Larkin's Jazz: Essays and Reviews, 1940-1984

Overview

Poet Philip Larkin's reputation as a writer on jazz has so far hinged almost exclusively on All What Jazz, which collects the 126 record-review columns he wrote for the Daily Telegraph from 1961 to 1971. However, he wrote frequently and elsewhere on jazz-for the Observer, Guardian, New Statesman and such journals as American Scholar. In bringing all these pieces together, Larkin's Jazz is not only a valuable addition to Larkin scholarship but an illuminating corrective to all those who regard him as a jazz ...

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Overview

Poet Philip Larkin's reputation as a writer on jazz has so far hinged almost exclusively on All What Jazz, which collects the 126 record-review columns he wrote for the Daily Telegraph from 1961 to 1971. However, he wrote frequently and elsewhere on jazz-for the Observer, Guardian, New Statesman and such journals as American Scholar. In bringing all these pieces together, Larkin's Jazz is not only a valuable addition to Larkin scholarship but an illuminating corrective to all those who regard him as a jazz reactionary. Larkin once wrote that "a critic is only as good as his ear;" Larkin's Jazz offers decisive evidence of just how durable and penetrating his judgments have proven to be.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Reprint of the 1999 hardcover edition that collects poet, novelist and jazz critic Philip Larkin's writings for various journals. The essays show that rather than being a jazz reactionary, he enjoyed later jazz more frequently than he let it be known. They also reveal his sympathy for all musicians even if he didn't like their work, and his recognition of the problems that confronts artists with regard to remuneration for work that society does not consider crucial. Contents include reviews in newspapers and periodicals; a miscellany of essays, book reports and letters; and records of the year from 1961 to 1970. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826453464
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 6/20/2001
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 1.11 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Palmer writes regularly for Jazz Journal International and is series editor for Eastnote, Hull University Press's new imprint of jazz studies. He is the author of a number of books on jazz.

Richard Palmer is Head of English at Bedford School, an HMC-Ofsted Inspector and a Consultant for NatWest Bank. He writes regularly for Jazz Journal International and is Series Editor for Eastnote, Hull University Press’s new imprint of jazz studies. He is the author of a number of books on jazz. John White is Reader in American History at the University of Hull. He is the author of Billie Holiday: Her Life and Times (1987), Black Leadership in America (1985, revised 1998) and Artie Shaw: Non-Stop Flight (1998).

John White is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Alan Plater Introduction Prelude Larkin Talks on Jazz (1962)
Part One Reviews in Newspapers and Periodicals
1. The Mighty Mezz 2. The New Bohemia 3. Jazz 4. Harsh and Bitter Sweet 5. Bad Bold Beauty
6. Such Sweet Thunder 7. Mouldie Figges 8. Blues from the Brickyards
9. Jazz in Society
10. Music of the Negro 11. A Racial Art 12. A Real Musicianer 13. The Critic as Hipster
14. With Not-So-Silent Friends 15. Lives of the Poets 16. Bunk's Boy
17. The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band 18. Should Jazz Be an Art? 19. Jazz and the White Americans 20. On The Wing
21. Timbres Varied 22. Testifyin' to the Blues Tradition 23. Lovely Gigs
24. Didn't They Ramble
25. Very Good Friend 26. Soul Food 27. Gulliver's Travails 28.
Disagreeable to Unbearable
29. Jazzmen 30. The New Yorker Beat 31. Byways of the Blues 32.
Unacknowledged Legislators
33. Music to Stand Up To 34. Jazz-Man's Sound and Fury 35. Satchmo Still
36. In Benny Goodman's Golden Days 37. Negroes of Europe 38. Bessie &
Billie 39. Birdlife 40. Calling the Tune
41. That Nice Boy 42. Getting the Gigs 43. A Jazzman's Frenzied Fragments
44. Top Band Talk
45. Crows and Daws 46. Wandering Minstrels 47. Pleasing the People 48.
Home Cooking Part One: Notes and Commentary Part Two A Miscellany of Essays, Book Reports and Letters
49. Essay for Weekend Telegraph 50. Report on A Guide to the Literature of Jazz
51. Letter Concerning A Guide to the Literature of Jazz 52. Report on The Jazz Tradition
53. Review of Your Jazz Collection 54. Letter to Terry Henebery 55.
Report on Black Beauty, White Heat
56. Essay on Duke Ellington, Makers of Modern Culture Part Two: Notes and Commentary Part Three Daily Telegraph Records of the Year 1961-70
57. 1961 58. 1962 59. 1963 60. 1964 61. 1965 62. 1966 63. 1967
64. 1968 65. 1969 66. 1970
67. Postscript: Larkin's First Essay on Jazz (1940)
Appendix I Books Reviewed and Cited Appendix II Glossary of Jazz Artists Cited.

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