering removed the casual lounge noise from the beginning of M.B.B., the applause in the middle and at the end. The editing reduced the timing to 4:54. Scherman used the same matrix numbers with an RE suffix to note that the sides had been remastered.  

A new 45 single labelled as BIG BOY was released as well, with the exact same timing as M.B.B. on Tampa LP 12, 4:55.  

The same edited version timing at 4:54 would be released on a sampler LP as TAMPA - HI-FI SAMPLER - JAZZ SAMPLER, SA 100.

The same album would be reissued again by Scherman as TAMPA TP-11, JAZZ AMERICANA. The cover for JAZZ AMERICANA featured a color photo of a suspension bridge with a city skyline in the background.  Scherman might have borrowed the title from Woody Woodward’s recent paperback publication for Trend Books that used the same title, JAZZ AMERICANA.


This concludes our review of the first recordings of the Lighthouse All Stars.  We would once again like to extend our thanks to Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute whose collections have made this research possible.


We would also recommend once more the excellent documentary on the Lighthouse All Stars by Ken Koenig.








Wednesday, November 28, 2012

THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS PART THREE - CONTEMPORARY RECORDS


THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS
PART THREE - CONTEMPORARY RECORDS

© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

This research was originally published in the Dutch discography journal, Names & Numbers, No. 42, July 2007 and No.  44, January 2008 in slightly different form.


The recordings to be examined are commercial recordings that were issued on the Skylark, Lighthouse, Tampa and Contemporary labels within the time frame of the early 1950s when Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars launched west coast jazz from their beachhead in Hermosa Beach.  The recordings under discussion were the first commercial records to hit the retail market and make the Lighthouse All Stars an international sensation in jazz.

Les Koenig’s son, John, provides a condensed summary of the beginning of Contemporary Records in his member profile for the Internet Cello Society.  The full profile can be found at the link below.

I was raised around music. My father, Lester Koenig, ran a jazz record company, which he founded in 1949 in Los Angeles, a year before I was born. He'd started it as a kind of a hobby. He had been working in the movie industry, as second in command (typically credited as associate producer, which meant a lot more then than it does now) on all of Willy Wyler's pictures ("The Best Years of Our Lives," "Roman Holiday," etc.) and as he was always interested in music, he made friends with many of the composers who worked on the pictures he worked on. Those included Aaron Copland ("The Heiress"), Gail Kubik (World War II documentaries with Wyler) and many others. So during the time he worked with Wyler, he started the label, Contemporary Records, in order to record "contemporary" classical music written by these composers and their colleagues, with the recordings supervised by the composers themselves. Notably among these were Roy Harris and Ernst Toch. He also recorded some other chamber music under the aegis of the Society for Forgotten Music, an organization founded by the composer Vladimir Dukelsky (who was also known as Vernon Duke when he wrote popular songs such as "April in Paris") and among those recordings was a cello recital recording of some obscure but interesting pieces performed by the cellist George Neikrug. But my father was also interested in both traditional and modern jazz and so he recorded both of those idioms, as well. Soon, with the burgeoning West Coast "cool" jazz scene, the jazz part of the operation predominated. In 1953, my father left the film business because of the Hollywood blacklist, a subject I won't get into here, and went into the record business full-time. 

© 2004 by John Koenig


An ad in the April 22, 1953 issue of Down Beat magazine announced the availability of the first two classical releases on Contemporary Records, C2001, George Barati, String Quartet (1944) and C2002, John Vincent, Quartet No. 1 in G.  The ad also noted that Contemporary Records was handling sales of C301, the Lighthouse Record Company release of Sunday Jazz A La Lighthouse, Vol. 1.

The Contemporary Records classical labels were dark green with gold lettering and established the circular design with CONTEMPORARY RECORDS spelled out on the outer circumference of the label with the content details reserved for the inner circle.  



Jazz releases used a bright yellow background with black lettering except the Lighthouse releases that would retain the Lighthouse logo as “Lighthouse Series” above the Contemporary Records name.



Initial releases on Koenig’s Good Time Jazz label were 78 RPM singles.  The first GTJ LP releases in 1951 were pressed on the standard 10” LP format that other west coast jazz labels had adopted.  The Barati and Vincent releases were likewise issued in the 10” LP format and the new C2500 jazz series would also utilize the 10” LP format until 1955 when Contemporary Records and other west coast labels abandoned the 10” LP for the emerging 12” LP standard.

The first release in the new jazz series, C2501, SUNDAY JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE VOL. 2, was also a live recording at the Lighthouse.  The back liner notes describe the circumstances.


“Recorded in the Lighthouse, 30 Pier Avenue, Hermosa Beach, California, during an actual performance the night of May 15, 1953.  The recording technique of engineer Cecil Charles was to “eavesdrop” the proceedings.  The club was packed with an appreciative audience, which stimulated the musicians and they played without regard for the microphones placed strategically around the bandstand. The sounds of the Lighthouse, the laughter and conversation, the instruments practicing between numbers, the ringing of the cash registers behind the brar make this a documentary recording of the West Coast’s famous and exciting home of “modern sounds.”  The cooperation of John Levine, owner of the Lighthouse, is gratefully acknowledged.”



A little over a month later Cecil Charles had the test pressings from Lewis-Rubner Mfg. Co., an Inglewood, California, pressing plant that handled record manufacturing for Dial Records among others. 










Contemporary Records also issued a 78 RPM single from that Friday night session with LUAU and THE DUKE YOU SAY on C355.  An ad in the August 28, 1953 issue of Down Beat offered a free copy of C355 in an autographed 78 sleeve if the reader clipped the ad and brought it to the Lighthouse before September 15, 1953.  Many of these autographed sleeves have surfaced over the years with owners wondering what the value of these autographs are worth.  The truth is that the signatures were stamped on to the sleeves with rubber stamps.  Howard Rumsey donated these stamps along with his personal archive of memorabilia from the Lighthouse to the Los Angeles Jazz Institute where they reside.



The rubber stamp "autographs" were also applied to 45 sleeves as seen on the example on the left.  The stamps were applied to both sides of the 45 sleeve as they probably would not all fit on a single side.



Once the supply of the Lighthouse Record Company edition of SUNDAY JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE, VOL. 1, C301, was sold out, Contemporary Records kept the 12” LP in stock with new pressings with the Contemporary Records, Lighthouse Series, label and the same jacket art by Rodney Evans Bacon whose paintings adorned the walls of the Lighthouse and who would play the conga drum on the Thursday night ‘mambo’ sessions at the Lighthouse.  Later releases of C3501 dropped the Bacon artwork for a photo of the All Stars on the bandstand.



While Les Koenig was in Europe with William Wyler working on “Roman Holiday” he seized that opportunity to license recordings from some of the top emerging jazz artists to supplement his new jazz series.  Following the release of C2501, JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE VOL. 2, the next release featured a French ensemble led by Henri Renaud, C2502, MODERN SOUNDS: FRANCE, that was followed by a Dizzy Gillespie session recorded in Paris by Vogue Records, C2504, DIZZY IN PARIS.  While Koenig was absent in Paris his associates at Contemporary Records signed Shelly Manne to the label and his first recording for the label was the third release in the new jazz series, C2503, SHELLY MANNE AND HIS MEN. The fifth release was another European master, this time featuring Lars Gullin, C2505, MODERN SOUNDS: SWEDEN.

The third volume of the Lighthouse All Stars coupled the four tracks recorded for the Lighthouse Record Company from July 22, 1952 with four new tracks recorded at Capitol Records, Studio A, on October 20, 1953.  There had been a changing of the guard earlier that fall with the departure of Rogers, Giuffre, Patchen and Manne from the regular line up of the All Stars.  Bob Cooper was now a regular member of the All Stars and Bud Shank had also become a fixture at the Lighthouse.  Claude Williamson was filling in for Frank Patchen and Max Roach held the drum sticks on this October session. They were joined by guests Rolf Ericson and Herb Geller plus Milt Bernhart and Jack Costanzo on some tracks.  




Howard Rumsey had encouraged members of the All Stars to compose and contribute new original compositions to the book at the Lighthouse.  Shorty Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre left a considerable legacy of original compositions that would continue to be performed on a regular basis by the musicians filling the current roster of All Stars.  Volume Four of the Lighthouse All Stars on Contemporary Records C 2510 continued that tradition with original compositions by Max Roach, Claude Williamson, Bud Shank and Bob Cooper. The brief liner note on the back of C 2510 explains Claxton’s cover photo composition of flutes and oboes.

“The Bob Cooper-Bud Shank oboe-flute duets started at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, the experimental center of West Coast modern sounds, in December 1953.

This was the first time the jazz possibilities of the flute and oboe had been explored, and public response was instantaneous and enthusiastic. The popularity of the duets indicated a recording session, and since no suitable body of literature existed for the combination, the performers sat down and wrote six of the tunes included in this set.

The records were made in Los Angeles February 25th and 26th under the supervision of Lester Koenig. John Palladino was the recording engineer. Cover photos and individual portraits (taken at the recording session) by William Claxton.”

© 1954 by Contemporary Records


Volume 5 of the Lighthouse All Stars, C 2515, IN THE SOLO SPOTLIGHT, would be the last release of the Lighthouse All Stars on the 10” LP format for Contemporary Records.  In was recorded in August of 1954 for release later that fall and Les Koenig would release three more albums in the 10” LP format before adopting the 12” LP format for releases on his label in 1955.  The five Lighthouse regulars who appeared on Volume 4 would be joined by Stu Williamson (Claude’s brother), Bob Enevoldsen and Bob Gordon.


The volume numbers and LP formats on Contemporary Records did not follow a chronological number release series when the original 10” LPs were reissued in the 12” LP format.  This was due mainly to the fact that the decision to reissue albums varied.  Also adding to the confusion was the release of Volume 6 in the 12” LP format as C 3504 with Volume 1 remaining in the catalogue as C 3501.

All of the Lighthouse 10” LPs would require additional tracks to fill out the 12” LP format.  Volume 3 would be reissued as C 3508.  Lighthouse At Laguna (the seventh volume of recordings by the Lighthouse All Stars) was issued as C 3509.  Volume 5 would be reissued as C 3517.  The decision to reissue Volume 4 would follow that as C 3520.  The last recording of the Lighthouse All Stars to be released by Contemporary Records was Volume 8, MUSIC FOR LIGHTHOUSEKEEPING, C 3528.  A confusing progression of volumes and release numbers between the 10” and 12” LP formats.  Many years later another live recording by Cecil Charles would be issued on LP with visiting artists Miles Davis and Chet Baker.

The release of four Lighthouse All Stars 10” LP albums on the Contemporary Records label in 1953/1954 did not go un-noticed by Robert Scherman at Skylark Records.  He would reissue his recording of the Lighthouse All Stars performing BIG BOY as the inflated M.B.B. (MORE BIG BOY) on his Tampa label.  Those releases will be discussed in Part Four of this examination of the first Lighthouse All Stars recordings.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS PART TWO - THE LIGHTHOUSE RECORD COMPANY


THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS
PART TWO - THE LIGHTHOUSE RECORD COMPANY
© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

This research was originally published in the Dutch discography journal, Names & Numbers, No. 42, July 2007 and No.  44, January 2008 in slightly different form.

http://www.names-and-numbers.nl/Frameset.html

The recordings to be examined are commercial recordings that were issued on the Skylark, Lighthouse, Tampa and Contemporary labels within the time frame of the early 1950s when Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars launched west coast jazz from their beachhead in Hermosa Beach.  The recordings under discussion were the first commercial records to hit the retail market and make the Lighthouse All Stars an international sensation in jazz.

The original Lighthouse All Stars; Shorty Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, Milt Bernhart, Frank Patchen, Shelly Manne and Howard Rumsey; coalesced as a group in the fall of 1951.  They would hold forth on the Lighthouse bandstand during the week with visiting musicians joining them on the weekends, especially on Sundays for the marathon jam session that would end in the early hours of Monday morning.


During this period the Lighthouse All Stars were building the repertoire of tunes that would typify the “Lighthouse” sound, mainly original compositions by Shorty Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre that would include BIG BOY, but as noted in Part One, this tune was a rhythm-and-blues parody, performed more to please the Sunday beach crowd.  The other compositions in the book were straight ahead jazz numbers that showcased the originality of Giuffre and Rogers. 


The success and popularity of the Skylark BIG BOY
release provided a “wake-up” call of sorts to Howard Rumsey.  The Lighthouse All Stars could sell records.  There was a demand for recordings of the Lighthouse All Stars.        








Milt Bernhart had joined the Lighthouse All Stars as a regular early in 1952 and was on the Skylark recording.  Bob Cooper also became a regular around this time and was instrumental in forming the Lighthouse Record Company as noted by Howard Rumsey in another interview segment with Ken Poston:


Howard Rumsey recalls the origin of the Lighthouse Record Company


Howard Rumsey took the Lighthouse All Stars into Radio Recorders Annex in Hollywood on July 22, 1952 to record four tunes that would be released on their own Lighthouse Record Company label as 78 and 45 RPM singles, Out Of Somewhere and Viva Zapata! on Lighthouse 351 and 45-351, Big Girl and Swing Shift on Lighthouse 352 and 45-352.  Shorty Rogers wrote Swing Shift and Viva Zapata!  The latter featured Carlos Vidal on the conga drum adding a Latin accent that set a precedent for many compositions for the All Stars that would include Latin percussion.  Jimmy Giuffre wrote Out Of Somewhere and Big Girl.  Big Girl was another rhythm and blues parody in the same vein as Big Boy. The wife of local DJ “Sleepy” Stein designed the Lighthouse logo featuring a light “beacon” displaying the distinctive lettering with animated musicians hanging out of the lighthouse blowing their horns.




Bob Scherman had attempted to create a “live” jazz club sound with his Skylark releases by adding applause and “cocktail lounge chatter” in the mixing stage.  Howard Rumsey and John Levine would go one step further and record the Lighthouse All Stars live at The Lighthouse with genuine chatter, audience whoops and applause, glass tinkling, ringing cash register and bar sounds.

Cecil Charles Spiller was an avid jazz fan and a regular at The Lighthouse.  Cecil was also an accomplished photographer with a background as an electrical engineer.  Cecil built a prototype reel to reel tape recorder and on February 21, 1953, he hauled his tape recorder into The Lighthouse to make the first live recording of the Lighthouse All Stars which would be released as SUNDAY JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE VOL. 1, C301, Lighthouse Record Co., a 12” LP release.  Cecil also did the mastering and approval of the test pressings.  Bill Brown’s THE JAZZ BEAT column in the March 15, 1953 issue of the Los Angeles Daily News featured a review of the new 12” LP.  The photo at left shows Cecil in his workshop with the tape recorder that he built.  It was still operational when I took this photo of Cecil in 1995.


SUNDAY JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE VOL. 1 would be the last and final release under the Lighthouse Record Company logo.  As noted by Howard Rumsey in the interview segment, demand for Lighthouse All Stars recordings was coming from Chicago and New York, and they were not set up to handle record distribution, they were musicians.  Also at the time an article in Down Beat cautioned that musicians were barred from record company ownership and could not hold a license to record from the AFM.


Howard Rumsey would turn over the record business to Les Koenig in the spring of 1953.  Koenig was launching his Contemporary Records label and the Lighthouse All Stars would be the first featured jazz artists on the label.

Part Three will examine the founding of Contemporary Records and the continued growth and popularity of the Lighthouse All Stars.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS PART ONE - SKYLARK


THE FIRST LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS RECORDINGS 
PART ONE - SKYLARK
© James A. Harrod, Copyright Protected; All Rights Reserved

This research was originally published in the Dutch discography journal, Names & Numbers, No. 42, July 2007 and No.  44, January 2008 in slightly different form.



The recordings to be examined are commercial recordings that were issued on the Skylark, Lighthouse, Tampa and Contemporary labels within the time frame of the early 1950s when Howard Rumsey’s Lighthouse All Stars (hereafter LHAS) launched west coast jazz from their beachhead in Hermosa Beach.  The recordings under discussion were the first commercial records to hit the retail market and make the Lighthouse All Stars an international sensation in jazz. 

Ironically, the first LHAS recording, BIG BOY, on Skylark SK 538, was not typical of the jazz that was regularly performed by the LHAS at the Lighthouse.  It was written by Shorty Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre, two of the Lighthouse regulars, as a rhythm & blues parody of a popular Coleman Hawkins tune, THE BIG HEAD, made popular by Hawkins’ performance at Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts.


Coleman Hawkins - THE BIG HEAD (excerpt)

Advance the bar to 2:50 to hear the parody origin.

BIG BOY was extremely popular with the beach crowd that would gather at the Lighthouse on Sundays for the marathon jam session that would last until the early morning hours on Monday.  Howard Rumsey would call the tune sparingly to build and hold the crowds during the Sunday jam sessions.

Howard Rumsey recalls the origin of Big Boy.  
Here is a live recording from March 15, 1953 of BIG BOY with Jimmy Giuffre, Bob Cooper, tenor saxes; Milt Bernhart, trombone; Shorty Rogers, trumpet; Frank Patchen, piano; Shelly Manne, drums; and Howard Rumsey, bass. The recording was made by Donald Dean, a LHAS fan who made dozens of private recordings of the LHAS when he lived next to the Lighthouse in the early 1950s. 

LHAS - BIG BOY - LIVE March 15, 1953

Robert Scherman established Skylark Records in early 1951. Prior to forming Skylark he had been the head of Webster Records and before that was A&R head at King Records and president of Atlas Records. He launched the Skylark label with ten 78 singles on March 1, 1951 that included sides by Vivien Garry and Dick Taylor.  

Vivien Garry had married Dick Taylor after divorcing her second husband, Arv Garrison whose epilepsy condition ended his music career and his marriage to Garry.  Garry and Taylor recorded six sides for Scherman’s Webster label that were released on three 78 singles. After divorcing Dick Taylor, Vivien Garry was married to Jimmy Giuffre.  Jimmy was a regular at the Lighthouse during this time and arrangements were made for the LHAS to record BIG BOY for Scherman’s Skylark label. 

The Lighthouse All Stars performed at UCLA for a course on modern jazz taught by Nesuhi Ertegun as seen in this photo from the January 25, 1952 issue of Down Beat magazine:




Over the years jazz discographies have repeated a June, 1952 date for this recording session but a write up in Ray Hewitt’s THE SPOTLIGHTER column in the Los Angeles Daily News of April 16, 1952, noted that local disc jockeys were featuring the 78 single on their programs, and subsequent columns would note that it was selling briskly at The Lighthouse.  Unlike Down Beat which was published bi-weekly or Metronome which was published monthly, both with considerable lead times required, the Los Angeles Daily News column provided weekly on the spot reporting of jazz events and bookings.

THE SPOTLIGHTER column noted – “We would like to mention here that the group (LHAS) has just made a recording on (the) Skylark label called BIG BOY that is real jazz. Thirty-two local disc jockeys are playing it currently on local radio & TV stations.”

Allowing a reasonable time period between recording session, mastering, and production of the record, it is reasonable to place the date of the recording session sometime in February or March of 1952.  

Additional research located the original AFM contract that documented the leader as James P. Giuffre and the recording date as March 26, 1952, at Capitol Records.



Capitol Records entered the custom processing field in 1951 as noted by an article in Billboard from April 28, 1951.







The July 30, 1952 issue of Down Beat magazine reviewed BIG BOY (I & II) on Skylark SK 538 giving it a four star review. 

The reviewer pointed out that this was not the type of music you would expect to hear from former Stan Kenton and Woody Herman alumni, definitely in the rhythm-and-blues vein, and not typical of the music that the Lighthouse All Stars played during their normal sets with modern original compositions by Shorty Rogers and Jimmy Giuffre that would become synonymous with what would be labelled "west coast" jazz. 


Scherman also released BIG BOY as a 45 RPM single.  Three releases bear the same matrix numbers, 45 RS - 302 © and 45 - RS -303, but are labelled differently.  Most likely the first was the version crediting HOWARD RUMSEY’S LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS with the same black and silver label colors used on the 78 single.  

Thanks to reader Dennis O'Brien another pressing of SK-538-45 has been brought to my attention and I agree with his assessment that this version is most likely the first 45 rpm version as it matches the 78 label wording. Thanks Dennis!






The second version used the same black and silver label but credited JIMMY GIUFFRE and his orchestra.  The change in the credit line may have been prompted by a release on Modern Records that credited JIM GIUFFRE and His Orchestra.  The source of the Modern version is not known.  It could have been from a Gene Norman “Just Jazz” concert as Norman frequently licensed these recordings to Modern for release or it could have been a concert at one of Hunter Hancock’s jazz concerts at the Olympic Auditorium.  The announcer on the record has a distinctive “radio” voice and could have been either Hancock or Norman. Members of the Giuffre orchestra on the Modern recording are not known.





The third version had a blue background with silver lettering and credited LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS featuring JIM GUIFFRE (sic) on Tenor and the change might have been requested by Howard Rumsey to correct the previous 45 release that neglected to credit the Lighthouse All Stars.


Skylark released the February 1952 LHAS session as a ten inch long play record on Skylark SK12-LP, JAM SESSION, VOL 2, matrices RS-500 and RS-501.  Although the 78 single of BIG BOY identified the individual musicians as the “LIGHTHOUSE ALL STARS” the 10” LP release does not mention the aggregate group name on the jacket front, liner back or on the labels, just the individual members are named.


Matrix RS-501 features the same master take of BIG BOY that had been released on the 78 rpm single, SK-538, but it had been doctored with the addition of casual lounge noise (couples talking with a piano playing in the background) at the beginning of the track, applause where the break occurred between side one and side two of the 78 rpm single, and more applause tacked on at the end.  It is additionally inflated by repeated choruses and sections of Big Boy. The combined timing of the 78 rpm single, 3:53, was extended artificially for the LP release making M.B.B. (MORE BIG BOY) more by a minute and 21 seconds making the total timing 5:14 on the 10” LP.



The three tunes on the other side of Skylark SK12-LP, matrix RS-500, YOU KNOW I’M IN LOVE WITH YOU, WHISPERING and I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU feature vocals by Vivien Garry that were originally released as 78 singles.







Although the label for Skylark SK12-LP lists the Jimmy Guiffre (sic) Orchestra as backing Garry on WHISPERING and I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU, the 78 labels clearly indicate that the group backing Garry was Dick Taylor and His Taylor Made Music.  Individual musicians in Taylor’s group could have been part of his combo that was playing at Larry Potter’s Club as noted in the Los Angeles Band Briefs column of the March 21, 1952 issue of Down Beat: Dick Taylor, trombone; Bob Jacobs, piano; Bob Ousley, baritone & alto saxes; Bobby Clark, trumpet and Paul Vallerina, drums and vocals.  Taylor also had a 10” LP release on Skylark SK LP 18 with Joe Felix, piano, J. D. King, tenor sax and Nick Fatool, drums.  In her autobiography, THE BLUES IN ‘B’ FLAT, Post Litho, Tucson, AZ, 1997, Vivien Garry (Martyn) recollects that Jimmy Giuffre wrote the arrangement of I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU.  



The success of these initial Skylark releases of the Lighthouse All Stars on Robert Scherman’s Skylark label were no doubt responsible for Howard Rumsey’s decision along with partner John Levine to establish The Lighthouse Record Company in 1952 which commenced release of its own 78 and 45 RPM singles as well as the first 12” LP release of the company, Lighthouse C301, SUNDAY JAZZ A LA LIGHTHOUSE VOL.1.  Part Two will examine The Lighthouse Record Company releases of the Lighthouse All Stars and the subsequent decision to get out of the record business and sign with Les Koenig’s Contemporary Records.



The author would like to thank Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute where the Howard Rumsey Collection resides.  This article would not have been possible without access to these rare collections.

http://www.lajazzinstitute.org/mus_collections.html#thrc

A documentary history of The Lighthouse by Ken Koenig is highly recommended as well as reviewed by Steve Voce for Jazz Journal International:



Review
After 30 years, West Coast jazz still has a tenacious group of followers. Many of them congregate each year at festivals celebrating the music in its birthplace, Los Angeles. A remarkable new DVD has recently appeared. It centers on Howard Rumsey, the bass player who, in 1949, began organizing Sunday afternoon jam sessions at The Lighthouse, a seaside bar at Hermosa Beach. Working with a core of the best musicians in the city, Rumsey put on his sessions each week until 1971, given impetus by the man who owned the bar, John Levine. People wandered in off the beach to complement the loyal jazz audience. The music and the bar prospered. Rumsey had been a member of one of the early Kenton bands. His first jam session groups took advantage of later Kenton men who had tired of life on the road. The core of his regulars, soon to be known across the world as The Lighthouse All Stars, was Shorty Rogers, Jimmy Giuffre, Milt Bernhart and Shelly Manne. As the police clamped down on the activities on Central Avenue, black musicians like Teddy Edwards, Sonny Criss and Hampton Hawes found a new platform at The Lighthouse. After many ups and downs Max Roach was resident for about six months and during this period Miles Davis and other luminaries played at the bar. During the 60s Rumsey found it difficult to keep the band going and began booking touring bands. Levine died in 1971, and Rumsey moved his activities to Concerts By The Sea. But that’s another story. The DVD, Jazz On The West Coast: The Lighthouse, has been brilliantly put together by Ken Koenig, who also wrote the absorbing script. The results are both dazzling and professional. Amongst those interviewed on screen are Stan Levey, Milt Bernhart, Bud Shank, Bill Holman and Max Bennett. There are video clips and an incredible number of period photographs, with a separate one hour interview with Rumsey as a bonus. - Steve Voce, --Jazz Journal International, Dec. 2006