The BBC needs a jazz blogger

Jazz crops up in all sorts of places on the BBC. It’s great quality, but it’s unpredictable. I’m generally considered very news-hound-dog diligent, but even I simply can’t keep up with all the different places the output comes from.You have eyes in the back of your head to find it.

The Jazz Services report on Jazz in the media says coverage is “inadequate.” In the BBC’s case that ain’t the problem. It’s those silos, those empires, telling arses from elbows.

-Several people have been telling me how good Kenneth Clarke’s lunchtime series is.

-Others have been raving about a BBC 4 documentary last Friday on the significance of 1959 in jazz.

-There are good radio programmes from Scotland and Northern Ireland available on line.

-I caught an old Omnibus show from 1977 last night on BBC4 where Andre Previn was interviewing the wonderful Oscar Peterson when he was still in good health and playing like 2-3 pianists.

Alyn Shipton talked to me a couple of weeks ago while walking his dog about the programmes he has coming up on his radio show….

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-At an ungodly hour of Monday morning, Claire Martin interviews people on Radio 3 JAzz Line-up….

-There’s all sorts of programmes on Radio 2

Peggy Sutton’s ears as producer of Jazz on 3 are as good as anyone’s in British music (happy honeymoon!)

It’s all coming through parallel chanels. Nowhere, NOWHERE is it collated for the viewer/listener. User-friendly? It’s Balkanization, and it’s user-hostile!

Jazz Services keeps a good page on the radio output, but it hasn’t been updated eg for the change in broadcastr time for Jazz Line-Up.

There is a solution. The BBC needs a jazz blogger inside the organisation to collate this stuff in real-time and keep people informed. I suggested it to a very senior BBC personage, whose anonymity I am sworn to protect, who gave this response:

“Blogger would be a good idea – and I can’t believe there isn’t someone at the beeb who’d do it.”

I can suggest not one but two names to anyone who has the power to do anything. E-mail me.

Categories: miscellaneous

3 replies »

  1. As an ex-BBC broadcaster, I think a blog would be an excellent idea, but I do feel that – in general – jazz is treated as a matter of peripheral interest and bright new initiatives are slow to appear. The BBC has always kept phenomenal statistics to prove that jazz music receives equal representation as other ‘lively arts’ and – to be fair – jazz (however much we love it!) is a minority interest. It probably needs an initiative from another source – akin to the deeply lamented ‘theJazz’ station – to source the same sort of cultural turnaround for our music as ‘Classic FM’ did for its own (once highly minority) genre. At present, it seems to me, we are continuing to bang our heads against the same media brick walls as we were twenty years ago; a sorry state of affairs when – as this excellent site so conclusively proves – there’s more going on in jazz music just now (including a flourishing youth-following) than there has ever been since the l950s.

    Digby Fairweather.

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