Pizza Express And All That Jazz

27th February 2023

Pizza Express, the restaurant chain popular for its Leggera Padana pizza (according to the restaurant) and less popular for its ties to the jazz community is launching its own record label.

For some, this will be seen as a bold move.  Why would a pizza restaurant venture into an industry in which 90% of released recordings reportedly fail to make a profit?

For others, especially those in the know, this may not be quite so random given that the chain opened its first jazz club in the late 1960s, and now has three venues in total collectively offering over a thousand shows yearly.

Statistically, jazz music consumption is on the lower end (only 1.1% of all music sold in the U.S in 2018, ranking higher than only four other music genres), however jazz is believed to be one of the best genres to listen to on vinyl. This assumption, coupled with the fact that vinyl format sales continue to rise, may well be the driving force behind PX Records’ decision to release its first two albums on vinyl format (alongside digital release and CD format).

According to Billboard, the week ending 22 December 2022 is the single-largest sales week for vinyl albums since 1991 with a reported 2.32 million vinyl albums sold.

So whilst streaming, the preferred method of music consumption, generated over £1.66 billion in the UK alone during 2022 (according to the British Phonographic Industry), streaming revenue has reportedly increased by only 5% compared to vinyl sales which have increased by 11%.

No doubt jazz music aficionados will be looking forward to the new label’s planned releases of previously unreleased live performances from some of the world’s renowned artists who have performed at their venues.

With a global music market worth $26 billion in 2021, it’s no surprise that Pizza Express wants a slice of the pie.

The newly dubbed PX Records will release albums from new and established stars of the jazz and soul scene alongside a selection of music from Pizza Express Live’s extensive archive of live recordings.