Last night my buddy Denis and I, plus Mrs A and Mrs RB went to the Guildhall to see the national Youth Jazz Orchestra (all under 25) – and a very fine performance they gave too
The modest audience was almost a straight mix of young people from schools and colleges, many of whom had attended a workshop in the afternoon (and are probably studying music) and old jazz fans – our party in their mid-60s was at the ‘youthful’ end of that group, with many familiar faces from Portsmouth Jazz Society gigs
But there were very few people in their 30s/40s/50s. That led me to thinking about the original Pompey Pop project and the way it has developed with the post-1975 history at the Guildhall and on the new Facebook site
What’s happened – and it may well reflect what really did happen – is that styles of rock music and the electric guitar have come to dominate, to the exclusion of the far richer mix of the 1960s. We could argue for ever about whether the ’60s were really ‘better’ but in one respect – from my experience at least – I reckon they win hands down.
In the 1960s I went regularly to folk clubs, jazz concerts/gigs, R&B and blues gigs, there was soul and ska at the Birdcage and ‘pop’ was everywhere (youth clubs, pirate radio etc). The variety was fantastic, both live and on the radio. It seems to me that these days the roots of popular music are in rock and pop and pop and rock plus for a minority, electro or Hip Hop. But the variety is far less apparent. Jazz is there if you want it, but I’m not sure that younger generations do want it very much.