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Saturday, June 16, 2012



This third and final examination of EP covers once again demonstrates the inexhaustible creativity of William Claxton in designing covers for Pacific Jazz. Pacific Jazz ended its domestic EP release series with EP4-45, an extended play sampling of tracks issued on the Chico Hamilton Quintet’s second LP.  License agreements with French and English Vogue included EP releases and in most cases those releases utilized cover artwork and design by William Claxton.  Agreements were also in place with ton-treu in Germany, Karusell and Artist in Sweden, Music in Italy and Interdisc covering additional European countries.

The president of California Record Distributors, Jack Lewerke, would leave his position there in 1960 to set up Interdisc in Europe where the EP format was a popular and economical choice for jazz fans.  Interdisc forged agreements with all major U.S. jazz labels to release selections as EPs for the European market.  Selections from the Pacific Jazz / World Pacific catalogue would continue to be released in Europe as EPs, and many would adopt Claxton designs and photos that had been used on initial U.S. LP releases.

All EP covers and liner notes © EMI Capitol Music

This photo taken by William Claxton at the Stockton concert was used as the cover for the first 12” Pacific Jazz LP, PJ-1201.

This Claxton photo was also used on the cover of PJLP-20 (10” LP) and PJ-1213 (12” LP).

This cover uses elements that Claxton designed for the 12” LP release of PJ-1202, an artful assortment of photos, a stem rose, and mixed typefaces all secured by pushpins on a board that Claxton photographed. The back liner area of PJ-1202 used the same layout with elements secured by pushpins and in addition to William Claxton’s card a pushpin secured a card with the name of Miss Irene Paula Trivas who contributed to the conception for the artwork. 

The pennant waving co-ed on the cover was drawn by Colleen Lewis, an artist friend of Claxton’s.  The same design was used for the 12” LP release, PJ-1203.

The same cover with a pink hue.

The same cover as EP4-30, this time in a pink hue.

This photo was used on the 12” LP release, PJ-1205 where the reverse side used the same vantage point for the photo, taken at nighttime, a Claxton innovation. 

Same photo showing the Hollywood Freeway and The Hollywood Bowl.

The same photo in a magenta hue.

A Claxton photo from the Jack Montrose recording session, orange hue. 

Same photo, black & white.

This photo was used for the 12” LP release as well, PJ-1209.

A formal Claxton portrait of the original Chico Hamilton Quintet.

Another artist friend of Claxton’s, Pauline Annon, provided the sketch of the ubiquitous Parisian landmark, a relic of former times.

The same sketch, sans the tricolor bands.

Claxton took several portraits of Herman band mates Kamuca and Touff and used this variation for the EP cover.

Pauline Annon provided the portrait of Bud Shank for the cover of the 12” LP, PJ-1215, and the same layout for the EP cover.

This same cover was used for the 12” LP, PJ-1216, part of the West Coast Artist series.

All EP covers and liner notes © EMI Capitol Music

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