Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Complete Nocturne Recordings

In 1954, bassist Harry Babasin and drummer Roy Harte founded Nocturne, a label based in Los Angeles that during the next two years would document some of the top local musicians in its "Jazz In Hollywood" series. While Pacific Jazz and Contemporary were the leaders in the field, Nocturne also had something of its own to offer, and its cool jazz-oriented recordings were consistently rewarding. After the label inevitably folded, some of the albums were released by Liberty, while others were bootlegged; in more recent times V.S.O.P. and the Original Jazz Classics series have issued a few of the sessions. This 1998 three-CD set from the Spanish Fresh Sound label is quite definitive. Its thick 84-page booklet tells the story of the label, has the original liner notes, includes latter-day comments from surviving musicians, and even has Downbeat reviews from the 1950s, along with dozens of priceless photos. Most importantly, all of the music from eight complete albums (which were mostly 10-inch LPs) are reissued in full, as well as a couple of previously unreleased numbers from the Jimmy Rowles session. The most exciting performances are on the first disc : a quintet set featuring trombonist Herbie Harper and the talented if short-lived baritonist Bob Gordon, a showcase for Babasin's pioneering jazz cello solos, and altoist Bud Shank's debut as a leader. The latter finds Shank and Shorty Rogers (whose flugelhorn playing on this date was among the first on that instrument in a modern jazz setting) performing six of Shorty's originals, including the memorable "Casa De Luz" and "Lotus Bud." Other sessions are headed by Bob Enevoldsen (who doubles on valve trombone and tenor), trombonist Harper (some of his numbers find Shank on tenor and baritone), obscure baritonist Virgil Gonsalves, and trio outings by pianists Lou Levy and Jimmy Rowles. While West Coast jazz has often been ignored or given superficial treatment in jazz history books and by East Coast critics, the music on this highly recommended set (and the ones to follow) shows just how swinging and rewarding the idiom really was.
Scott Yanow

Source :

The Complete
Nocturne Recordings
Jazz in Hollywood Series
Feb. 27, 1954-Dec. 13, 1954


Cd. 1


1 Jeepers Leapers (McDougald)  5:12
2 Dinah (Lewis, Young, Akst)  2:54
3 Five Brothers (Mulligan)  2:13
4 Herbstone (Harper)  2:58
5 Summertime (Gershwin, Heyward)  3:01
6 Jive at Five (Edison)  4:18



7 Casa de Luz (Rogers)  5:38
8 Lotus (Rogers)  3:22
9 Left Bank (Rogers)  3:25
10 Shank's Pranks (Rogers)  3:17
11 Jasmine (Rogers)  4:13
12 Just a Few (Rogers)  4:17



13 La Rosita (Duport, Stewart)  4:56
14 Skylark (Carmichael, Mercer)  2:30
15 Tangerine (Schertzinger, Mercer)  3:21
16 When You Wish Upon a Star (Harline, Washington)  3:02
17 The Girl Friend (Rodgers, Hart)  3:16
18 It's Easy to Remember (Rodgers, Hart)  2:53
19 Babo-Ling (Babasin)  3:15


Cd. 2


1 Fast Buck (Paich)  3:14
2 My Old Flame (Johnston, Coslow)  3:06
3 Danza to Brasil (Paich)  4:18
4 Lulu's Back in Town (Warren, Dubin)  2:48
5 Bob White (Whatcha Gonna Swing Tonight ?) (Mercer, Haninghen)  2:58
6 Where Did the Gentlemen Go ? (Troup)  2:45
7 Snootie Little Cutie (Troup)  2:23



8 Patty (Hendrickson, Graas)  2:31
9 The New York City Ghost (Young, Lee)  3:39
10 Julie Is Her Name (Troup)  2:52
11 Sanguine (Paich)  3:13
12 Now Playing (Hefti)  3:13
13 6/4 Mambo (Graas)  2:56
14 Bananera (Riddle)  3:28
15 Indian Summer (Herbert)  2:26
16 The Happy Clown (Paich)  3:40



17 Bounce (Searle)  3:17
18 Out of Nowhere (Green)  2:28
19Too Marvelous for Words (Whiting, Mercer)  4:01
20 It Might as Well Be Spring (Rodgers, Hammerstein)  3:56
21 Yesterdays (Kern, Harbach)  3:21
22 Love Me or Leave Me (Kahn, Donaldson)  2:28


Cd. 3


1 The Gentleman Is a Dope (Rogers, Hart)  2:16
2 Serenade in Blue (Warren, Gordon)  2:40
3 Woody 'N You (Rogers, Hart)  3:02
4 Without You (Tres Palabras) (Farrès, Stamper, Buck)  3:32
5 All the Things You Are (Kern, Hammerstein)  3:35
6 Tiny's Other Blues (Levy, Kahn)  2:25
7 Like Someone in Love (VanHeusen, Burke)  2:52
8 Blood Denim (Levy)  3:26



9 Let's Fall in Love [alternate take] (Arlen)  4:08
10 All the Things You Are [previously unissued] (Kern, Hammerstein)  4:21
11 The Day You Came Along (Johnston, Coslow)  3:35
12 So Far So Good (Lawrence, Mundy, White)  3:00
13 I Wouldn't Change You for the World (Jones, Newman) / You Are Too Beautiful (Rodgers)  5:43
14 Serenade in Blue (Warren, Gordon)  3:12
15 Let's Fall in Love (Arlen)  4:28
16 Remember Me (Warren, Dubin) /There Goes My Heart (Silver, Davis)  4:14
17 Oh, Lady Be Good (Gershwin, Gershwin)  4:34
18 Chloe (Moret, Kahn)  4:26
19 Topsy (Durham, Bahle)  5:58


Featuring Bob Enevoldsen, Jimmy Rowles, Shorty Rogers, Al Hendrickson, Bud Shank, Herbie Harper, Harry Babasin, Larry Bunker, Lou Levy, Howard Roberts, Larry Bunker, Marty Paich, Roy Harte, Bob Gordon, Virgil Gonsalves, Buddy Wise, Don Heath, etc...

Recorded at Gold Star Studios & Western Recorders, Hollywood ; between February 27, 1954 & December 13, 1954

(See the complete artwork for all details
about the sessions, musicians, dates, etc.)


Otis Foster said...

Where in the world do you find these gems? This will keep me going for a while. Thanks Mel.

One irrelevant bit of data - Al Haig lived in HArry Babasin's basement for a while during his wanderings.

Jazzrealities said...

Very fine add to your great blog. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to hear these recordings again. (After divorce)

swingingduck said...

This is awesome.
Words can't describe what I feel now.
Thank you Mel.

micky said...

Thank you very much Mel toy are a saint.All the best

jpo said...

wow!! jeez... thnk you.

Kndnsk said...

Incredible! Fantastic post. Many, many thanks.

Orbyt said...

Another epic post, thank you very much Mel!

grumpy said...

Fantastic!Thanks once again.

Descargador said...

¡¡¡ I-M-P-R-E-S-I-O-N-A-N-T-E !!!

Gepetto said...

That's Superb !
Thanks a lot

Andrey said...

Thank you very much!

cvllos said...

What an extraordinare discovery you did! Many thanks for your acute eyes and ears and for posting!

Blue Eyes said...

C'est incroyable, what a post again ! Merci beaucoup Melanchthon !

dputydwg said...

many thanks!

Heervee said...

A Monument in my collection. This is a terrific post! Whaou Thank you Mel

Telecaster Road said...

Thank you so very much!

rowgatien said...

Merci! Je suis votre obligé. Extraordinairement bien fait.

the jazzman said...

Just grand! Thank you.

peris said...

Well, what can I say...
This is another proof that Gems (with capital G) are always hidden in small caves...
Thank you Mel!


the doc said...

nice <-----understated comment!!

neil said...

Oh my! Oh my! Oh my!...

moha said...

what a magic-box! I'll not sleep this night!

thank You, Mel!

jazzfriend said...

Gracias MEL, eres increible, tu eres el responsable de que haya conocido las raices de lo que escuchaba antes de descubrir tu blog.

Saludos desde Chile

ramson said...

vvaa The Complete Nocturne Recordings vol1, 3 cd's.

I have been out from net some time .. and this set is very welcome for me.

Thanks a lot.

Axel.T. said...

Fantastic snap shot of Jazz West Coast with some of the timeless players of that era.
Thank you,

hulaboy said...

Me for some Jimmie Rowles. Thank you, Your Melness!

jazzlover said...

Hei,just here we cam find this precious,you are the man.Thx indeed !

kevin_chiang0829 said...

Hi Melanchthon

The link you post is noyhing there, could you kindly repost it. Thanks.

kevin_chiang0829 said...

Sorry, I can't find the tracks 14~19 in CD1. Could you help me to get it, thanks.

Kovina Kris said...

Yes, I too have found that tracks 14-19 are missing from CD1. I have emailed Mel with a request and perhaps he will be able to re-post the missing tracks if we are lucky.

Melanchthon said...

Sorry for the mistake. Tracks #14-19 from cd. 1 here :

kevin_chiang0829 said...

Got it, thank you very much.

Kovina Kris said...

Thank you very much for posting the missing tracks for CD1 Mel. This document of the tiny Nocturne label is quite interesting and compelling and I'm really glad to get it. Great lineup of musicians as well.

Kostas from Greece said...

Thanks a lot...Many thanks!!!

BlueNote97 said...

Thank you very much.

ralexbop said...

Thanks Mel !!

Pernath said...

You're great, Mel. Thanks

poppachubby said...

Off the chain...

danair said...

Thanks mel nice to have these.

sotise said...

wonderful post, thanks!

Lenny said...

Thanks, Mel
You're definitely a wizard

Philo said...

Any chance this might be posted to an alternate server that has some bandwidth? The RS server is a very limited resource.

bongohito said...

I second that request - please.

tesl424 said...

Please any other host but rapid share - it doesn't work for me and tell me that allocation has been completely filled (or something like that). Thanks a billion for your great shares.

bongohito said...

Download not available

File owner's public traffic exhausted. (da3c7b74)

bongohito said...

Hello? Secord request for an upload to a host that allows d/l?


Tibau said...

Downloads not available

Isaiah Davis said...

dig the blog man, I was wondering about the password?

bongohito said...

mel -

can this be re-upped?


jazzcat1228 said...

Another fantastic share. Thank you, Mel! Did they make further volumes for this series? I'll have to research that. Thank you again.

OldHippieRick said...

How I missed this gem is beyound me but now the links are dead once I found this gem bummer indeed.. Mel any chance you re-up this one

deGallo said...

Marvelous. Thank you!

musician3 said...


Chesco said...

Hello Mel.
If you did not exist would have to invent. You're a genius. Thank you very much, thank you very much for all your work. You're good, you're good and generous. Greetings from Barcelona, Spain.

AmyBRAINS said...

Many thanks, Melanchthon.

Melanchthon said...

Asphaltj said...

Thank you Mel.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank you

ProfessorCalculus said...


Anonymous said...

muy bueno

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much Mel!

Scraps said...

Again, you have so many awesome musics. Thank you.

Frasco said...

I've just discovered this post.... listening the first tracks right now....Many many many thanks Melanchthon!