NEWS: Jazz 625 returns – for one night only

Charlie Watts with Scott Hamilton and Dave Green in a publicity shot for Jazz 625

Peter Bacon reports:

A one-off TV show is not really any compensation for the jazz radio time that the Beeb is cutting, but hey, we jazz fans try to look on the bright side. Here is the press release:

“In the first live BBC black and white TV programme since the 1970s, BBC Four revives the iconic 1960’s BBC show Jazz 625 for one night only. Broadcasting live from Cheltenham during the Jazz Festival, the special show will feature a house band – led by pianist Robert Mitchell – with special guests including Joshua Redman, Jean Toussaint, Shirley Tetteh, Jacqui Dankworth and Gregory Porter.

“There’s also an exclusive recorded performance from legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, showing off his jazz-chops in a quartet with saxophonist Scott Hamilton.” (and Dave Green and Steve Brown)

The release quotes Watts: “That’s one of the nice things about Jazz 625, they had all the best guys on there… In those days, they had real stars and distinctive players… That was one of things I loved about those guys…they just looked so great when they played.”

Presented by Andi Oliver the one-off will include interviews and features with some of those who appeared and worked on the original Jazz 625 as well as those who have been influenced by the series and the vintage jazz era it captured.

Dr Nicolas Pillai (Birmingham City University), the programme’s research consultant, told LondonJazz News: “Last year my university mounted a small-scale studio reconstruction of Jazz 625 as part of my project Jazz on BBC-TV 1960-1969, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. So it’s a dream come true to do this again on a larger scale with BBC4 and to honour the achievements of 1960s production crews led by visionary producer Terry Henebery.”

Jazz 625: For One Night Only will be broadcast live on BBC Four at 9pm on Friday 3 May and there will be comprehensive coverage of Cheltenham Jazz Festival on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music. The live show is sold out. 

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