Pizza? Jazz? Pizza and jazz? Yes. Pizza and jazz. There is no better combo since jelly and ice cream. Cheese and pineapple. Um. Peanut butter and tomato! (Just me?)
If you have never been to this legendary basement jazz club, then it’s time you went. Jazz lovers have been flocking to this 120-capacity club in the heart of Soho for years, to hear and see some of the best jazz players in the world.
Top jazz players have been playing the club for years and more recently, more mainstream musicians like Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Diana Krall and Amy Winehouse all sharpened their chops here.. Also, as an audience member you really couldn’t get much more up close and personal. (Which reminds me, don’t have the chilli sauce on your pizza if you can’t hack it, or you’ll be sneezing olives into the piano. This definitely did not happen to me.)
Last Friday night I was lucky enough to catch the fantastic Liane Carroll Trio with guest guitarist-amazers, John Etheridge. John, whose career has taken him from a long-term collaboration with legendary violinist Staphane Grapelli to being a key member of seminal jazz-fusion band ‘Soft Machine,’ has a way of being completely yet understatedly brilliant. It’s rather unnerving, how you suddenly realise that your jaw has dropped open in awe… and you have a bit of rocket in your teeth. (Again, this definitely did not happen to me.) Pat Metheney has named him as ‘one of the best guitarists in the world’ so I feel entirely justified in being utterly bowled over.
Liane is dynamite on stage. Funny, self deprecating, hilarious, silly and wonderful. She is a hugely skilled and inventive singer and pianist, who manages to redefine the boundaries between jazz, pop and blues… She was joined on stage by Roger Carey on bass and Mark Fletcher on drums. Oof, they were good. I’m glad I can now do dirty whistles with my fingers – I was making a happy racket. Her heart melting and emotional version of ‘The Nearness of You’ was my highlight.. and I still managed to whistle, even though I was sobbing into my Fiorentina pizza…
I love this jazz club. It makes me feel excited and alive and lucky to be in London. It’s moody, it’s intimate and it’s the real deal. It’s steeped in jazz history and its walls are packed to the hilt with pictures of faces gone by to prove it…
It’s a total gem of a venue and with jazz music pulsing through it seven nights a week, there will always be a gig on the horizon for you to catch.
See you there,
Pizza Express Jazz Club
10 Dean Street