by Nick Catalano
Historically, the London jazz scene has played an important part in the growth of the music and its appreciation although most of that importance has to do with English performers and writers and less with jazz venues. For decades, when you went to London, you thought of only one club--Ronnie Scott's. And even though there are several new boites about the city, a recent visit revealed that, despite the new establishments, very few Londoners and visitors out for a jazz ...read more
by David Rickert
Ronnie Scott stares out at you from the cover shot on Birth of a Legend with a confident glare, as if to dare you to suggest that the Brits couldn't play as well as their American counterparts overseas. This two-disc set of the saxophonist's various musical exploits indeed proves that across the pond in the forties and fifties were a small group of musicians who could play just as well, and sometimes better on a good night, than their idols. ...read more
by Nic Jones
Ronnie Scott's role as the owner of Britain's longest surviving jazz club has perhaps distracted attention from his work as a musician, and this situation was hardly helped by the fact that he wasn't recorded that often in his lifetime. This set goes some way towards rectifying the first situation, but at the same time it serves also as a primer for the way in which bebop was disseminated in the later 1940s and 1950s.
In a sense there is ...read more