Soho, October 1963. It’s not been a great year for British jazz record releases or jazz sales in general. You only have to look through your copy of ‘Jazz News and Review’ to see the venues listed moving towards R&B. The Ealing Jazz Club, the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, the White Hart on the Uxbridge Road are all now hosting R&B nights. They are dancing to American rhythm and blues records at the Disc and at the recently opened Scene Club. Even the National Jazz Festival in Richmond has been infiltrated.
You can still hear jazz though at The Marquee, at Klooks Kleek, at Ronnie’s and at the 100 Club which caters for trad and modern tastes. But the best place to be sweaty and hip is The Flamingo in Wardour Street. Early Saturday evenings at The Mingo mean Modern Jazz both live and on vinyl
Collected here are several slabs of British quality along with influential American sounds from labels such as Impulse, Atlantic and World Pacific. This album captures the period just as rhythm and blues is emerging as the dominant club sound, forcing clubs like the Flamingo to change their music policy in order to survive.