Is there such a thing as New Black Comedy or is it just another convenient label to sell tickets? Do we have dolphin-friendly tuna ﬁshing policies to thank for Paul Merton’s straight man? Is Kenneth Branagh the future of
British ﬁlmmaking or is it much ado about nothing? Have a good old rant and you could win a bottle of José Cuervo Tequila and a rather fetching T-shirt.
I write with reference to John Warburton’s letter, ‘Colonial Attitude’ in The List of August 13—19.
I ﬁnd it remarkable that Mr Warburton feels he has reason to complain about the programme of the Edinburgh lntemational Jazz Festival on the grounds of racial representation when he then admits that he does not actually attend the Festival. The artistes I book are all selected for their artistic excellence, and this policy has been fundamental throughout the Festival‘s ﬁfteen-year history. I am committed to the presentation of musicians from all over the world who can demonstrate stylistic quality, rather than be sold purely on name value. To this end, we presented artistes from thirteen countries at this year's Jazz Festival, many of whom were making their Scottish debuts.
Of course I have an awareness of jazz history, and am proud to have presented
many of the legendary ﬁgures of jazz over the years, along with up and coming artistes who have gone on to achieve international recognition. Perhaps if Mr Warburton considers some of our past participants he will re- evaluate his offensive accusation of racism. Teddy Wilson. Buddy Tate, Sweets Edison, Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Al Grey, The Harlem Blues Band. Milt Hinton. Gus Johnson, Benny Waters, Courtney Pine. The Rebirth Brass Band and Al Casey are but a few ofa lengthy list of black musicians to have appeared in Edinburgh in the past.
I would be delighted to present musicians of all races, be they African. Caribbean, Japanese, EurOpean, Chinese, American, Latin — indeed any nationality, subject to their meeting our artistic criteria. What I will not consider is tokenism and inverse racism, in order to make up a prescribed quota of black musicians. The thousands of customers who attended our festival this year enjoyed some of the world‘s ﬁnest musicians, with many unique sets showcasing
unprecedented combinations of artistes.
None complained about the racial origins of these musicians.
I hope Mr Warburton will continue to enjoy the Glasgow Jazz Festival as much as the large contingent ofjazz lovers from the west who enthusiastically support Edinburgh each year in their droves.
Edinburgh Jazz Festival Canongate
I am writing to complain about some startling omissions from your utterly arbitrary list of ‘essential Carpenters‘ in issue 207. How can you possibly
recommend the if-you’re-drinking- Bacardi spazz-jazz of ‘Masquerade'. yet fail to note the knee-weakening stupendousness of ‘Only Yesterday"? Graham Norton has the right idea — ‘Goodbye To Love‘ is the apogee of slashed-wrist melancholia and inﬁnitely more relevant in socio- psychological terms than ‘Please Mr Postman’, the shit at the bottom of the budgie cage we call musical endeavour. Julie Rae Tonisdale Street Glasgow PS. I can only assume that your picture researcher had stopped off at one too many schmoozy Fringe parties before captioning The Carpenters photo, or did Richard C. change his name by deed poll to David when the media were busy nursing their ﬁxation with Karen's grabbing disorders? ls this the extent of The List‘s reservoir of Carpenters knowledge? PPS. The 70s were crap. Don’t buy it, kids!
Why has Tom Lappin not yet reviewed Grange Hill in your otherwise riveting column? The acting is superb, the scripts gritty and believable and the uniforms on the cutting edge of fashion. This mini—soap opera far surpasses anything else currently burning a hole in my retinas for sheer all-encompassing power and relevance to kids on the street today. The bit where class wimp Justin saved the day at the school cricket match was awe- inspiring.
Tom Lappin replies: bring back Danny Kendall!
This year a lot of space has been devoted to the ‘evil empire‘ of the three major. comedy-dominated venues; the Assembly Rooms, Pleasance and Gilded Balloon. A few notable misses aside (stand up Margi Clarke), these venues have put together an entertaining and varied programme of events which offer the ticket-buying Fringe-goer a better-than-evens chance of getting a good night out.
NEXT ISSUE OUT THURSDAY 9 SEPTEMBER
Peter Greenaway: on The Baby ofMa‘eon.
Agreed this is not the ‘spirit ofthe Fringe‘, a term generally bandied about by people that never have to fork out for a ticket, but could it be the smaller groups who have priced themselves out of the market? For instance Jenny Eclair is a fairly safe bet at £6.50. You‘d be taking a much bigger chance on a bunch of drama students in their ﬁrst production but you would still be relieved of four or ﬁve quid to ﬁnd out ifthey had talent. For those of us dull people who have to consider value for money when making ticket-buying decisions. the Jenny Eclairs of this world win out every time.
If the bigger venues are charging what the market can bear, then surely small Fringe companies must compete by lowering ticket prices and encouraging audiences to take a chance on unknowns. Or is it the venue owners who are over—charging and killing off the golden goose?
Stephen Potter Henderson Row Edinburgh
Who knows wltat the spirit of the Fringe is and where you can buy some? In the meantime. have a bottle of another kind ofspirit which is altogether easier to get to grips with. Step into our parlour to collect your prize.
.. . sumo 1.
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Old Athenaeum Theatre,
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Glasgow Gl ZJZ
Fax them to: 031 557 8500
We will not print your full address or phone number. but you must include them. Deadline is the Friday before publication. Keep them pithy. as long letters may be eut. The best letter next issue will win a bottle ofJose Cuervo Gold Tequila and psyehedelic T—sltirt.
Wild Palms: Oliver Stone’s futuristic political drama serial comes to BBCZ.
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!
Down Among the Big Boys: Peter MacDougall’s’ gritty Glasgow 'l‘V thriller starring Billy Connolly.
.PLUS: Smashing Pumpkins (left). Les Miserables and full listings. previews and I reviews for Glasgow and Edinburgh '
IN The List 27 August—9 September I993
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