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Thursday, 26 July, 2001, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Mercury judge upsets jazz boss
Partisans album Sourpuss
Jazz was not recognised in this year's nominations
Babel record label boss Oliver Weindling is demanding the return of his entrance fees for this year's Mercury Music Prize after what he felt were disparaging remarks by the chairman of the judges.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday, prize chairman Simon Frith said that "jazz on major labels" had "become another sort of easy listening music."

"Those records are not the sort that are going to grab Mercury prize judges' attention," said Mr Frith.

Mr Weindling, who paid 200 to enter the Partisans album Sourpuss for the coveted award, has now asked for his money back.

He told BBC News Online: "My criticism is nothing to do with not being nominated.

'Sympathy'

"It's the ignorance of his comments.

"Most British jazz from creative artists is not on major labels - and most British jazz is not easy listening.

"Bearing in mind this man is the chair of the judges he didn't seem to show much awareness of the jazz scene," said Mr Weindling.

Partisans are a quartet who play a fusion of jazz, rock and latin music, and have been highly praised by music critics.

Mr Weindling told BBC News Online that so far he had received no response from the Mercury Music Prize.

"But I've had a lot of sympathy from the jazz world," said Mr Weindling.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's entertainment reporter Robert Nesbit
"The Mercury Prize is seen as music's Booker Prize"
See also:

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09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Newcomer wins top music prize
28 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Manics lead Mercury shortlist
17 Sep 98 | Entertainment
Gomez scoops Mercury Prize
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