Night Lights Classic Jazz

The Nocturne Records Story

Nocturne

In the early 1950s musicians Roy Harte and Harry Babasin, eager to document the ascending West Coast jazz scene, started a Los Angeles label called Nocturne Records. Babasin and Harte said they wanted to “broaden the nation’s views of our activities out here in Hollywood and to present some of the better musicians who are most normally hidden in the more commercial work of the city, yet who are outstanding jazz musicians in their own right.” Their series of 10-inch LPs, called “Jazz in Hollywood,” featured friends and musical colleagues such as saxophonist Bud Shank, pianist Jimmy Rowles, trumpeter Shorty Rogers, and arranger Marty Paich. We’ll hear recordings from all of those artists and more as we explore the sound of West Coast cool on “The Nocturne Records Story.”

Music Heard On This Episode

Five Brothers
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)
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Five Brothers
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Gerry Mulligan composition. Also available on THE COMPLETE NOCTURNE RECORDS V. 1

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Dinah
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)
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Shank's Pranks
Bud Shank — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Shorty Rogers composition.

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Jasmine
Bud Shank — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Shorty Rogers composition.

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Fast Buck
Bob Enevoldsen — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Marty Paich composition.

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Where Did the Gentleman Go?
Bob Enevoldsen — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Bobby Troup composition.

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So Far, So Good
Jimmy Rowles — Pacific Jazz Piano Trios (Mosaic)

Notes: Midpoint music bed.

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The New York City Ghost
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Peggy Lee-Victor Young composition.

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Sanguine
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)
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Love Me or Leave Me
Virgil Gonsalves — Complete Nocturne Recordings V. 1 (Fresh Sounds)
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Without You
Lou Levy — Complete Nocturne Recordings V. 1 (Fresh Sound)
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Topsy
Jimmy Rowles — Pacific Jazz Piano Trios (Mosaic)
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Now Playing
Herbie Harper — Jazz in Hollywood (Original Jazz Classics)

Notes: Neal Hefti composition.

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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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  • Pbabasin

    Wow!! Thanks for publishing this story I am astounded! Pop would have been happy!

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