Alan Plater, London NW3Reuse content
ANDREW MOTION may be right about everything else, but he is wrong in stating that the jazz at Philip Larkin's commemoration was played by 'a rhythm section from Hull'. The band was a sextet of the best in the business, which doesn't automatically disqualify Hull, but did on this occasion. It included Alan Elsdon on trumpet, whose unaccompanied solo of Just a Closer Walk With Thee echoes in the mind to this day. The other musicians were John Barnes, Pete Strange, Dave Green, Jim Douglas, and Laurie Chescoe. This would have been important to Philip who, in 1954, wrote knowingly about jazz lovers, 'Wrapped up in personnels like old plaids'.