Here’s how Italian novelist Giorgio Bassani describes the musical tastes of one of the characters in his novel The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. Whether these listening habits were typical of upper-middle class students in late 30s Italy, I don’t know, but the “don’t be put off” suggests not.

‘What records have you got?’
‘Oh, a bit of everything: Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven. I also have at my disposal a good deal of jazz, but don’t be put off: Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Charlie Kunz…’

These days, Charlie Kunz is regarded very much as a dance band musician rather than a jazzer, but apart from that, a fairly hip selection.

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