Jazz Noire: Darktown Sleaze From The Mean Streets Of 1940s LA

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 2 Disc
Release date: 22 Aug 2011


"Puts you in that South Central sepia club mood, hanging with the hipsters, staring down the squares."  4/5 MOJO

"As a soundtrack to the black-and-white movie era, this two-CD, 50-track anthology also documents a golden age of black popular music...Welcome to retro Valhalla."  5/5  LONDON EVENING STANDARD

"Reverberates like the soundtrack to a Raymond Chandler novel."  RECORD COLLECTOR


CAT No: FVDD121UPC TEXT: 5055311001210

Full details

Jazz Noire is your soundtrack to the mean streets of Los Angeles in the post-war 1940s. Bookended by classic film noir themes of the period, this selection presents studio recordings by the era’s most famous musicians, many of whom were based in, or were habitués of the bars and theatres of The City Of Angels. Jazz Noire conjures up the jazz clubs and blues joints of Little Harlem in South Central Avenue, the turf of many a gangster or petty hood…and the private eyes or LAPD officers on their trail.

Jazz Noire will appeal to fans of the recently-launched video game L.A. Noire. Set in Los Angeles in 1947, and evoking the classic film noir style of the period, the game requires the player to assume the role of a LAPD officer to investigate crimes. Jazz Noire’s cocktail of Jazz and R&B provides the perfect soundtrack to this world…or the coolest way to chill out in the wee small hours after a lengthy session of crime-fighting on your TV!For music-lovers, Jazz Noire constitutes a fascinating survey of the evolving jazz scene in a period when big band swing was losing ground to smaller jazz combos and the bebop style was developing. It was also the time when what is now known as rhythm & blues was in its infancy.

Many of the finest performers of the era are showcased here on studio recordings chosen both for their quality and their ability to evoke the dramatic mood of classic film noir.The cover and booklet text of Jazz Noire have been carefully designed to pay homage to the hard-boiled, lurid detective fiction of the period, the perfect packaging for a compilation which will appeal both to L.A. Noire devotees and also to those looking for an atmospheric survey of the immediate post-war jazz and R&B scene.



  1. Theme from “The Killers” (1946) ((Miklos Rozsa))
  2. Harlem Nocturne (Johnny Otis, His Drums & His Orchestra)
  3. I’m Just A Lucky So-And-So (Ella Fitzgerald)
  4. If I Ever Find You, Baby (Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra)
  5. Don’t Explain (Billie Holiday)
  6. Blues In My Shower (King Cole Trio)
  7. Skid Row Blues (Jimmy Witherspoon with Jay McShann & His Orchestra)
  8. You Satisfy (Dinah Washington with Dave Young & His Orchestra)
  9. Call It Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker & His Guitar)
  10. This Subdues My Passion (Baron Mingus & His Octet)
  11. No Good Man (Billie Holiday)
  12. Leary Blues (Percy Mayfield with Monroe Tucker & His Orchestra)
  13. Ella Johnson with Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra (You Can’t Tell Who’s Lovin’ Who)
  14. Solitude (Leo Parker’s All Stars)
  15. Good Dues Blues (Alice Roberts with Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra)
  16. Serves Me Right (Arthur Prysock with Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra)
  17. What Ev’ry Woman Knows (Etta Jones with Luther Henderson & His Orchestra)
  18. Money Hustlin’ Woman (Amos Milburn)
  19. Blue And Sentimental (Helen Humes with Buck Clayton & His Orchestra)
  20. All The Things You Are (Dizzy Gillespie Sextet)
  21. Weird Nightmare (Claude Trenier with Charles Mingus Sextette)
  22. Gone Again (Wini Brown with Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra)
  23. Jelly Jelly (Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra)
  24. ’Round About Midnight (Thelonious Monk Quintet)
  25. Theme from “Double Indemnity” (1944) ((Miklos Rozsa))


  1. Theme from “High Sierra” (1941) ((Adolph Deutsch))
  2. Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good To You? (King Cole Trio)
  3. Pacific Coast Blues (Dinah Washington with Lucky Thompson’s All Stars)
  4. How High The Moon (Charles Brown Trio)
  5. Far Cry (Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra)
  6. Marijuana (Julia Lee)
  7. Why’d You Do It, Baby? (Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five)
  8. Interlude (Sarah Vaughan with Dizzy Gillespie & His Orchestra)
  9. No Eyes Blues (Lester Young & His Sextet)
  10. Dark Shadows (Charlie Parker Quartet feat. Earl Coleman)
  11. Billie's Blues (Billie Holiday with Eddie Heywood & His Trio)
  12. I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone (Arthur Prysock with Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra)
  13. Lover Man (Charlie Parker)
  14. Prisoner Of Love (Billy Eckstine & His Orchestra)
  15. Since I Fell For You (Ella Johnson with Buddy Johnson & His Orchestra)
  16. San Francisco Fan (Cab Calloway & His Orchestra)
  17. Midnight Sun (Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra)
  18. I Sold My Heart To The Junkman (Etta Jones with JC Heard & His Orchestra)
  19. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) (Al Hibbler with Harry Carney's All-Stars)
  20. Good Morning Heartache (Billie Holiday)
  21. Goofin' Off (Illinois Jacquet & His All Stars)
  22. Whiskey And Jelly-Roll Blues (Wynonie "Mr Blues" Harris & His All-Stars)
  23. Fine And Mellow (Nellie Lutcher & Her Rhythm)
  24. LA Blues (Crown Prince Waterford)
  25. Theme from "Cry Of The City" (1948) ((Alfred Newman))