This article, published in the Jazz Research Journal, was written in collaboration with Paul Long[CH1] , and forms part of an evolving body of work on the mediation of jazz and the subject of televised documentaries on the history of popular music[CH2] . The research of Wall and Long explores themes at the heart of the intellectual mission of BCMCR, namely: identity; history and heritage; cultural practice; technology; and production, regulation and enterprise[CH3] .
Tim has previously conducted research into the cultural practices of jazz musicians, including David Murray, Duke Ellington, and the work of jazz collectives[CH4] . With Andrew Dubber he has published work in the Radio Journal regarding the public service role of the BBC in terms of specialist music provision[CH5] . Prior to publication of this article Tim has presented conferences papers regarding his research into the televised mediation of Popular Music histories[CH6] .
Jazz Britannia is a UK-produced three-part BBC television documentary about the post-war development of jazz in the United Kingdom. We analyse the programmes to examine how the narrative, form and assumptions of the series can be understood within a series of contextual debates about jazz historiography, history on television, and the value of historiographic method in public service television. We utilize the debates around Ken Burns’s US-produced ten-part documentary series Jazz, to develop an argument about the way that the British documentary constructs a very different history from Jazz, but using many of the approaches and techniques deployed by Burns. We locate the series within questions of quality television and other forms of television history. Finally, we seek to explore the way that the programmes produce a totalizing narrative in which the primary material is ordered to tell a predetermined story about innovations and an identifiably British form of jazz.
You can find more information regarding this article, including download and purchasing options, by clicking here:
[CH1]Link to Paul Long page
[CH2]Use of TAGs here?
[CH3]Link to relevant section in Narrative Document – A OVERVIEW – Intellectuak mission
[CH4]Link to the various papers here
[CH5]Link to Dubber/Wall work
[CH6]Perhaps a blog post here about the origins and development of the 2013 Tony Palmer article