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Ronnie Scott's: The Old Place

posted Monday 29th July


Ronnie Scott's: The Old Place

Mon 19th - Sat 31st August 2019

Gerry’s Club, 52 Dean Street, Soho

In 1959, Ronnie Scott opened his first club around the corner from Frith Street in a tiny basement bar. In 2019, 60 years later, we are going to do it again.

Join us at our pop-up club down the road as we take over Gerry’s Club on 52 Dean Street to recreate ‘The Old Place’ for two weeks only. Experience how the club used to look and feel back in the day, with original memorabilia from that very first club. We’ll be playing some amazing renditions of legendary albums from that era including Kind of Blue, Blowin' The Blues Away, Time Out and Giant Steps, as well as fitting tributes to artists like Sonny Rollins and Stan Tracey.

Step back in time with us as we continue to celebrate our 60th anniversary with the place where it all began!



Mon 19th August -  Open Night Celebration (9.00pm doors)

The opening night features a musical explosion of British bebop classics that would have been played 60 years ago on that opening night, alongside audio memories from friends of the club from years gone by.

The opening night features a musical explosion of British bebop classics that would have been played 60 years ago on that opening night, alongside audio memories from friends of the club from years gone by.

Saxophonist Alex Garnett will be playing Ronnie’s original tenor sax, performing a composition by Ronnie; James Pearson will remember Eddie Thompson, the ‘majestic’ house pianist that played a set on the opening night and Chris Higginbottom will demonstrate why Jack Parnell made his first appearance in a club since ‘the relief of Mafeking’, plus special guests. 

Tues 20th August - John Coltrane’s Giant Steps (6.30pm/9.00pm)


Ronnie Scott’s Club Quartet performs the iconic album recorded in 1959. This was Coltrane’s first album as a leader for the new label Atlantic records and many of its tunes have become timeless Jazz Classics, such as Naima, Mr.P.C and its title track Giant Steps.



Weds 21st August - Miles Davis’s Kind Of Blue (6.30pm/9.00pm)


The 1959 album ‘Kind of Blue’  has been described by many critics as ‘The Greatest Jazz album of all time” The legacy of this album has left an indelible imprint on every jazz musician alive, not to mention other genres of music that has come since. Tonight we hear an entire rendition of the album and also music that has been inspired by it.


Thurs 22nd August - A Portrait of Wes Montgomery (6.30pm/9.00pm)

Wes first played in the club in 1965 with Stan Tracey and his trio. He had an ‘amiable, easygoing manner’, and picked the strings with his thumb instead of a plectrum, apparently so he wouldn’t disturb his neighbours. Arguably the best interpreter of the Wes style, guitarist Jim Mullen is universally admired by musicians of all styles, and has the same thumb picking technique as Wes. Expect a story or two about the ‘old days’!


Fri 23rd August - A Celebration of The Jazz Couriers- The Music of Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott (6.30pm/9.00pm)

The Jazz couriers were the short-lived quintet that put Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott on the map. With a mixture of standards and swing hard bop tunes mostly composed by Tubby the band’s appearances and recordings are ‘legendary’. Simon Spillett is the world authority on Tubby Hayes and has even written a biography of him. Alongside UK Jazz stalwart Pete Long you can expect the notes to be literally flying all over the room, and as for the jokes…no words!



Sat 24th August - A Salute to Sonny Rollins (6.30pm/9.00pm)

Sonny Rollins is a musician that lives and breathes music - on and off the stage.  When he appeared at the ‘old place’ he sometimes even started the set walking down the steps outside that led into the tiny office, then would emerge into the packed club and continue as the performance was already underway!  The saxophonist Art Theman has been playing since the late 1950’s and is a wonderful performer that has many anecdotes to share and Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon are early influences in his own style of playing.


Mon 26 August - Horace Silver’s Blowin the Blues Away (6.30pm/9.00pm)

This iconic album from 1959 was a precursor to the ‘Soul Jazz’ movement and is almost impossible not to like. With catchy tunes like ‘Sister Sadie’ and the beautiful ballad ‘Peace’ it's one of Horace Silver’s finest albums. The RSAS all-stars perform this as part of the 1959 Classic album series and it will also feature a couple of original tunes inspired by the album.

Tues 27th August - Dave Brubeck’s Time Out (6.30pm/9.00pm)

The Tour de force that is ‘Time Out’ changed the direction of composed jazz henceforth. With tracks like ‘Blue Rondo a la Turk’ and ‘Take five’ it still remains one of the biggest selling jazz albums. Alex Garnett will be on alto sax taking on the role of Paul Desmond and the band will also play some music from ‘Time Further Out” the companion album that features “it’s a Raggy waltz and Unsquare dance”


Weds 28th August - Remembering Stan Tracey (6.30pm/9.00pm)

Stan Tracey was the house pianist Ronnie’s for about 7 years- and prior to that he toured with Ronnie Scott and Ted Heath.  He is the most talked about ‘house pianist’ that the club has ever had and his trio was the rhythm section that played and recorded with the sax legends that came down to the club.  Stan’s son Clark is an amazing drummer and bandleader that has continued his fathers legacy. There will be some of Stan’s compositions and Clark will tell a few ‘behind the scene’ stories.


Thurs 29th August - The Bill Evans Trio in London (6.30pm/9.00pm)


The appearance of The Bill Evans Trio in the old place has become a landmark in the club’s history as it was the first ‘All American Group’ to play there. They even had a special piano that only arrived at the 11th hour!  Pianist James Pearson, with Jeremy Brown and Matt Skelton will salute that historic first performance with mix of standards that Bill used to play such as  ‘Beautiful Love’ and ‘Our Love is Here to stay’ alongside some of Bill’s own Haunting compositions such as ‘Waltz for Debbie’.


Fri 30th August - The Trumpet Kings (6.30pm/9.00pm)

To list all the trumpeters that performed at the ‘old place’ would be quite a task. Woody Shaw, Roy Eldridge, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd, Maynard Ferguson and Freddie Hubbard to name just 7!  Mark Kavuma is a hugely respected member of the emerging British Jazz scene, possessed of a great knowledge of the history of the music. Tonight he celebrates some of these great players with his acclaimed quartet.


Sat 31st August - Bebop Special- The Music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie (6.30pm/9.00pm)

We felt it appropriate to finish off The Old Place pop up with a true celebration of the bebop kings that started it all! It could be said that Ronnie Scott’s epiphanal moment was when he heard Miles Davis and Charlie Parker in New York at the Five Spot club on 52nd street in 1947-and not only because of the music. It was this very street and its wealth of clubs that inspired Ronnie to start his own club in London.  The energy and skill of the pioneers of Bebop, playing in a small club was the embodiment of modern jazz. Trumpeter Quentin Collins and saxophonist Sam Mayne are leading exponents of this style and will lead a fitting tribute in closing to this historic fortnight of celebrations!


















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