Ray Smith

Ray's Jazz ShopRay Smith, founder of Ray's Jazz Shop, died on 17 April, aged 76. He ran the shop at 180 Shaftesbury Avenue, London from 1983 until 2002, when a rent increase forced him to vacate in favour of yet another restaurant.

Playing jazz onto Shaftesbury Avenue on one side and Monmouth Street on the other, the shop had the quality of making any album received for review and mentally filed as routine sound not only immediately appealing but an essential purchase.

Ray sold the business to Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road, where it is now situated on the third floor and a thriving part of the West End jazz scene with concerts and media events augmenting jazz audio, video and magazine sales.

Matthew Wright, former Ray's manager, tells Jazz Journal that Ray's funeral will be at West Chapel, Golders Green on Wednesday 27 April at 12.00, followed by adjournment to the Spice of Life at Cambridge Circus.

Update: An obituary by Matthew Wright, closely associated with Ray for many years, will appear in the June 2011 issue of Jazz Journal.

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