Anne Ryan reports on Ronnie Scott's relaunch – London July 2006

Multiple Venues
First impressions count, and the freshly spruced -up Ronnie Scott's on opening night felt revivified, fresh and inviting, with a friendly welcome from the door people, lots of sparkle, sultry lighting - and some incredible jazz from the James Pearson Trio and their guests.

Pearson and his men are to be the support act for an exceptional line-up of visiting international artists scheduled for the coming months at the Frith Street club - including Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis and Clare Martin.

On opening night, Pearson and sidemen Arnie Somogyi on double bass and Tristan Maillot on drums gelled instantly, seemingly without expenditure of effort. Playing mostly standards, they went on to invite guest singer Haley Sanderson up for a classy set of gently soulful tunes.

Guest singer/sax player Ray Gellato was especially warmly received. Unfortunately we had to leave early to get the bus home, leaving him crooning to the delighted - and our dessert still undelivered, hours late. Even at the shining new Ronnie Scott's, some traditions clearly haven't changed, and speed of food delivery is one of them. Excellent food, mind you, when it does come...

Writer: Anne Ryan