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Larkin's Jazz Box set

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Larkin's Jazz
  • +
  • All What Jazz: A Record Diary, 1961 - 1971
  • +
  • Jazz Writings
Total price: £46.97
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 July 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Proper Records
  • ASIN: B003LZ38IW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,150 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Twenty-five years after his death, Larkin's international reputation as a poet shows no signs of diminishing. In 2008, he gained first place in a poll of readers of The Times to choose the "50 greatest British writers since 1945". His writings and opinions on jazz have been as controversial as they have been astute. As is well-known, Charlie Parker and John Coltrane were his bêtes noirs, but Larkin's strictures against them - notably in his collected reviews All What Jazz - are not always to be taken too seriously. Larkin's Jazz, commissioned by the Philip Larkin Society, is part of the "Larkin 25" celebrations. Larkin wrote that: "Few things in life have given me more pleasure in life than listening to jazz." This collection offers fresh perspectives on both Larkin and the jazz he actually liked. There is no other compilation of "Larkin's Jazz" on the market. A majority of the devotees of Larkin's poetry do not share his passion for jazz. But they have never had the opportunity to listen to a representative sampling of the records that were one of the great artistic experiences of his life. "Philip Larkin's Jazz: A Celebration" offers them the opportunity to discover what they have missed or ignored. Trevor Tolley and John White offer informed and "personal" reflections on Larkin and the music that he loved. Both have written extensively on Larkin and jazz.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Of course a labour of love by Larkin's jazz-informed friends - and a great collection of antique jazz. As music and as an insight into Larkin's world this is valuable. Excellent booklet too. (Took me many years of jazz listening to appreciate this kind of stuff, my own cliched prejudices being a mirror image of Larkin's: I thought jazz began with Charlie Parker.)

It should come as no surprise that this set is issued by ProperBox - another quality bargain from Joop & co. Well done to all involved.
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By Barry McCanna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Philip Larkin was a poet who used his skills as a wordsmith to champion the jazz he loved, and to defend it against the absurdities which were being visited upon the arts generally in the name of modernism. He has been dismissed as a reactionary old fuddy-duddy, because it's far easier to shoot the messenger than to rebut his argument. This set has been issued to mark the quartercentenary of his death, and is none the worse for being rooted mainly in the twenties and thirties.

The discs are arranged in logical but not chronological sequence. The first (I Remember, I Remember) brings together his early acquisitions which "spoke directly to our understanding". That visceral appreciation deepened and widened at university and disc 2 (Oxford) selects some of the records he shared with his fellow undergraduates, Kingsley Amis included. Whether by chance or intention, it features mainly white bands, but the balance is restored by Disc 3 (All What Jazz). Up until now all of the records selected had been issued as 78s, with an average playing time of 3 minutes, but the final disc (Minority Interest) presents some more extended items from the LPs that Larkin and friends would listen to at jazz evenings in the seventies and eighties (except for Earl Bostic's "Flamingo" which I recall clearly as having been issued on both 78 and 45).

The set includes an illustrated booklet of over 50 pages, which carries two appreciations of Larkin, and a commentary on the tracks, often drawing on Larkin's writing on the subject. All too often jazz criticism sends the reader off on a search (often fruitless) for the recording in question, so to have both yoked together is a treat not to be missed, particularly when the critic is so articulate.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend this collection too highly. Its incredible value for money, the recordings are all of good quality and I like the music selected.
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Format: Audio CD
You do not have to agree with Larkin's dismissal of a swathe, or more, of jazz to enjoy everything in this box. And it is well worth buying even if one has quite a bit of it already, as it forms a terrific companion to Larkin's endlessly re-readable articles.

It would have been interesting if an English paper or magazine had given him the space accorded Whitney Balliett in America. But perhaps that was not Larkin's "thing".
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection is an excellent Mosaic of Jazz styles and players. It must suit every Jazz enthusiast`s listening! Covering many Decades of Jazz it is guaranteed to suit all enthusiasts.An excellent collection at a very good price.
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Format: Audio CD
Larkin has good taste - a reverence for the music of late twenties and thirties Chicago and New York. Although Larkin had a reputation for grumpiness no one who likes Pee Wee Russell and Frank Teschemacher can be all bad! A refreshing selection for those who feel that bebop was the end of jazz!
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Format: Audio CD
I have heard just about everything here, starting as a 13 year old teenager. I still have quite a lot including 78s and of course LPs as well as (though not many) CDs. I don't normally buy compilations because mine are far better than anyone else's, but I'll be buying this set just as soon as I've finished this review.

Why? Because life's far too short and there isn't a dud track in the whole list. My jazz taste evolved far beyond Larkin's (he hated bebop and fusion and all <em>that</em> jazz) but I've never forgotten <em>my</em> roots.

Trust me, this is 5* and a bit stuff.

<em>(I hope the HTML code doesn't show - I haven't tried it before on Amazon)</em>
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is without a doubt the best jazz compilation ever! Not only the choice of tracks but the packaging, presentation and quality.
Couldn't find one thing to winge about. Fantastic value for money, I just love it. So thank you Mr. Larkin and the team that put this together, first class job.
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