The banners for MJF in the Festival Pavilion Teepee announce the inclusive nature of jazz..They figure a list of music categories that feed the broad stream of jazz, including 'pop' and ‘grunge’ and ‘urban’. At least ‘bebop’ (fifth down the list) has some accepted meaning in a jazz context. This well-intended initiative skirts around the major problem, which is how to overcome the negative associations of the j-word. My modest proposal would be to strike out ’jazz’ whenever it appears and substitute, say, ‘Acid Phwumba’. It has as much meaning as ‘urban’ and is a lot more fun. The 2014 Manchester Acid Phwumba Festival would really be worth going to see.
I don’t think the majority of the audience know what to expect from the event billed as Take Five: Europe Live!: European Sunrise. A pre-gig discussion hosted by Steve Mead informs that Take Five is a course for handpicked musicians to learn more about publishing, funding and communication strategies, and, as more than a side-product, make some music together. The scheme has lately been expanded to include musicians from the continent. European Sunrise represent this year’s crop and includes musicians from Poland, France, Netherlands, France, Italy, Norway and the UK.