Re: Marc is right - contemporary jazz needs better audience appeal
by Alex Revell
In the 60s or late 50s the BBC decided to run a series of programmes on jazz to bring it into wider public view. The plan was to show how jazz developed over time. My then band leader, a very talented trumpet player and arranger, whose band played a mixture of Oliver, Morton, Bix, pop tunes of the twenties, and anything we thought grist to the mill, attended a policy meeting to discuss the programmes. At the meeting it was decided that the first programme would feature a very modern free form type of jazz group. My band leader suggested that it might be better if the older type of jazz was the subject of the first programme, being more readily understandable by the general public, new to jazz. He pointed out that this would allow them to perhaps better understand the more modern jazz when it was played later in the run of programmes. The leader of the modern jazz group objected to this, saying that if the public understood what he was doing, then he had failed in his object.