So, I suggested in my piece on the Jazz FM Awards nominations – it’s here if you haven’t read it – that there was one glaring omission in the lists, and that the presence of journalist Stuart Nicholson in the nominations panel made that somewhat mystifying. Could you spot it?
Your response has been quite understandable: “What on earth is he on about? And why are there no banjo players on this list?”, “Perhaps if we ignore him he’ll just go away – I’m a Five Live woman myself, anyway”, and “Robert Glasper! Call that cutting edge? Harrumph” to name a few, both actual and imaginary.
Well, I’ll have to answer my own question then. It’s Europe (or, the rest of Europe if you EC chaps want to be pedantic).
There are five categories – International Jazz Artist, Cutting Edge Award for Jazz Innovation, Album Of The Year, Jazz Media, and Live UK Shows Of The Year – which are open to artists from anywhere in the world. But only British or US musicians appear in them. (Yes, I know that Phronesis is led by a Danish double bass player and has a Swedish drummer, but as far as I am concerned, it’s a UK band because it’s based here.)
Now, I don’t mean to be nationalistic about this, but there has been a lot of debate in recent years about US jazz vs European jazz, etc, so it’s not surprising that we end up with antennas alert to this.
I’m left wondering, was that great champion of European jazz, Stuart Nicholson, shouted down in the nomination discussions? Or, when push comes to shove, does the jazz from that large lump of land to our east simply fail to cut the mustard (sorry about the metaphor mash-up)?
Now, since you failed the initial challenge, how about a follow-up. Just add as a comment on this post your suggestions for European jazz artists, albums, websites or magazines, and/or UK live performances by European jazz artists that might/should have appeared in the nominations list. I’m sure you can think of some, while I do the same.
And remember, it’s only a bit of fun! In no way do we intend to cast aspersions upon the real 2012 Jazz FM Award nominees, who are all jolly fine and worthy, and all that. Positivity about the unsung is what we’re after – not negativity about the already sung.