Jay Rayner Quartet

'Songs of Food and Agony'

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Last Show: Saturday 21 st July 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Founded in 2012, the fabulous Jay Rayner Quartet, romps through a repertoire of two halves. In keeping with his international renown as a restaurant critic, Jay tackles songs that deal with food and drink. Alongside that, in a series of brilliant anecdotes, he also reminisces about his childhood growing up with a mother who was a famous agony aunt and sex advice columnist, the late Claire Rayner. Because, as he says, ‘so many blues songs sound like a letter to an agony aunt’. Cue tunes like 'Black Coffee' and 'The Ladies Who Lunch', 'Food Glorious Food' and Leonard Cohen’s 'Dance Me To The End of Love'.


Jay is accompanied on bass by Robert Rickenberg, a formidably inventive player who rose to prominence with the Sheena Davis group and who has accompanied jazz greats such as Will Gaines and Mark Murphy. On sax is the highly-regarded Dave Lewis whose lyrical breaks power the groove in his own band, 1Up, and have seen him accompany the likes of Lamont Dozier and Bryan Ferry.

But what completes the show is the vocal performance from the extraordinary Pat Gordon-Smith, who gets right inside every lyric. There’s a special chemistry between Pat and Jay too, which isn’t surprising. They’re married to each other. This isn’t nepotism; it’s good fortune. Pat has been singing longer than Jay has been playing, and has trained with the legendary jazz singer Liane Carroll.
Join Jay and his quartet for a night of food, agony, cracking stories and music that will nourish the soul.

Band Lineup

Jay Rayner (vocals/piano)

Pat Gordon Smith (vocals)

Robert Rickenberg (bass)

Dave Lewis (sax)