"Jazz 606 on BBC 2 many years ago now, was magnificently
the non jazz listener and magnificently unpopular with the jazz
wrote Craig Duncan, producer of the forthcoming BJ documentary,
in an e-mail
to the BJ Webzine last year. "How," he asked, "can we make a
will please everyone? And does Jazz transpose well on TV?"
"I side with the misery bastards who felt 666 trivialised
genre," wrote BJ.
"It was completely spontaneous and everyone genuinely had a
Farkin yonks ago.
I woz a sprout
Someone had made a space available somewhere and invited some
geezers and there they all were sitting around with their
The Basie band, Bill and his boys, some other luminaries, I
Hendricks and Ross, don't remember all the names but - like I
said - I
was naught but a sprocketling.
Everyone was loose - jackets off, hats on, bottles out.
And they just played.
No audience that I remember - just like a rehearsal.
Everyone played and had fun and the cameras just cruised
in and out. It worked.
Anyone else remember?
Had the same iconic document status as "Jazz On A Summer's
- no narration or explanation - just proper players doing wot
For some reason I side with the misery bastards who felt
the genre. Interludes like the poetry and The Bohemian married
with 'the Word' type 'yoof tv' format. Both positive styles
other out. To present such a bastard marriage on BBC2 was the
I see before me (I am Mystic Smeg) - a concert hall. But
only players upon it busting veins and passion pouring all
stage. I don't see pompous self righteous competent curators (of
the scene is riddled). I see close ups of sweat, finger's
brows. The agony, the ecstacy. Well - that's 1' 30" sorted....
musings of filming in several regional clubs is sound. But
beware the false
presentation. The false mug shot of the embarrassed 'pretending
to be cool'
punter. The height of absurdity -close up of bird stuffing her
Julian Joseph being 'seriously sensitive.' It was a basement
room wiv people
eating - that ain't 'art' - that's the food industry. For
example - the
finale of 666 with Sumara, chairs pushed back. Come on, Andy -
not thinking. It came across like an outtake from some spazzy
movie. How we laughed. It was staged. Artificial. Untruthful.
be truthful. It was truthfully shite.
The other problem, apart from image, is sound.
techs trained at the BBC are specialists in broadcast sound. We
popular music has developed stylistically - it's to placate
The double bass (which you could very roughly say is the
pop and jazz) has an empherial sound. Not at all liked by
It is rare that the correct tonality twixt ride cymbal (for pop
hi-hat) and double bass is captured on tv - let alone radio.
not take kindly to compression. With digital broadcasting, I'm
problem will disappear.
I've just realised that I have let all that stuff you
- without so much as attempting to stick up for Jazz 606. I
the Samara thing it was a bit embarrassing - but it was actually
spontaneous and everyone genuinely had a ball. I suspect you
it with a few jazz smug something's in order to laugh so
bitterly at what
is NOT music but entertainment. Jazz 606 was split between good
lots of entertainment (not MY entertainment by the way - we were
a programme for the many, not the few).
The money that supports these gigs is from the wallets or
Even the Vortex charge an arm and a leg for a la-de-da spot of
munch their way through your solos only to spurt out pasta when
cue to clap. You can't bite the hand that feeds you. I have
my grievances plain to you when I have come to see you play and
seems interested (certain Soho eatery springs to mind) in
their pizzas it seems to me.
When we tried to find a realistic place where music like this
We were always directed to restaurants. So although you say Jazz
not truthful and not art but reflective of the food industry -
it was to
the food industry that we had to find bands like yours.
Both me and Andy worked damn hard to make as good a programme
could. We were up against a lot of snobbery, shitty attitudes
(not to mention bitching) from Jazz fans - and as two dedicated
makers with a fondness for music - I'd wouldn't be surprised if
touch that sort of thing with a barge pole again. You'll all
have to make
do with Jools Holland and sycophantic shite like that.
Jazz does not get the airing on TV it's art deserves probably
the stereotype of Jazz is actually frighteningly accurate. If
a series of jazz greats to appear together on the telly you have
until their dead, their management have cleared the peculiar
sub-paras and most people have heard of them but never heard a
The 'alleged' people saying 'nice' are the ones refusing to
the same stage as Nitin Sawney or Orquestra Mahatma.
Anyway - you know I love you and I love the tunes - but a line
about what was good about 606 would not be undeserved or I'll
have to get
out my fisticuffs and picket your front door. "No salesmen or