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London Music Guide

London Music Guide

Pizza On The Park

London Jazz Special

Review: Pizza on the Park Cabaret - Richard Rodney Bennett and Claire Martin, 21 September to 16 October, two shows nightly at 9.15pm and 10.45pm, except for Sundays & Mondays.

The Gastronomy of Jazz
Dig your heels into jazz and your fork into that savoury crust - Pizza on the Park has done it again.

Pizza On the Park has never bopped so much: Sir Richard Rodney Bennett & Claire Martin's month-long-string of performances have brought even more bags of class to the Uptown pizzeria, where smoky voices and Pancetta have always reigned supreme.

Pizza On The Park has always stuck to the unusual conundrum of slinging perfect pizza and promoting proper jazz, which is nearly impossible to contain in one venue, let alone one sitting. Yet, somehow in the midst of dark tablecloths, singular red carnations and the kind of table service that brings a gentle note of confirmation to your heart, Pizza on the Park works successfully hard enough to please, and this - above all - is worth the hefty ticket price.

Bennet and Martin exist in their own pleasant world of Cabaret: Bennett ahead in age and wisdom, with a trail of musical feats following after him, including the score to Four Weddings and Funeral, collaboration with Paul McCartney and commissions from BBC Prom. His fingers are nimble and his voice lissom and quick: the sixty-eight year old can still duly seduce and comfort his cabaret crowd.

Martin's involvement creates a welcome pair. Her papery voice brings hard edge lilts and twirls to the repoirtoire: she was brave to belt out numerous Ella's -efforts that lifted to her well-earned range. Together they perpetuate long-rehearsed jokes and anecdotes, all still well received from a crowd ready to chuckle, in the midst of an expert song-list.

It's the kind of night that makes you think you grew up in the thirties, that the bottle of wine at the table is actually bootleg, and that you will be walk away to some foggy soundtrack, and let's be honest: this is why most like jazz, anyway.

Megan M. Retka

Click here to see the full month's schedule at Pizza on the Park


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