Softer tack on jazz?

Gustav Husak can probably convince Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that caution against runaway reform is best for Czechoslovakia - at least for the time being. Perhaps, however, he will attempt an international image improvement consistent with the more relaxed attitudes emerging from the Kremlin.

Despite the fact that Rude Pravo, the party daily, took another dig at the ``antisocialist'' Charter 77 over the weekend, such a relaxation seems likely, given a recent turn in the case against the jazz section of the musicians' union.

Seven of its members - survivors of a 1968 ``hip'' generation - have been under arrest since September for what is euphemistically termed ``unauthorized business enterprise.''

It was, of course, a way of getting at the group for unlicensed production of journals and tapes conveying modern notions in music and theater - native as well as Western - that are taboo under official cultural policy.

The case has been reduced to legal quibbles between the court and the prosecutor.

And there's wide belief that the authorities are bent on disposing of it as a technical offense with trivial sanctions, or even quietly allowing it to drop altogether.


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