“This not only had iconic performances but was also an insight into history”
Jazz 625 originally aired on BBC Two in the mid- 1960s during the early days of the channel. When asked to make a programme to please today’s jazz fans – a genre often forgotten by television – Somethin’ Else decided to revive the format.
This special programme paid homage to the original by bringing together British and US musicians and being filmed entirely in black and white.
The aim was to evoke memories of the 1960s jazz scene, from London’s Soho clubs to the impact of the Windrush generation of musicians.
But there were some modern touches too: the programme was broadcast live, which added an atmosphere of excitement, and included VTs offering a retrospective on the original programme. Even the selection of Andi Oliver as presenter was tied to her background in music and strong connection to jazz.
The judges lauded the programme for its style, nostalgia and innovative nature.
“What BBC Four does best is cater for the passion and obsession of its audiences,” said one. “This not only had iconic performances but was also an insight into history.”
The Somethin’ Else team are currently in talks with BBC Four about a new Jazz 625 series and a Facebook group was launched in the wake of the show demanding its return.
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BBC Studios for BBC Two
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