Islamist godfather Sayyid Qutb wasn't the only conspiracy theorist to take a dim view of jazz ("A type of music invented by Blacks to please their primitive tendencies...".) Author Edward Renehan reproduces the words of Henry Ford:
Popular music is a Jewish monopoly. Jazz is a Jewish creation. The mush, slush, the sly suggestion, the abandoned sensuousness of sliding notes, are of Jewish origin.
As for the orgiastic angle, it's easy to forget how widely held Qutb's views used to be. After all, the J-word itself started out as a euphemism for "sex". Ross Firestone's stylish biography of the "king of swing", Benny Goodman describes how the outraged director of the New York Schools of Music ran a series of experiments "that showed that when boys and girls were left alone, they conversed together as usual if classical music was played, but started necking freely as soon as the music was changed to swing."
To which I can only say I wish more of today's jazz could do that. There are still plenty of good musicians out there (which is why the Mobo award organisers were wrong to drop the category from tonight's ceremony.) But too many of the others generate all the passion of a commuter doing a crossword puzzle.
Sexiest piece of jazz in my record collection? How about Ahmad Jamal's version of Poinciana, the smoky club equivalent of Ravel's Bolero? Or there's Stanley Turrentine's tenor sax solo on Kenny Burrell's Mule.