It Must Be Jelly, And Other Stories…
Jay, voted the most influential food and drink journalist in Britain by his peers, is notorious for his acerbic wit as a critic both in print and on television. He is the author of ten books, fiction and non-fiction, appears regularly on TV – including on the soon-to-launch Tried and Tasted for Channel 4 – and presents The Kitchen Cabinet for BBC Radio 4. Alongside all this he has a career as a jazz pianist, performing with his quartet everywhere from the Bath International Festival and Pizza Express Live in Soho to the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s.
A Night Of Food And Agony captures the atmosphere of the quartet’s live shows as Jay examines the relationship between jazz and two key themes in his life: food and drink; and growing up with mother Claire Rayner, the renowned agony aunt and sex advice columnist.
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, as well as pop diva Kylie Minogue. 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, Bryan Ferry and Eric Clapton.
But what completes the show is the compelling 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 given they’re married to each other. This isn’t mere nepotism; it’s good fortune. Pat has been singing longer than Jay has been playing, and has spent time training with the legendary jazz singer Liane Carroll.