[JPL] Soul-searching and discord as Ronnie Scott's director quits

Eric Alan at Jazz Rendezvous eric at jazzrendezvous.co.za
Wed Dec 12 10:46:57 EST 2007


Mm the big buck once again raises it¹s ugly head

Soul-searching and discord as Ronnie Scott's director quits
By Amol Rajan
Published: 12 December 2007
The legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott's has been thrown into turmoil by the
resignation of its artistic director. Leo Green is believed to have quit
after a blazing row with Sally Greene, who bought the London venue two years
ago.

In an email to colleagues, Mr Green, 33, said he was leaving after "some
soul-searching". He also attacked co-workers for their musical ignorance and
apparent lack of interest in business matters, citing the "total inability
of the club to attract a general manager who lasted more than a few months".

"When it came to the point where certain members of management had to ask me
who McCoy Tyner [the veteran US jazz pianist] was, I arrived, fairly
rapidly, at the conclusion that perhaps my skills were to be best utilised
elsewhere," he added.

Mr Green, whose father, Benny, was a saxophonist, broadcaster and friend of
the club's founder, Ronnie Scott, said his responsibility at the venue was
limited to booking acts, not deciding on business strategy such as ticket
pricing.

The club, based at Frith Street in London's Soho, has faced criticism since
it was bought by Ms Greene and Michael Watt, an Australian businessman, for
an undisclosed sum in 2005.

When it was re-opened in June after a £2.38m makeover, purists complained
about the soaring ticket prices and pop-star bookings, which they said were
driven by commercial interests rather than concern for quality jazz.

"There has been growing concern in the jazz community that... Ronnie Scott's
was becoming an upscale supper club," said John Newey, the editor of
Jazzwise magazine. "It is absolutely vital that this icon of the jazz world,
its crown jewels, is protected. We want it to succeed."

Yesterday, the club denied reports of a rift between Mr Green and Ms Greene.
But last month, Mr Green said: "I suppose the most polite phrase I can
use... is that there have been 'artistic differences'."


http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article3244711.ece


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