Monday, October 21, 2013



Pacific Jazz entered the pre-recorded retail tape market in the mid 1950s.  Dick Bock selected nine tracks from the first two 10” LPs featuring Laurindo Almeida and Bud Shank with Harry Babasin and Roy Harte.  Jazztape 4006 was a five inch reel, 7.5 ips dual track tape.  

Jazztape released selections from other companies.  Jazztape 4001 offered Joe Howard’s The Golden Sound of Joe Howard from King LP 661. Jazztape 4002 featured selections from two Starlite LPs of The Hi-Lo’s, ST-6004 and ST-6005.  Jazztape 4003 offered traditional jazz selections featuring Pete Daily and Johnny Lucas from Jazz Man masters. Jazztape 4004 contained selections from Frank Comstock’s Starlite LP and Jazztape 4005 offered George Lewis recordings from the Jazz Man / Tempo vaults. Jazztape 4007 contained Bob Keene’s Dancing On The Ceiling from Gene Norman’s Whippet LP 701.

THEME magazine published by A. James Valentine was one of the first promoters of tape technology and pre-recorded tapes.  The 1955 issue of THEME, Volume 2, Number 4, carried an exclusive section devoted to a comprehensive listing of pre-recorded tapes on the market.

The first sustained program of pre-recorded tape releases on Pacific Jazz / World Pacific used a WPTC prefix to a numbering system that began with WPTC-1001.  The tape release numbers did not correspond to an identical release on vinyl. Dick Bock selected AMPEX to produce and market the tapes.  Artists selected for this release series included: The Mastersounds, The Chico Hamilton Quintet, The Buddy Bregman Big Band, a drumming anthology - MORE DRUMS ON FIRE, The Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Lambert-Hendricks-Ross, Bud Shank & Laurindo Almeida, The Gil Evans Orchestra, Les McCann Ltd., The Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Bud Shank & Clare Fischer and The Folkswingers (Glenn Campbell).  Tapes in this series were 4 track, 7.5 IPS in stereo.

Two additional tape manufacturers and distributors were selected by Dick Bock to market releases in the World Pacific line, Greentree Electronics division of Bell & Howell and Music Tapes, Inc. 

Music Tapes, Inc. used a WPS prefix for their releases.

Greentree Electronics used a STWP release prefix and most of the releases in this series mirrored the vinyl release number on World Pacific vinyl releases.

The AMPEX tape catalogue shown below from 1962 lists ten of the original pre-recorded tape releases that were in the first series of releases in this medium by Pacific Jazz / World Pacific.

The pre-recorded tape market was a niche market.  Pacific Jazz / World Pacific offered selections from the jazz, folk and world music library designed to appeal to this specialist collector.  Many of Ravi Shankar’s albums were available on pre-recorded tape.  The tapes examined here represent a sampling of the entire output of PJ/WP on pre-recorded tape.

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