Various Artists – Opus Jazz
This was another one of those book fair “the records are only 10 cents & this looks interesting even though I have never heard of it before, so why not” purchases (actually the same fair as the Pete Seeger instructional LP I posted here previously). I assume it is a local white label promo or test press because I have never seen a white label HMV LP and it came in the fairly unhelpful brown paper sleeve you see in the pic. It is a double LP of a “Live Performance” recorded during Festival Week at the War Memorial Hall, New Plymouth, 18th February, 1963. I can’t tell if the whole thing is a live recording of a history of jazz presentation or if the presentation is augmented by some live recordings of local jazz artists. It is equal parts spoken word & music as the narrator takes you through the history of jazz from country blues (Sonny Terry) through to modern jazz (Festival Progressive Band). Some of the familiar people featured are Blue Lou Barker, Leonard Bernstein & Ken Nordine, as well as some local New Zealand jazz musicians of the time, who I have never heard of. Overall a pretty odd artifact that I have not been able to find out more about.