Jazz and 'New Labour'
GA: The following is Jazz Review's editorial ahead of the Jazz For Labour concert. I actually welcome artist campaigning for social causes. This is a new and positive development in Britain.
FROM THE EDITOR
Alan Luff prefers to talk of jazz not politics but it’s not so in all quarters. Ahead of the Jazz For Labour concert at the London Barbican on 27 February, clarinettist Arun Ghosh says: “Jazz embodies, and has always been built on anti-racist and progressive principles, principles that I believe are essential for our society. I do not want to live in a country where narrow-mindedness and bigotry are the norm. Jazz for Labour represents and calls for another way; just like the music, we value and recognise the need for community, empathy, fairness and diversity.” These are fine sentiments, but is that the whole truth about jazz? Saxophonist Gilad Atzmon coincidentally offers a different perspective in a 4 January interview at somethingelsereviews.com: “Like many people of my generation, I grew up inspired by Left thought and progressive self-righteousness. I foolishly tended to believe that people who speak about equality are somehow better. As I got older, I obviously grasped the lie that is embedded in whatever is left out of the Left. I am now regarding myself as a reactionary essentialist.” It seems politics can be as much combative fun as the best jazz cutting contests.