SHOCK NEWS

Well, my good friends, I’m sure you will have heard of the impending closure of our first national 24-hour jazz station ‘theJazz’ which began just over a year ago and started presenter-led shows last Easter. Since ‘theJazz’ began it has quickly accrued almost half a million listeners nationally – including 100,000 in London and 50,000 under the age of fifteen. A great figure for a newly-formed DAB-only station (mind you, you can also get it through Sky, Cable and Computer as many of you do already!). And its success met with universal approval as an innovatory triumph for DAB radio all over the national press.

The story’s this!  ‘theJazz’ was started by a radio visionary Ralph Bernard (who also brought ‘Classic FM’ – Britain’s most successful radio station – to the airwaves, and pioneered digital radio) Bernard was the Chairman of G-Cap – the powerful corporation which controls Classic FM and a number of other stations. However recently it was found that G-Cap was losing money and shareholders inthe City said ‘Shut everything down that isn’t making a profit NOW!’. An instruction which blew asunder Bernard’s commitment to the four-year period his G-Cap Board had already granted him to implant ‘theJazz’ securely in radio’s cultural spectrum. “After all” they had said wisely ” – he did it for Classical music. He can do it for jazz too. Wait a while and the money will roll in!”

Name and shame however. Bernard was deposed by one of his former employees Fru Hazlitt. She was instructed by her shareholders to put a red pen through every station which wasn’t making money for G-Cap (you might like to know that some of the less-successful ones were ‘Life”Core and I gather ‘Disney’! – which very few people DID listen to!). Admittedly this was an unenviable and difficult job for Hazlitt (her job, too, was – and presumably still is – ‘hanging by a thread’). But she has been widely criticized for ‘negative thinking’ in view of the fact that her employers, G-Cap, pioneered digital radio in the first place and its future is secure. However, for the sake of immediate savings,  ‘theJazz’ – with its burgeoning listenership and thoroughly tested artistic policies – went under Hazlitt’s red pen too; a shameful example of ’emergency tactics’ and a sad indicator of how a great art-form can be trodden underfoot by someone without either the need, commitment or knowledge of what she – or he – is doing, to try a call a halt to a bad move as well as  a piece of thoroughly short-sighted financial thinking.

 This disgraceful situation I was happy to describe on the ‘Today’ programme, the day after the announcement, as a ‘cultural rape’. Which is no overstatement! Our music has waited almost one hundred years for national representation in Britain. And no-one who knows about our jazz scene in Britain can deny the charge. Jazz is taught inevery major music college, hundreds of emergent musicians (as wellas weathered respected veterans) are playing it to old and new generations of listeners, just as they’ve done for generations now.

Then of course there’s the long-aggravating sore of the paucity of jazz on national airwaves where every tired rock record is played on a couple of hundred stations a couple of hundred times a day,  in a form of (inadvertent) cultural censorship; unique so far as I can see, or hear – to Britain!

A story! A few weeks ago – on theJazz’s ‘Jazz Jury’ – we played a new record by a young singer. She’d recorded it at home and put it on ‘MySpace’; the good people at ‘theJazz’ downloaded it, and it was played on national radio the same day. Tenorist Derek Nash – one of our on-the-air jurors – pointed out that this would have been an artistic impossibility a year ago. And how right he was. Why SHOULD every talentless Indie rock band get the kind of coverage serious arists like jazz musicians and singers could only dream of, since radio was born?

But heigh-ho! Let’s not spend time pondering – indeed, banging on – about the longterm cultural injustices that have been meted out to jazz in Britain. There’s no point, and more immediate work to do. So what CAN we do? Well, ‘theJazz’ doesn’t HAVE to go under. It’s for sale, can be bought and kept on the air, and this is most likely to happen within the powerful corridors of the Radio industry. Let’s hope and pray! But don’t just do that! Write to your MP or the Minister for Culture! TALK about this grievous – if not irretrievable – situation! Above all, keep the faith. If jazz can survive the Beatles it can survive anything. The music won’t die. But it has taken a vicious and unwarranted assault from people who know nothing of us. And we don’t deserve it. Your thoughts, good friends?

51 thoughts on “SHOCK NEWS”

  1. Dear Digby. Every day I’m searching for some response from your people to this dreadful decision to close theJazz.
    I will send your Blog to my MP Mrs Lang in Loughton and i will find name and address for the Minister of culture. I can’t write a better letter.

    I would like to bitch about this awful Ms Fru Hazlitt but theJazz Blog has censored the word ‘ bitching’ so I poured my heart out to Mike Chadwick. No news from him yet. I hope he is ok and will find another slot.

    I’m not rich but I will do my best. Keep us posted on your website.

    Yours in Jazz.
    Trudi

  2. DEar Digby
    You have given me great pleasure over the (many)years on disc,airwaves and live (we met a couple of times in York) and I respect absolutely what you say about the closure of the Jazz ( it was a rotten name!) and enjoyed much of what you and Cambell Burnup said and played but the trouble withthe station was that much of what was broadcast was not what I ( perhaps you as well ) and the missing 1000s think is jazz. The tragedy is that so many have been introduced to cruise liner singing and bands without an iota of ideas,improvisation, feeling, ability to swing or sense of rhythm – the fundamentals of jazz. I listened to your and Burnup’s programmes as much as i could but became more infuriated and depressed by dross or endless repeats of “Take 5” etc. At the moment I’m listening to Radio 365 on broadband. Now that’s jazz!!

  3. Here is a copy of an e-mail that I sent to Fru Hazlitt with a copy to Thejazz.

    I’m shocked at the decision to close Thejazz. This station started from nothing and despite almost no promotion, built up an audience of 500,000. Tell me;, why no promotion/advertising? Surely if you were to set up a low cost airline, the first thing to do would be to tell everyone about it. But no. You seemed to work to the principal, ‘let’s set up a truly inspirational radio station where the music counts and the presenters inform rather than use the station as an extension of their egos, but don’t tell anyone’. How bizarre! It must have cost a lot to set up and run but why no advertising? Maybe I missed it. I heard that some was on Classic FM though it’s an odd place as the audience is after classical music. Advertising is the key. It may be costly, but you can’t afford not to.
    Don’t throw it all away. You’ve done the hard bit. Saving some money now is very short sighted. You have one prestigious station. You could have two. When you bought your first house, did you give up when the mortgage repayments were difficult to meet? Be brave and tell the shareholders ‘think long term’. Thejazz is a station in which Gcap can be proud.

  4. It’s a pity that culture has to suffer due to Big Business’s desire to make money. I’m a Classic FM listener, and theJazz was indeed advertised relentlessly right up to the announcement of its demise. But now Classic FM has seen total shake-up of its schedule, seemingly as a result of the closure of theJazz. We now will have jazz on the station every night from midnight. There goes Classic FM’s claim to be the only 100% classical station (as opposed to Radio 3 with its jazz programmes). Now, I don’t mind listening to jazz sometimes, but I’m afraid just before I go to bed is the time I’d most prefer to listen to classical music. I guess I’ll just be going to bed earlier from now on.

    Also, to make way for a few refugee presenters, some Classic FM presenters have been axed, and others have been shunted around into different slots. It seems there will now be no evening news bulletin (which was at just the right time for me to listen when I came home from work). I really hope the result of this isn’t that Classic FM will lose a significant number of listeners. But after many years as a loyal listener, I’m now considering buying an internet radio so that I can listen to foreign classical stations when Classic FM no longer meets my needs.

    If theJazz does continue under new ownership, let’s hope that the space freed up by GCap’s other cancelled stations can be used to broadcast it at a decent bitrate and in stereo!

  5. What an absolute shame. How long will jazz survive on Classic FM? I have no doubt that once the complaints roll in from the classical fans, jazz will disappear from this station or just be moved to the early hours. Jazz lovers are not all insomniacs.

  6. Dear All!

    Many thanks for your thoughts! As usual on the blog I have to deal with them one by one:

    Dear Trudi: thanks for your kind remarks and of course I’ll keep you informed. Don’t despair yet – miracles do happen!

    Dear Peter: was interested in your comments but a little surprised that you heard endless repetitions of ‘Take Five’! ‘theJazz’s ‘Top 500’ actually had everything from Morton to Coltrane and the top three included Louis and Miles. I’m very glad you enjoyed my programme and Campbell’s – thanks! – but there really was a lot of real jazz throughout the station’s daytime schedules; one morning I tuned in to the AM show and heard Hawk, Benny Carter and Mulligan within five tunes! . When I was at ‘Jazz FM’ (if you’ll pardon the expression!) we did learn that CERTAIN things – pre-electric recording, VERY primitive traditional, Ornette Coleman – have a strong switch-off element except for truly expert listeners. But theJazz’s ‘central sound-focus’ was basically people like Scott Hamilton and other aspects of jazz that non-specialist people wouldn’t be turned off by yet which specialists would approve of! I think and hope we covered a lot more ground than you suggest! But t’was really good to hear from you anyhow – and keep listening; there may be good news ahead, who knows???

    Dear Chris: you certainly got to the heart of the matter! Well done. To answer one point – about advertising – ‘theJazz’ indeed DIDN’T advertise when they went on the air. The reason for that was actually ‘economy’ in the image of ‘ClassicFM’ which ‘started small’ and – gratifyingly – grew over the years. I think that its directors felt that ‘theJazz’ could do the same – and indeed; had the previous board’s commitment to four years of steady growth been upheld I think it would have done. But I tend to agree with you; there SHOULD have been advertising and the takeup to the station – nearly half a million in the first few months – was all the more surprising and gratifying too. Come back soon. Cheers! Digby!PS I wouldn’t mind Fru’s E-mail if you have it………!

    Hi Jonathan! Yes; the traitorous supply of ‘two hours’ jazz’ after midnight is short shrift indeed, and I doubt it will achieve much listenership. Back in my BBC days there was a standing joke – started by the great Peter Clayton – that said that up on the 45th floor of the BBC there was a sleepy old man who snoozed all day and just woke up around midnight for an hour or two. He was – and had been for decades – in charge of the BBC’s programming. I remember too the unholy joy when my then-producer at the Beeb informed me that we had been moved – I think – from 12.30am back to 12,00.What joy! It’s a nonsense of course but we just have to keep the faith and basically wait to start again. At least we’ve proved that a jazz station evokes demand and that’s a business proposition in itself!

    Thank you all! Keep looking in – and of course we’ll keep the faith! It’s good to know you’re with me!

    All my best – and as Nat Gonella used to say ‘Swingcerely’!

    Digby!

  7. Dear Digby,my head is buzzing. Classical music vs Jazz. Wasn’t it true that 50 years ago Jazz black pianists had no chance to play classical music (e.g. Nina Simone, Billy Strayhorn) so they were ‘lost’ to the Jazz and what would Duke Ellington have done without Billy. I have just read his Biography (thanks to Campbell Burnup)
    I belong to the ‘non-specialist’ listeners and I do think Jazz has to be experienced live. My young friend Claudette admits that she loves to come with me to the gigs ( she loves Courtney Pine, he looks like her uncle, she says) but she would never listen to Jazz on a CD (or on the radio?).

    I love the emotions, the romantic the energy in Jazz. It just doesn’t appeal to me to go to listen to classical music, the conductor with his back to the audience. You will say typical woman….

    Thanks for listening.
    Trudi

  8. Hi Digby, just another thought: In Switzerland they love Jazz and it is sponsored by two Banks I know off( UBS and in Zurich by the Zurcher Kantonalbank) and they show the recordings on TV with their emblem big in the background. The audience though has ‘classical listners’ manners.
    Maybe we should approach the Banks for sponsorship. What do you think. Nationwide Building Society is sponsoring the football….
    An e-mail on theJazz made me laugh Richard Branson as VirginJazz.
    Trudi

  9. Hi Trudi,

    Thanks! Not a bad idea, the banks, but we’re ‘on-hold’ just now. Keep the faith!
    I never liked Miles Davis turning his back on the audience either! Communicating is half the battle! See you at a gig sometime I hope. Don’t forget to check out the site’s new giglist – it has all my bookings!
    Take care,
    Digby.

  10. Digby, I already at the time emailed theJazz with my comments on the 11th and as usual received an return reply from Darren Henley.

    I’m very disappointed but it seems to happen to anything that happens to have the label Jazz, though a bit surprising as anything seems to get called “Jazz” lately!

    I remember a Dobells (or James Ashman’s), in the City of London, where I I bought a 2nd hand Fontana ep for 50p from there called: The Legendary Bix Beiderbecke Volume 1: Bix and His Gang.
    On the front is a cheesy photograph of a cornet and a bottle of cognac with a full glass, probably quite appropriate.

    On the back of it’s sleeve was:

    The (“Lovely” inserted by hand in ink) Legendary Bix

    Bix and his Gang (changed to “Gong”)

    On the right of the cover is drawn an picture of a trumpet player above which are the initials RF.

    I showed it to a jazz rhythm guitarist friend who you’ve played with and he said straight away, as he knew the handwriting well, it was Digby Fairweather’s!

    It’s got to be a collectors item

  11. It’s good to read something from someone who as an idea what’s going on. Axing something that is only 30% of the way into it’s business plan (and presumably delivering to that plan) is short-sighted business in the extreme. Unfortunately it’s not uncommon.

    I was devastated to hear theJazz was going. Yes, I’d like to have had a bit of a different mix but I thought it was doing a pretty good job of being reasonably commercial while still playing the sort of music I choose to listen to. I’ve woken up hearing Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Coltrane et al on numerous occasions, and when something not so much to my tastes comes on it prompts me to get up! I even heard a sentence I never thought possible on the easy jazz programme once – “This is easy jazz at 6.00, next up is a track by Acoustic Ladyland” someone, somewhere had a sense of humour!

  12. Dear Digby, I have been listening early this morning to Helen Mayhew on Classicfm. She really tries to get the classicfm listeners to listen and learn. She played a potpourri of everything I have heard in the last 8 years (my age with Jazz) the best and it all should please the intelligence and ear of the classicfm mob.

    I have just heard a talkshow on German TV from an enthusiatic Jazz lover and pianist who deserted classic music and played with the old guard.(Duke Ellington kissed her twice on each cheek on stage. It was funny when she said it) Prof Ilse Storb, she is 79 and they call her ‘Mother Courage for Jazz’ she is after sponsors and got a NO from all the big German Companies. She is more now into Worldmusic I think. ‘Global Jazz’ she calls it. She doesn’t give up but she is not prepared to give up her inherited money (1 million Euros)….Fair enough.
    Regards and keep us informed.
    Trudi

  13. Thanks for all this Digby. What about a petition? Sometimes they work, I know from experience. Meantime I’m writing to everyone – newspapers,jazz mags, MPs, LPs. and GPs…..

    (It’s BurnAp folks!)

  14. Good to hear from you all. Cheers!
    Hi Robin!
    I remember Asman’s in the City very well – almost opposite Liverpool Street and a smmall outpost to his ‘main’ shop in New Row. Dear old Jim – a wonderful man, a good friend and a man who knew good jazz from bad. Whenhe turned up at my concerts I regarded it as a major compliment!
    I think it must have been another RF though – even though my real name IS Richard;well spotted! I loved the Gang recordings – and still do – but would never deface a recording I’d regard as semi-sacred! Would be too afraid of my good friend Richard Sudhalter chasing me around London!
    Chris: good to hear from you. Thanks for keeping an eye out for Fru’s E-mail!
    Paula and Trudi: good to hear from you and I’ll keep you informed of any future developments! It seems there are ‘rumblings in the city’ so here’s hoping. We mustn’t lose our fantastic station. It’s far too important an artistic arena for performers everywhere. But well done to my good friend Helen Mayhew for keeping the flag flying meantime; too right Trudi!
    Yeah, Ros! A petition might be a very good idea, but for now I’m watching the space………
    Keep in touch everyone.
    Love,
    Digby!

  15. Hi Digby, Through all Campbell BernAp’s laughs and jokes I feel a deep sadness that you all lost your job the way you did.

    Of course, I can’t do anything about it but buying the Lottery tickets.. and dream.

    I do want a Jazz Radio Station that satisfies the Purists, the musicians, the old and septerians Jazz lovers, the teenagers, Mum and tods and last but not least down the pecking order, myself. People always ask me what Jazz do you like, looking at me very suspiciously. My answer is I can listen to Jazz all day long and deep into the night. It makes me feel good. I will spend my money on live Jazz and I would have loved to marry a Jazz Musician (!?) and I love to sing to Dianne Reeve’s CD, making sure nobody is around and I love to read everything about Jazz if I had the time. I have even read Charles Mingus Autobiography!!!

    I hope things are moving in the background and please keep us informed.
    Kind regards.
    Trudi

  16. Hi Digby

    I am very saddened to hear about the closure of theJazz. This is deeply shocking news. The closure also has the wider impact of stripping a generation of new jazz fans and musicians from access to this music and to the expertise with which it was selected. And I’m sickened by that because it’s a mindless punch in the gut for the future of jazz music in this country.

    I’ll do my best to rally the troops and hope someone listens. They obviously haven’t been listening to the music because this idiotic closure could not have otherwise occurred.

    Stuart

  17. Hi Digby – Terrible about thejazz. The alterbative now of having it on the computer is a washout for me and I imagine many others. I listened to you and Campbell Burnap when I could and caought some other good stuff and get to hear one or things that I’d not known abiut and lied. The sounds of Africa in particular.
    Thanks for the memoraqble Melly programme you did. Did you see the Barber Big Band on Jools Halland. At 79 Barber is still playing well.
    Pity the BBC cant do more for jazz – its all over the place – with Humph always the best thing going.
    Its been a great year for jazz despite the awful end.
    Jerry

  18. Hi Digby

    I know it’s no consolation for the loss of the jazz but it’s a joy to report that I got FIVE Nat Gonella records played on Radio One on Saturday thanks to Mark Lamarr. I hope that’s a couple of million people’s ears opened! Nat Gonella on Radio One? Solid.

  19. I have sent my e-mail twice to Fru Hazlitt, CEO Gcap, via the Gcap website but I still haven’t had a reply. (see here 24th Feb). The first date was 13th Feb. Sad isn’t it?
    Chris.

  20. Hi Chris Barker
    Sorry I couldn’t resist to find out who this Lady is who upset 1 million listeners.
    GCap chief Fru Hazlitt shocked the media industry last week by pulling the plug …. explains that Hazlitt despaired of ever meeting the love of her life, …
    business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/movers_and_shakers/article3381233.ece –

    Kind regards.
    Trudi

  21. Hi Digby,
    The financial pages a few days ago stated that Gcap was now open to being taken over by Global Media: the polar opposite of a few weeks ago when the Hazlitt woman first made her dreadful decision. I know that Classic FM are trying to rescue the situation with the odd programme (Midnight! Poor Helen!)but theJazz’s own studios and transmitter network will be there still and it’ll be an awful waste of hardware if not used. So do you know whether Global would reverse the decision to close if they could and all of you get your jobs back?
    PS. Met you in Sutton Coldfield Library one night the year before last.
    Cheers
    Nick

  22. As a jazz fan of 45+ years standing (and many lying down), I too am appalled that the UK has never spawned a workable radio station. Just a thought, though: the term “jazz” covers so many different styles (it even seems to cover “world” music now, which is a total puzzle to me) that it seems nigh impossible to present a station which can cater to everyone. For me (punch me in the eye if you like), thejazz was a huge disappointment: too many interchangeable girl singers and too many Radio2-type bland “pseudo-jazz” tracks for my taste, I’m afraid. Many many years ago, when I was nobbut a lass, the general feeling was that, if jazz was ever “popularised”, it would die. Food for thought, really. I;d sooner see the death of a radio station than the death of jazz…

  23. At least both Jazz & Classical music fans will still be catered for. I personally don’t like either, I’m into Country & Bluegrass music & have never been catered for by the pathetic array of useless stations in this country

  24. Sometime ago I worked on a north of England BBC local radio station. On a Sunday morning they ran a C&W programme. The audience figures would rise to a peak – very popular. So if I had mega bucks and I wanted to make more, I’d open a C&W station. If I wanted to just make some money but really enjoy it, I’d open a jazz station.
    By-the-way, WGBO of Newark New Jersey, USA, is worth a listen on the web – for Jazz
    Chris.

  25. Dear All,

    Glad to hear from you! The situation with ‘theJazz’ has been a bit ‘in-limbo’ of late. But (as you rightly say Nick) Global are indeed keeping all the DAB stations under the former G-Cap banner and therefore – given the promising future for our jazz station – I would have thought it makes every kind of business sense to keep it going. We’ll just have to wait and see!

    Hi Molly: liked it! But you know – jazz WAS popular from the l930s to the end of the Trad boom in the early 60s. Try looking back at the ‘Melody Maker’! I have absolutely no problem with an artform being popular – it didn’t do rock any harm! – and I truthfully don’t see why jazz shouldn’t be. Apart from Bob Haggart’s thought ‘what is there not to like?’ (agreed – that’s arguable!) Classic FM made classical music accessible to non-specialists and I don’t see anything to grumble about in that. It’s a shame that any artist by definition should be forced into his garrett to starve!

    ‘theJazz”s programming was designed (at least on weekdays when non-specialist listeners were liable to tune in) to present music that was acceptable to the informed ear but also potentially attractive to people whose Pavlov respose to the word jazz was (and still sometimes is) ‘I don’t like it!’. The ‘core sound’ was basically Scott Hamilton – that kind of accessible music. Perhaps there were a few too many singers around – but lots of people like them (words are easier than abstract sound), and I feel sure that – given time – we’d have cleaned up the minor problems of focus!

    Anyhow it’s great to hear from all of you; keep logging in and I’ll try to keep you up to date! Meantime I’m just getting ready for a new album with the Half Dozen and Paul Jones for Robinwood. So it’s pens – and Tippex – at the ready!

    Take care everyone,

    Love to you,

    Digby.

  26. Hi Digby,

    Just discovered your ‘blog!

    Hi also to Trudi who I recognise from comments on theJazz comments page!

    As I write this theJazz is due to cease broadcasting at midnight on 31st March, which happens to be my Birthday!
    Wgat a lousy present!!

    I only hope that the hope I gleaned from your words on 28th. March can be kindled into a future for this great station, even it it survives in a slightly different form.

    All the best, and thanks for the music!

    Paul.

  27. The end is very nearly nigh. Just shows what a bunch of totally cr*p management/losers can achieve. Dump a RAPIDLY EXPANDING ‘product’? Eh!!!. Unbelievable. Thank God for Alan Sugar, Duncan Bannatyne and Richard Branson – real winners, flying the flag. Pity they’re not jazz lovers.
    PS. I cancelled my order of 2 DAB radios, and 2 DAB car radios, which we were going to buy to listen to jazz (whole family appreciates good music/adult presenters). Time to dust off the vinyls.
    Putting Jazz on a Classical station? Crass. Just upsets ALL listeners. I also like Baroque and Early Music – I listen WHEN I WANT TO LISTEN. Not when I will be ALLOWED to listen. Bring back Joe Stalin – let’s have some real democracy.
    Sorry for the rant but you can guess I’m really angry – this was a world-class station with world-class (and intelligent) dedicated presenters. Pass the message on for me if you bump into them!

  28. I agree with everything you are saying. Tears come into my eyes when I think how the Jazz Radio presenters are treated. I’m listening to Helen Mayhew from midnight for an hour or so on my Pocket Pure DAB – in bed!
    All she is allowed to play is anything with Keith Jarrett and Gil Evans mainly. Her voice is perfect but I can hear, or want to hear, a sad undertone. I will keep my loyalty with Helen. I can’t listen on the internet.
    It makes me laugh when somebody said on theJazz Blog, Jazzfm internet wants to put Jazzfm on DAB when they had no vision changing to Smooth Radio. Unbearable, but then, I have not grown up with that kind of music.

    Happy Birthday Paul. I will think of you.

    My daughter is coming back from the USA with broken dreams… that’s life.
    Love
    Trudi

  29. So, Global have taken over GCap, and theJazz closes in 3 1/2 hours ;(

    Digby,
    Any chance Global will “revive” theJazz, or another National Jazz Station?

    What does anyone reckon on the chances of this?

  30. I still cannot get over the fact that a SUCCESSFUL station can be closed. Rapidly expanding mainly by recommendation and without any advertising (a few small ads in music mags would have boosted it further). Had I been the sales director I would have been on my knees thanking God every night. What a gift-horse! Also blues-rock seems to be overtaken by blues-jazz in the pubs; and there are regular blues to jazz articles in the guitar mags. Young people are getting interested. I gave up listening to jazz (with thousands of others) when ‘free’ jazz started being played – squealing, squawking saxes and pianists sounding like they were inside the piano trying to get out. We went to two clubs, walked out, never went back.
    So get down the pub, buy a bottle of wine, chill out and cheer on the youngsters – they are the future after all.
    PS. Lemonrock lists gigs around 20 miles from your postcode.

  31. 09:45 1st April. Thejazz off air on dab and web BUT still going on Sky 0113. Not an April fool joke! What’s going on?
    Chris.

  32. Still on Sky 0113 as you say, but also on the web at the moment.

    Digby, is there ANY gossip behind the scenes you are privy to, which might suggest a future for any national Jazz station on DAB or FM?

    Paul.

  33. 10 am Thursday 3rd April and music is still going out on the web and Sky but those awful promos for Classic FM have stopped. Summat’s going on, me thinks – or really hopes!
    Chris.

  34. Found a very promising website: ACCUJAZZ.com – You can choose what style of jazz and even which instrument to listen to.

    Also interesting: SKY.fm and MyClassicFM (scroll down to ‘Jazz’).

    Can other readers post good sites they discover?

    Just bought an Internet radio. Soon as I figure out how it works I will post any sites I find.

  35. My Internet radio is up and running – only 6,000 stations to choose from!
    (You need Broadband – which I guess most readers will have).
    Two good sites for Blues and R&B. Choose by genre (Blues) or country location. 1) USA: City Sounds Radio Blues and 2) Surinam: Blue Ears Blues.
    I miss the presenter’s chat but the upside is I hear new artists and new tracks. And very few adverts.
    As one door closes …
    Keep the blog going, Digs.

  36. Hi everyone!

    Yes; it’s good to know about Internet radio! You’re all quite a bit ahead of me here – I only just hear about IRs from my good friend Chris Hodgkins but no doubt they’ll offer us a far wider span of jazz listening. One very good one is ‘Our kind of music’ – do check that one out if you can.

    As you’ve spotted already, Global has launched something called (I think) ‘Nonstop Jazz’ via their ‘myclassicfm’ site. Once onto it you can ‘rate’ the tracks they play – and add them to your own ‘preferred list – but not, so far, as they suggest you can, pick ‘all the tracks by whoever/Teagarden/Coltrane/Coleman/Morton – in short ‘whatever jive you’re hip to’!!!!!!- as they used to say. My informant at Classic Fm tells me they’re working on this – so you never know!
    So far as the future of jazz on national radio is concerned, this seems to be as far as we’ve got at the moment. What Global’s longer-term intentions (if any) beyond this are, I can’t say! It’ll be good to ‘watch this space’ I think – don’t believe the story’s over!
    Take care all! Don’t forget to read my blog on our beloved Humph – would like to hear your views and will pass on all messages to those closest to him.
    Love to you all,
    Digby.

  37. The listening figures have been released today, and show that in the last quater listening figures for TheJazz increased to over 400,000.

    How can it be commercial sense to close a radio station whose listening figures are growing? What a tragedy.

  38. Absolutely Swithin – 407,000! There was a good piece about the situation in yesterday’s ‘Times’ (2 May) and says ‘The latest figures suggest there is an audience for a specialist jazz station’ (as if we didn’t know!) ‘- and the dormant brand may be snapped up by rival networks’! This is very interesting, and I think potentially exciting. It remains to be seen if any other network will take the chance but – knowing the voracious financial state of radio – I wouldn’t be at all surprised! Only the headline was a slight downer for me – ‘Jazz station wins record audience by scrapping DJs’! Oh well – I always thought radio presentation was ‘fast food art’ – though I’d exclude from that such classic voices as Peter Clayton and (of course) our beloved Humph who introduced many many generations to the music we love.

    Best wishes to you and all my friends out there,

    Digby

  39. Digby.
    I am not a fan of djs’ prattle but Thejazz was more a one of informed comment and that why I’ve been listening to WGBO, a jazz station in New Jersey USA. Uninterrupted music is fine but not for long. I need to hear where and when it was recorded. Also with whom – in short ‘the gossip’. Do you remember the Radio Two programme Jazz Score? Maybe you were on it? Questions on jazz to jazz musicians and others but really a great stream of anicdotes. The reason people blog here is because we feel that something has been given then taken away from us and that’s more than music. Perhaps it is a sense of belonging.
    Oh, Derek. I think the phrase you were reminded of is ‘when one door closes, another slams in your face’!
    Chris.

  40. ‘The reason people blog here is because we feel that something has been given then taken away from us and that’s more than music. Perhaps it is a sense of belonging.’
    Hi Digby, Wise words from Chris.Knowing how flippant Commercial Radio Stations can be, here today gone tomorrow,I have learnt to keep the music on old-fashoned tapes, I have bought my CD’s each one containing a memory and a story behind. Jazz is also entertainement. I do feel sometimes Jazz goes over my head and is only for Jazz musicians when they smile at each other knowingly…..
    There is always a local Jazz club but I do appreciate to go by recommendation coming from the radio presenters/DJs.
    I have booked tickets for your gig/concert in Ongar on May 9th as you told me to do….
    With kindest regard.
    Trudi

  41. Chris,
    Wholeheartedly agree with your comments. I normally hate ‘presenters’ but theJazz was different. No inane, banal chat – these guys and girls knew their stuff. Real ‘experts’ in the true sense of the word – I really miss them. Also the Playlist was a gem if you wanted to buy the CD. I like IR, being able to choose by genre, era, country, etc., but one drawback is not having the track/artist mentioned and no playlist available – that’s torture. Still, having 6,000 stations to listen to compensates. We also go to 3 or 4 live gigs a week (usually free) to see jazz or blues – that encourages the musicians and we’ve bought quite a few of their CDs. Some fine artists out there. I use ‘Lemonrock’ gig guide – gives venues local to your postcode. Keep music live or we won’t have too many artists recording.
    Digby, please keep up the blog – share a rant!

  42. I see that GMG are reviving Jazz FM at 19:00 on 6 October. It will be on Sky channel 0202 (once they kick Virgin Radio off that channel!!!, streaming on the internet, and it will be on “selected” DAB regions such as London, West Midlands, North West England, South Wales and Glasgow. But sadly not on the South Hampshire Mux!!!!

    Time will tell what the station will sound like, but unfortunately I hear it will be playing a lot of SMOOTH JAZZ and SOUL. I can just about understand them playing Smooth Jazz, but Soul? But then the GMG radio group turned Jazz FM into a Soul music station previously.

    I only wish Jazz FM would give Digby a 2 hour slot. I used to love Digby’s programmes on TheJazz. I particularly remember the lovely tribute Digby did for George Melly.

    http://www.jazzfm.com/

  43. Hi Digby,

    Well, Jazz FM (a misnomer now it’s on DAB)is back and they have the colossal nerve to namecheck Art Blakey on their site but has anyone heard him played yet? Bar “Dinner Jazz”, it is largely songs, not recognisable jazz proper during the day and we all expected as much if my namesake Andrew, above, is anything to go by. It is merely O.K. as a breather from the rest of repetitive pop radio but not the breather that theJazz was. I’d LOVE to hear your opinion of it.

    And one more on the scrapping of a station with nearly 500,000 in the audience: the huge number of stations spawned after the success of the offshore boom in the 60s and beyond, PLUS new digital technology that further multiplies them, divided into a not-much-greater population than before means tiny audiences for every one of them. Gcap et al. must have known this so why redline stations that managed to get so many listeners?
    Who’s using theJazz’s hardware? I’d like to know.

    Rant over; I just had to get it off my chest – again!

    Cheers

    Nick (Sutton Coldfield)

  44. Nick. Checkout the ‘Lemonrock’ website for live music. Just key in your postcode and get the gigs within 25 miles (do the same when you’re away on holiday). Really changed our lives. Found little-known clubs. Met some great new friends, got to know some talented unknown musicians, get invited to semi-private functions. And the satisfaction of supporting live music and independent pubs at very reasonable prices!

  45. I can recommend WGBO, Newark, New Jersey, USA, on the web as a Jazz station worth a listen. Buy one of those little fm transmitters, used in car for ipods etc. Plug into you computer and listen on any fm radio in the house.
    Oh, Happy Christmas to you all!
    Chris.

  46. Hello, Regular Readers. Bit more info for you Jazzers.
    Found ‘AccuJazz.com’ on the Internet – lets you choose the STYLE of music you prefer – West Coast, Guitar, Fusion, Piano, Vocal, Sax, etc, just click on it. Other good sites ‘Dinner Jazz Excursion’ and ‘KOQX Internet Blues Radio’. I use the IR radio to listen to for the quality, and have the computer on for the playlist of the CD.
    Also found some old jazz artists on ‘You Tube’ – worth a look.
    Any other tips you find please post here and share.
    Hapy New Year listening – ‘things can only get better’.

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