Don't be fooled by Larkin's backpage puff: 'I hope they (the reviews in the collection) suggest I love jazz'. His introduction to this compendium is little more than a sustained diatribe against not only modern jazz, but modernism in general. Larkin actually hates jazz as we know it. Everything in this book was first published in the Daily Telegraph, and conforms to its tory ethic - Larkin understands little that doesn't relate to the 1930's 'white' bands with which he grew up, and can only evince a bemused reactionary mistrust for everything that jazz later evolved into. Carried over from this is a persistent urge to demarcate 'white' and 'negro' music which makes for painful reading whenever he attempts to discuss jazz roots, or blues. The blessing is that he is entirely aware of his own musical prejudices, and the book is full of painstaking attempts at objective evaluation which are priceless for their vague, poetic neutrality. There is nothing much for the jazz historian here, but the Larkin fan will find the book insightful, and will appreciate its effortlessly majestic style.