Where can I find an outstanding jazz bar in London?
July 5, 2011 2:25 PM   Subscribe

Where are some awesome jazz bars in London? I am looking for somewhere that has a resident live band... the kind of thing you'd imagine Brad Pitt and George Clooney planning a casino heist in with both of them wearing suit and shirt with no tie. Whilst drinking Scotch. Bonus points if it's a place that has an entrance fee to discourage the riff-raff.
posted by dougrayrankin to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Ronnie Scott's would fit the red-leather-booths-60s'-casino vibe. There's a house jazz and blues band on weekends (and a Jazz Lunch).
posted by vickyverky at 2:30 PM on July 5, 2011

You are looking for the legendary Ronnie Scotts
posted by patrad at 2:30 PM on July 5, 2011

Not a jazz bar, but 69 Colebrooke Row in Islington has the vibe you describe and on Thursday nights there is an excellent jazz pianist and there used to be jazz on Sundays as well.

Unfortunately there is no entrance fee but the miniscule size of the place, the request for reservations and the steep prices (cocktails at £12 and up) seem to be enough to discourage the riff-raff.
posted by braemar at 2:45 PM on July 5, 2011

606 Club
posted by cbrody at 2:57 PM on July 5, 2011

It's going to sound weird, but people speak very highly of the Pizza Express in Dean Street, Soho.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 7:24 PM on July 5, 2011

I don't think there's any out-and-out jazz bar in London that really has the glam Ocean's 11 vibe you're looking for. 606 is shambolic and scuzzy, and even Ronnie Scott's walks a fine line between seedy and touristy. If it's the jazz you're after then Vortex is probably most authentic, and if it's the fancy decor and exclusive atmosphere you'd like then maybe The Library Bar, at the Lanesborough, or Artesian at the Langham.
posted by roofus at 11:30 PM on July 5, 2011

Best answer: Ronnie Scott's remains one of the best places to catch live jazz in central London, but it's a far cry from that 60s Vegas chic that you seem to be after. It feels more like a Florida dinner theatre than a rat pack lounge.

The Hideaway in Streatham is a good out-of-town alternative, if you can be bothered to make the trek. It's got a great reputation, and a very interesting lineup.

I'll mention the Jazz Cafe too, because it gets some great acts. And The Boisdale in Canary Wharf looks promising, though I've never been myself.
posted by londonmark at 2:03 AM on July 6, 2011

Not my scene, but The Bull's Head in Barnes has a great reputation, live jazz every night of the week and the legendary Stan Tracey on the last Saturday of the month.
posted by verstegan at 1:01 PM on July 9, 2011

Response by poster: The Boisdale was exactly the kind of establishment I was looking for. Thanks.
posted by dougrayrankin at 8:45 AM on August 6, 2011

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