Until Saturday night I had never been to a jazz club in London until we went to hear Jessy J play with the Grainger Brothers at the Pizza Express Live jazz club in Soho. I discovered Jessy J on Youtube last year and was soon hooked on her smooth jazz. She has a degree from the University of South California and after her degree she worked with folks such as Michael Buble before recording on her own behalf (all of this is detailed in Jessy J’s Wikipedia entry).
Currently she has three albums released – see below. Her fourth album, Second Chances, is released next month (September 2013). Searches on Amazon UK need to be carefully made, otherwise “Jessie J” appears in the search results. Wikipedia is kind enough to point out on her entry that she is not to be confused with the British singer-songwriter “Jessie J”.
The Pizza Express Live in Soho is on Dean Street and bookings can be made via their website and they have a weekly email newsletter to keep everyone informed of upcoming acts. Entry to the Jazz Club is via the main restaurant and then down into the basement. Doors open at 19:30 and guests are shown to their ‘reserved’ tables. We were the fifth to book seats and were seated literally next to the stage and right in front of where Jessy J was to play. The Jazz Club serves the Pizza Express menu and we were rapidly served with starters and bottle of wine with our favourite pizzas to follow.
The Grainger Brothers, of Baltimore, started the set off at nine, here’s the set list for the whole show.
On Pizza Express Live’s TripAdvisor comments such as ‘intimate’ and ‘great atmosphere’ are used to describe attending a show – I can confirm that sitting a few feet away from a performer is truly great!
We were treated to tracks from all of Jessy J’s albums, including one for the new one. Jessy J explained that in her home the only music that everyone could agreed upon was that of Sergio Mendes and we had a great version of ‘Mes Que Nada’. Songs from Santana (‘Oye Como Va’) and Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine were mixed up with Jessy J’s own music. In the short break the Grainger Brothers played some of their own tracks and I’m now hunting down imports of their albums.
Jessy J was very gracious after her set was finished and stayed in the Club to sign autographs, to chat to guests and to pose for photographs.
— Jessy J (@JessyJSax) August 11, 2013
Follow Pizza Express Live @pizzajazzclub