EXCITING JAZZ AND TASTY FOOD AT THE 606 CLUB

Cosy atmosphere, inspiring live music, refined dishes and selected wine: this is the 606 Jazz Club.

Popular among the Jazz lovers, it’s situated in the basement of an old brick building in 90 Lots road, close to the Imperial Wharf overground station: quite difficult to find it, as there’s no signal outside. It’s a place for connoisseurs.

We went there on Thursday at nine, just in time for the one band concert of that evening: Tim and the Whitehead Quartet. We rang a doorbell and a waiter came upstairs to open a big black door gate and let us in.

A tiny hall with a desk full of flyers, a hanger where we were invited to leave our coats and a table with the stereo system commands, led to a wide room half full of people from all ages and small wood tables. On the right, an arch in the brick floors allows the people at the bar to see the stage.

We chose a table close to the stage and after a while the lights went lower and the club’s owner announced the concert was starting: “Please turn off your mobile phones and don’t chat too loud, we want to hear their music,” he said.

The multi-award-winning saxophonist Tim Whitehead, musician and composer in residence at Tate Britain, presented his fellow saxophonist Tony Woods, the bassist and the drummer.

A few jokes and they started to play some old tunes to warm the atmosphere before getting into the new album. They balanced soft rhythm with more lively sound: very pleasant to listen to and impossible to get bored.

Sitting at our squared table, we took a bottle of white Tuscan wine and a friendly waiter wrote down our orders as we indicated them on the menu. A dish of sliced pita bread with soft homemade hummus was a smart starter, as it’s easy to eat while you’re grabbed by the music.

The main courses came as the Quartet was playing a tune from Tim’s last CD: tender baked salmon fillet served on a julienne of flannel and courgettes with potato puree for me, and roasted cod with crispy potato tart and broccoli for my partner.

The menu doesn’t offer a wide choice, but it changes weekly, following the chef’s “specials”. Although the servings were big, we couldn’t resist the temptation to enjoy the second part of the concert while sharing a delicate pear tart topped by fresh cream.

After the break, Tim’s daughter joined the stage with her charming voice for a couple of songs, while a friend of her played piano. Later on, Tim played a long exciting assolo and then the rest of the Quartet followed him.

It was overall an expensive dinner, around £70 in two, but the dishes were tasty and sophisticated, the venue was pleasant and the service impeccable. There was also an additional fee of £10 per person for the concert, which we were advised of when we booked.

At the end of the concert, the club owner came to the microphone, thanked both the Quartet and the public and by the time we went off at midnight we were given a free CD mix.

More info and the virtual tour of the venue at www.606club.co.uk.

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