Ever one to stand up for what he believes in, yesterday Tommy Smith gave a voice to the musicians and music-lovers angry by the Scotman newspaper's decision to stop reviewing classical, world and jazz music.
As eloquent a writer as he is a player, Tommy wrote the following letter and has set up a petition to reverse the decision.
Dear Robert Burns and his descendants,
On this sacred day, 25th January 2014, the Scotsman newspaper has taken the budgetary decision to end reviewing world music, classical and jazz recordings, which is a heart-breaking bowdlerization of minority art forms and another cessation for the popularization and liberality of creativity. They may publish occasional reviews in the future but only from their syndication agreements, as long as they don't have to pay for them. Who knows where they'll appear, as their current Saturday magazine is also going to the four winds.
The final jazz CD reviewed for the Scotsman is printed today and coincidentally is for an ECM album featuring Arild Andersen, Paolo Vinnacia and myself, entitled MIRA, a red giant star. It is irrelevant whether the review is rated one star or a sea monster five, what is relevant is that the recording is reviewed for the public to read. Gratefully, the Scotsman will continue to review rock/pop and folk music, but should there be favouritism among musical genres? Equality will keep your heart pure. Let’s hope, one day, they will fluctuate their focus and luminescence on jazz, classical and world music again, just like we do when we look up at the astonishing MIRA balanced in the cosmos.
One thing I am glad about, is that you, Rabbie Burns, wrote about things tiny and guid, like the mouse and the louse.“We’ll tak a cup o kindness yet,” from the currently illiberal Scotsman.
Please support this petition and make your voice heard.
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