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Jazz 625 (PG) + Introduction by Dr. Nicolas Pillai

EFG London Jazz Festival: Jazz on Screen

Jazz 625

We bring together two episodes of the television programme Jazz 625. Celebrating the legacy of the show and reflecting on the role it played in introducing a host of musicians to British audiences.

First broadcast in April 1964, Jazz 625 was filmed across sites including the iconic Marquee Club and the CTS studio in Bayswater. The original transmission being from 21 April 1964 to 17 August 1966.

The programme is notable for its distinct look, characterised by the black and white photography, the suited attire of the performers, the smokey interiors, and helped establish a visual language to complement the music of the era. The title refers to the medium of television, the 625 of the title reflects the upgrade from the 405-line VHF to the 625 lines offered by the new UHF channel. Music has always been a hallmark of British television, and through this programme, we celebrate one of the most stylishly made music programmes ever broadcast.

This title has been locally classified.

For this event, we will screen performances from Coleman Hawkins (first broadcast on 16/01/65) and the great Thelonous Monk Quartet "Jazz 625" Thelonious Monk Quartet  (orginally screened on 21/04/65). Two wonderful editions of the series which capture the essence of the programme.

Dr Nicolas Pillai (University College Dublin) has published widely on jazz, film and television. His AHRC-funded research project 'Jazz on BBC-TV 1960-1969' included the production of a 50-minute TV programme entitled Jazz 1080: The Xhosa Cole Quintet. The BBC Four documentary based on his research – Jazz 625 Live – won Best Music Programme at the 2020 Broadcast Awards. Publications in progress include the edited collection Rethinking Miles Davis (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2023) and a short play Albert Ayler's Ghost.

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