Nothing good on TV? STV’s late-70s/early-80s jazz programme, simply but accurately named “The Jazz Series”, is now available online.

21 half-hour programmes in all. Presenters are Annie Ross (Series 1), George Chisholm (Series 2) and Ronnie Scott (Series 3 and 4).

Musicians featured include Jimmy Deuchar, George Coleman, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Hall, Stan Tracey, Kenny Wheeler and Johnny Griffin plus some of the better Scottish acts of the time (Bobby Wishart, Jimmy Feighan, jazz-rock group Head).

Can you imagine any TV company doing something like this nowadays?

Go to http://www.youtube.com/show?p=BNWalbhlSqo and enjoy. (In typically low-budget fashion, STV put their archive stuff out on YouTube rather than hosting it themselves). You’ve got to sit through a brief advert at the start, but it’s worth it. There’s some wonderful, wonderful stuff in there.

I’m in the audience for some of the programmes in the fourth series (the Stan Tracey one plus at least one other – I think it was George Coleman), but I haven’t spotted myself yet. Mind you, I can’t really remember what I looked like when I was young and had hair.

Thanks to Bill Kyle of The Jazz Bar and Bridge Music (and drummer in Head) for bringing this to my attention. But, above all, thanks to whoever it was at STV responsible for making the programmes and later for putting these online. I knew these existed – although growing up in the Border TV region I only saw the last series which went out after I’d moved to the Central Belt – but I assumed they’d been lost forever.