Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jazz Should Be Live and Available.

Jazz Should Be Live And Available
1, What is going on? Why are we so complacent? Two things I love, jazz and live music, both seem to be under attack and no one is taking any notice. Is jazz a lesser sort of music, that it should not be heard on the BBC. We have two hours on a Saturday evening and one hour at midnight, then at 11.30pm on Sunday and again 11.15pm on Monday. This compares with 24 hours a day pop music on radio 1. Again 24 hours of easy listening on radio 2. Almost 24 hours a day for classical music on radio 3. Jazz! fit it in when no one is listening seems to be the attitude. If you have to be up early on a Monday morning for a hard days work, midnight is not a good time for you to relax with your favourite music. A classical music fan can be driving to work in the early morning, turn on the car radio and get his favourite music and what is more he can hear about new recordings or new young talent. It is almost like ethnic cleansing of jazz music from the UK. What makes it worse is when you read the fantastic amounts of money paid out in wages to celebrity presenters like Johnathon Ross and Chris Evans. This money alone would go towards quite a good jazz coverage.
2, Now to live music, which this government treats in just the same way. The government decided, "any music acoustic or amplified played by one or more persons in a public place" caused a threat to public order under the Licensing Act. Under the Act, in order to present live music in a pub or club, a complicated form has to be completed and a fee paid for an appropriate permit. It means that a person playing a penny whistle accompanied by someone on the spoons would be breaking the law if they did this in a pub without the required licence. It was pointed out by an article in the Jazzwise (written by Stuart Nicholson) that there is no control over a giant plasma television, pumping out wall to wall sport, with the volume up so loud that it is hard to hold a conversation. When a Commons Select Committee, in May 2009, declared music was not automatically to be considered a "disruptive activity" it was only stating the obvious for anyone outside the government. They did add the "draconian law" had discouraged performance "especially among musicians, although there is very little evidence to back up the governments position for music's potential for stirring up violence. There are no statistics available on tenor sax led riots or double bass violence. Ben Bradshaw, the recently appointed secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport remained unmoved. He rejected the committee's findings and declared the matter closed. I am speechless, just thank goodness for an Internet station like UK Jazz Radio for helping me to stay sane each and every day.
The Rep


  1. Well said that man! I cannot comment on the UK scene but jazz does appear to be a bit of a leper on the radio. National radio (our version of Radio 4) plays some good stuff through the night but there are no mainstream stations. 3 cheers for UKJazzradio!

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.