RONNIE SCOTT’S JAZZ CLUB LONDON 47 Frith Street, Soho, London W1D 4HT
RONNIE SCOTT’S The world famous jazz night club set in the heart of Soho Presenting jazz music of international standard
Doors open at 8.30 pm Live music starts at 9.30 pm The club closes at around 3.00 am
There are three bars and an extensive A LA CARTE MENU
RESERVATIONS: E-MAIL TEL 44 (0)20 7439 0747 FAX 44 (0)20 7437 5081
For Ronnie Scott and Pete King, the dream finally came true on Friday October 30th, 1959. That was the day they opened their jazz club in basement premises at 39 Gerrard Street, in London’s Soho.
The dream had started taking shape some 12 years earlier when Ronnie, then 20, a highly promising tenor saxophonist, blew his savings on a trip to New York to see for himself what the jazz scene there was all about.
For a young jazzman from London, particularly in those early post-war years, it was like reaching Mecca. Because of Musicians’ Union restrictions, British jazz addicts in the late 1940s and 1950s had virtually no chance of hearing American jazzmen in person. And to hear them even on record meant paying out vast sums for imported 78 rpm performances of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and the others.
For Ronnie Scott, it was “a fantastic experience.” He’d never really heard an American group as such in a proper club atmosphere. The nearest experience had been some informal
London sessions featuring musicians from the Glenn Miller and Sam Donahue bands during the later war years.
Scott took in most of the New York clubs during his two-week stay. When it was finally time to return to London, the seeds of ambition were well and truly sown within his mind. He was high on American music and basked in the tremendous impression that the Three Deuces and the other clubs had made on him. There were other trips across the Atlantic, with the inevitable visits to the local jazz clubs.
There was one especially memorable night when Ronnie Scott heard the great Charlie Parker Quintet with Miles Davis at the Three Deuces. Playing next door was the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and, late into the night, Davis sat in and blew with Gillespie. The atmosphere was electric and Ronnie Scott carried on dreaming his dreams of setting up a similar kind of club in London.