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   On Internet since 1999

The Birka Jazz Archive
Records we have bought and sold over the years - the rare and the beautiful!

Please note!
Birka Jazz record store is closed but Birka Jazz Archive is still available. Scroll down and use the links to browse this comprehensive archive of rare jazz album covers


The pioneers of album cover design

David Stone Martin

The photographic covers

Searching for a modern jazz identity

BLUE NOTE  1500 series
Defining the hard bop style

BLUE NOTE  4000 series
Masterpieces of Reid Miles

Images of East Coast jazz

Street cred with Thelonious Monk

Moods of Chet and Claxton

Cool West Coast, great Sound

Masterworks by Charlie Parker

Small label, big Bird sound

Bold and striking albums

The classic drummer logo label

The beautiful design of Burt Goldblatt

Artist-operated jazz label with Mingus & Roach

Legendary, early 1960s LPs

Free jazz and silk screened covers

Edgy and experimental

The high spirit of Jim Flora

VARIOUS US labels (1)
ABC-Paramount, Aladdin, Argo, Capitol, Coral, Dawn, Decca,
and more

VARIOUS US labels (2)
Epic, Fantasy, HiFi, Imperial, Jazzland, Jazz West, Jubilee, Mercury, Mode, and more

VARIOUS US labels (3)
Roost, Signal, Storyville, Tampa, Transition, United Artists, Vee Jay, and more


The EP era and Metronome Records in 1950s

The LPs in the 1950s, and Swedish jazz abroad

Changing times in the 1960s

New energy to Swedish jazz in the 1970s

Montmartre, Debut Records and the heydays in Danish jazz

Krog and Garbarek, greats in Norwegian jazz

Plenty of merged styles in Finnish jazz

Americans in Paris, force in French jazz

Esquire and Tempo, classic labels in British jazz

Jazz labels with strong identity

Rare Italian jazz covers

From Diamonds to ICP in
Dutch jazz

Unique series of Polish jazz on Muza

Jazz labels around the world

EP album 1962 (Cetra) with Enrico Rava


Some notes
on Italian jazz and record labels

In spite of the anti-American cultural policies of the fascist regime, jazz was virtually nonexistent in Italy until after World War II. Althought were was a Hot Club in Rome in 1938, and american jazz remained popular. Ironically, Romano Mussolini, the son of the dictator Benito Mussolini, was a great jazz fan and then led a successful career as a professional bop pianist in the 1950s.

After the war, jazz took off in Italy. Above a picture from Hot Club in Rome in 1947...

(to follow with more details when available)


RCA ITALIANA was founded in Rome in the early 1950s as a subsidiary label of RCA Victor. It become a major label, and one of the most important in Italy. Beside popular music and classical, the label recorded jazz, from early 1960s in their new studio on Via Tiburtina.


HORO RECORDS was founded in 1972 by Italian jazz producer Aldo Sinesio. Into 1979 the company issued around 70 LPs. Best known is the "Jazz a Confronto" series which came out in 35 LPs.



BLACK SAINT was established in 1975. SOUL NOTE, a sister label, came four years later. The owner since 1977 is Giovanni Bonandrini, and the company´s base is in Tribiano. Both labels are specialized in avant garde jazz. Around 75 LPs were issued.



Horo Records Listing
Amarcord Records

Jazz from Italy

 Romano Mussolini Trio   Label: RCA Italiana A72V-001   7" EP 1956


    Gianfranco Intra Quartetto (10" LP 1955 - Durium msA 534), and
Duo by Gianfranco and Enrico Intra (EP 1957 - HMV 7E MQ31)

    Lee Konitz with Hans Koller, Lars Gullin a.o., vol. 1 and 2 (Carisch LCA 29010 and 29011).
EPs from 1956.

 The Gerry Mulligan Sextet   Label: Mercury EP 6502   Italian 7" EP 1950s
 Design: G. Crepax

 Enrico Intra Trio   Label: HMV 7E-MQ19   7" EP 1957

    Lilian Terry with Romano Mussolini and Nunzio Rotondo (LP 1957 - RCA Italiana LPM 10010),
and Julia De Palma In Jazz (EP 1958 - Columbia SEMQ 148)

    Welcome Mr. Swing by Enrico Intra (10" LP 1958 - Liberty I 8509),
and Jazzin´ with Franco Cerri (EP 1958 - Fox EPF 114)

 Claude Williamson in Italy   Label: Broadway B 3001   10" LP 1958

 Amando Trovajoli: Il Jazz in Italia   Label: RCA Italiana EPA 10049-1   7" EP 1959

 Amando Trovajoli: Jazz Piano   Label: RCA Italiana PLM-10049   12" LP 1959

 Chet Baker Sextet å Quartet   Label: Music LPM 2094   12" LP 1959

 Chet Baker: Angel Eyes   Label: Celson LPQ 25005   12" LP 1959

Lars Gullin with Gil Cuppini  Gil Cuppini featuring Lars Gullin: Assi in Vacanza   Label: Astraphon Y. 1785   7" EP 1959

 Gil Cuppini Quintet with Lars Gullin   Label: Hollywood he 3003   7" EP 1959

 Gil Cuppini Quintet   Label: Hollywood HLP 4000   12" LP 1959

 The Artistry of Nunzio Rotondo   Label: Music EPM 20104   7" EP 1959

    Basso-Valdambrini Octet featuring Lars Gullin: New Sound from Italy
Label: Jolly LPJ 5007   12" LP 1959

    Jazz in Italia with Basso-Valdambrini, Lars Gullin, Franco Cerri, Romano Mussolini a.o.
Label: RCA 60000-2.   12" LP 1960

    EPs from 1959 and 1960: New Jazz Society (RCA Victor PME 30-484), and
La Notte, soundtrack by Giorgio Gaslini Quartet (HMV 7eMQ 189)

    LPs from 1959 and 1960: Basso-Valdambrini Quintet (Music LPM 2079), and
Walking in the Night by Basso-Valdambrini (RCA PML 10089)

    EPs from 1960 in the series Jazz in Italy:
Franco Mondini (Cetra EPD36) and Sergio Fanni (Cetra EPD 35)

 Amando Trovajoli: The Beat Generation   Label: RCA Victor PML 10300   12" LP 1960

 Franco Cerri Quartet   Label: Columbia SEMQ 153   12" LP 1960

 Franco Cerri and his European Jazz Stars   Label: Columbia QPX 8010   12" LP 1960

 Helen Merrill: Parole e Musica   Label: RCA LPM-10105   12" LP 1960

 Amedeo Tommasi Trio: Zamboni 22   Label: Adventure 300-01 12" LP 1960

 Modern Jazz Gang: Miles Before and After   Label: Adventure LM300/03   12" LP 1960
 Design: Umberto Sanfucci

 Soundtrack with Chet Baker   Label: RCA Camden CMS 30-104   12" LP 1960

 Piero Piccioni: New Sound Jazz   Label: Cinevox CJ01   12" LP 1960

 Quintetto Basso-Valdambrini   Label: Fonit EP 4007   7" EP 1961

 Gil Cuppini: Confirmation / Solar   Label: Meazzi ME03028   7" EP 1961

    International Jazz Meeting with Franco Cerri, Barney Wilen a.o. (Columbia QPX 8018), and
Jazz allo Studio 7 by Romano Mussolini (Ricordi MRJ 8002). LPs from 1961 and 1962

 Chet Baker: Chet is back!   Label: RCA Victor 10307   12" LP 1962   Photo: Clauco Cortini

 Rene Thomas - Bobby Jaspar Quintet   Label: RCA Victor 10324   12" LP 1962

 G. Basso - O. Valdambrini: Jazz in Italy 1962   Label: RCA Victor PML-10326   12" LP 1962

 Renato Sellani: Im Pianoforte per due Innamorati   Label: Juke Box JLP330012   12" LP 1963

 Eraldo Volonte: My Point of View   Label: Cicala 7069   12" LP 1963

    Lilian Terry (EP 1963 - CGD E6107), and
A Jazz Portrait of Franco Ambrosetti (LP 1965 - Durium MSA 77098)

 Don Cherry: Togetherness   Label: Durium ms A 77127   12" LP 1965

 Piero Umiliani: Big Band Blues   Label: Omicrom LPM 007A   12" LP 1966

 Basso-Valdambrini Sextet: Exciting 6   Label: GTA Records 603   12" LP 1966

 Eraldo Volonte: Jazz (Now) in Italy   Label: Equipe EQLP1001   12" LP 1966

 L. Konitz - M. Solal: European Episode   Label: Campi Records 12002  12" LP 1968

 L. Konitz - M. Solal: Impressive Rome   Label: Campi Records 12003  12" LP 1968

 Stereokonitz   Label: RCA OLS 2   12" LP 1968   Design: Studio Zoom

 Art Farmer - Phil Woods: What Happens?   Label: Campi SJG 12001   12" LP 1968

 Barney Kessel: Reflections in Rome   Label: RCA Victor LISP 34012   12" LP 1969

 Barney Kessel: Kessel´s Kit   Label: RCA Victor LISP 34013   12" LP 1969

Cicci Santucci - Enzo Scoppa: Looking Around   Label: Fly Records AS 55   12" LP 1971

 Giorgio Gaslini Soundtrack   Label: Cinevox MDF 33/51   12" LP 1971

Cicci Santucci - Enzo Scoppa: On the Underground Road   Label: Dire 10   12" LP 1972

 Mario Schiano: Sud   Label: TOMorrow STOM 2001   12" LP 1973

 Mario Schiano con Giorgio Gaslini   Label: Horo HLL 101-08   12" LP 1974
 Design: Giorgio Spadanuda

 Massimo Urbani: Jazz a Confronto 13   Label: Horo HLL 101-13   12" LP 1974

 Romano Mussolini: Mirage   Label: PDU PldA 6018   12" LP 1974

 Dusko Goykovich: Slavic Mood   Label: Vista TPL1-115   12" LP 1974

 Enrico Rava: Jazz a Confronto 14   Label: Horo HLL 101-14   12" LP 1974

 Spirale featuring Gaetano Delfini and Giancarlo Maurino   Label: King Universal NLP 112  
Issue: 12" LP 1974

 Mario Rusca: Reaction   Label: Dynia World 006   12" LP 1974

 Gianni Basso Quartet: Hit   Label: Carosello CLE 21016   12" LP 1975

 Lee Konitz: Jazz a Confronto 32   Label: Horo HLL 101-32   12" LP 1976
 Design: Sandro Lodolo

 Don Cherry: Brown Rice   Label: EMI 3C 064-18107   12" LP 1978
 Design: Moki Cherry

 Archie Shepp: The Tradition   Label: Horo HDP 13-14   12" LP 1978
 Design: Maria Teresa Tannozzini  Cover art: Sandro Lodolo

 Lee Konitz - Martial Solal: Duplicity   Label: Horo HDP 17-18   12" LP 1978
 Design: Tommaso Rossini

 Sun Ra: Other Voices, Other Blues   Label: Horo HDP 23-24   12" LP 1978
 Design: Maria Teresa Tannozzini  Cover art: Sandro Lodolo

 Lester Bowie: African Children   Label: Horo HDP 29-30   12" LP 1978
 Design: Maria Teresa Tannozzini

 Gil Evans: Parabola   Label: Horo HDP 31-32   12" LP 1978