John Fordham in the Guardian makes supportive comments hoping about the return of Ronnie Scott's to being a true jazz venue. There are better signs there, certainly. Ronnie Scott's has not only been for many years the centre of the jazz universe in London, around which other venues "revolve". Fortunately, the Vortex and 606 have picked up this position for now.
It is a club which is as important for jazz WORLDWIDE as Covent Garden is to opera. When the Royal Opera House had a hard time, the Arts Council bent over backwards to ensure that it survived. Goodness knows how much it really cost. But when it comes to Ronnie's, apart from grumbles and the few articles in the press, there has been a stony silence from organisations like Jazz Services, which, according to its website, is supposed to provide a "voice for jazz". Let's give it some Strepsils so that it gets its voice back.
In the mean time, we need to encourage the club, and hope that it re-emerges like a phoenix. If, in the mean time, it sometimes prices its audience out of the market, so be it. But the programme has to be generally consistent, and balanced. I know, from the contact I have on the Vortex programme, that there is a fine balance. Sometimes the music that one would like to hear there is just that bit too expensive, even by the matter of £100 or so.
We are short of venues for jazz at a level of the size of Ronnie's, something which seems to be not just a problem in London. The Spitz is gone, and the other venues are potentially "partial".
BY THE WAY, I AM ON THE JAZZ JURY FROM THEJAZZ TODAY SATURDAY AT 1 P.M. YOU CAN ALSO LISTEN BACK TO IT FOR 7 DAYS ONLINE. LISTEN DIGITALLY OR ONLINE.