This Saturday's edition of the Guardian newspaper includes yet another long article prompted by All What Jazz, Philip Larkin's collection of record reviews, this time from someone called John Harris, a 42-year old journalist who has recently been compared to "one of those irritating schoolteachers who thought he was really `with it' and kool, who would always stroll into class a couple of minutes late decked out in jeans and an un-ironed flowery shirt, and who was forever saying things like: `Look kids, I know this stuff is super-boring but it's also really important, so let's learn it, yeah?'"
According to Harris, pre-bop styles of jazz contain "the whiff of yes-sirree minstrelism." Nevertheless, to show what a perceptive listener he is, Harris describes Louis' 1930 recording of Dear Old Southland as "a characteristically ebullient piece in which the brass, piano and charging tempo conspire to evoke a mad night on the tiles", and concedes that Sidney Bechet's Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning must "in wartime Britain
have sounded like news from another world." It still does, John; it still bloody does...