Don’t worry gentlemen, that golden era you thought had died out in 1920s New York, along with Harry Houdini and the Flapper dress, is still happening right here in London. If jazz is your jam, your soundtrack for your morning commute or the beat that gets your legs tapping like a juvenile Bruce Forsyth, then London has it. To help you fulfil your inner hedonist we give you a list of the jazz clubs in London that you really need to visit:
It’s a must do. World renowned as being one of the best jazz clubs in Europe, the venue has attracted the likes of Eric Burdon and Tom Waits. For the main jazz club you’ll need to book tickets, otherwise take advantage of the upstairs Ronnie’s Bar, and feel a little like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas; sipping Martini to the backdrop of live jazz.
If you’re looking for the typical smoky basement jazz club you thought only ever existed in Hollywood films about bootlegging and gangsters, then the 606 is your place to go. The entertainment and atmosphere, without a stage, swings you right back to the golden era with a Gin Rickey and a fan kick.
From spoken word poetry to live contemporary jazz performances, the avant-garde music scene is tip-top for aspiring acts and spectators likewise. If you enjoy being an ineffective equivalent of Simon Cowell and revel on the idea of discovering new acts to boast to your friends about, visit The Vortex.
PIZZA EXPRESS JAZZ CLUB
No, it’s not just a typical Pizza Express chain restaurant with a few vintage jazz icon images blue-tacked to the wall and a cheesy jazz soundtrack humming in the background – it’s a club with real jazz people, and it actually looks pretty authentic. Of course the offer of jazz and pizza is one not even Carl Allen would turn down, and the quality of music is pitch-perfect for the spectator. www.pizzaexpresslive.com
London’s premier intimate venue has hosted the likes of Lemar and Lana Del Ray, if you wish to get up and close to the next Sinatra or Connick Jr. then the Jazz Café in Camden is a must.