Philip Larkin was not just a poet, he was also a jazz journalist. His collected articles can be found in All What Jazz: A Record Diary 1961–1971. (Faber and Faber. 1985). Larkin’s love of jazz was less prominent in his poetry, but one poem stands out as a startling ‘love song’ to New Orleans – For Sidney Bechet, (to be found in The Whitsun Weddings, 1964). In this episode we tell the fascinating story of saxophonist Sidney Bechet and how his life and music interwove with that of Larkin’s. We have some amazing jazz to accompany us and some voices of the time, opening with Philip Larkin himself.
For Sidney Bechet from The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin (1964, Faber)- reading taken from The Sunday Sessions (2009)
Philip Larkin, Life, Art and Love by James Booth (Bloomsbury 2015)
Tracks from Larkins’ Jazz (Properbox 55):
· Sidney Bechet and his New Orleans Footwarmers- Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning and Blue Horizon
· Frankie Traumbauer and his Orchestra- Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
Other jazz tracks:
Sidney Bechet- Sheik of Araby and Petit Fleur
Monty Sunshine – Petit Fleur
Charlie Parker – A Night in Tunisia
Thom Yorke on Desert Island Discs https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0008qg3
La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle, 2016)
Treat It Gentle by Sidney Bechet (Cassell, 1960)
Sidney Bechet The Wizard of Jazz by John Chilton (Macmillan 1987)
An Enormous Yes In memoriam Philip Larkin (1922-1985)(Peterloo Poets, 1986)
Leonard Bechet clip from ‘Jelly Roll Morton Godfather of Jazz’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFpkgZBf-mc
Presented by Lyn Lockwood.
Audio production by Gavin Hogg, mastering by Simon Galloway.