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If we really must have the Eighties revival which the media seems determined to foist on us, does that mean jazz will briefly become trendy again? Will Tommy Smith and Stan Tracey find themselves on major labels again? Or will we just have to make do with mass unemployment?

The era predated the Internet and cheap easy digital recording and video, so there’s not much evidence of what was going on. Some of it was excellent, some of it, in true Eighties style, was all glossy surface and no real substance. Peter Bacon’s The Jazz Breakfast points out that there’s nothing by Loose Tubes currently available. But at least they managed to put out some albums: the John Rae Collective’s one scheduled album never appeared because the record label went bust.

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