I guess I was talking more about the grass roots scene. There are, and have been, of course, some spectacular jazz musicians in and from the UK. But, it seems that it's a case of ever diminishing (no pun intended!) circles. With nowhere to play where will the 'new' players hone their craft. It's not as easy to learn to play Jazz sat at home with a laptop and youtube videos like you can with rock and pop music. So much of Jazz relies on interaction with other musicians.It makes me happy to see so much positive and knowledgeable jazz conversation on here, and so much I agree with.
This is interesting to hear about jazz in the UK. I love a lot of British jazz, but it's not the 50s and 60s hard bop you like. However, it's not Evan Parker's free jazz so much either. I listen to a lot of John Surman, Kenny Wheeler (I know, born Canadian, but for all intents and purposes he was a British jazz musician), John Dankworth and John Taylor. Do Dave Holland and John McLaughlin still count as British, since they moved far from the British scene?