Book: Philip Larkin

Philip Larkin, All What Jazz (FSG). Perhaps I was too harsh when I called the late British poet and jazz critic a troglodyte. It must be admitted, however, that he found it difficult to say anything favorable about modern jazz without backing into the compliment. “I never liked bop,” Larkin wrote. It seemed to me a nervous and hostile music, at odds with the generous spirit of its predecessors. But it had its masters. One of these was Clifford Brown…” Still, even his most wrong-headed conclusions can make entertaining reading. It is getting harder and harder to find this book. Now might be the time to snag a copy.