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Why the documentary 'Jazz' is no good

Ken burns’ massive documentary about the history of jazz, which ran on a BBC midnight slot till June, tripled sales of jazz CDs in the US. It is one of the longest single subject documentaries ever shown on British television, and in scale and gravitas gives The World At War a run for its money. Whilst the jazzerati noted its various weaknesses and ellipses, television critics were largely exuberant. The consensus was that this is what quality television should aspire to. It has been seen as a brave, defining statement in Jane Root’s new BBC2, aimed at baby boomers with…

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