Jazz is alive and well and living in New York City---and in San Francisco---and in Paris, and in the other places I love to be... Likewise, wherever you happen to be, you will most likely tell me that jazz is right there, where you are, living and breathing, and attracting devoted followers, who often feel passionate beyond words when they hear the opening strains of “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis, or “My Favorite Things,” by John Coltrane, or maybe “A Waltz for Debby,” by Bill Evans.
So it was, recently, on an October night at Jazz Standard right on 27th Street….I was there with someone very nice, listening to the Vijay Ayer Trio, and enjoying the music of this 42-year-old MacArthur Fellow, who along with his trio creates music thoroughly within the tradition of classical jazz, with a sense of brand new energy that makes you want to drink wine and coffee at the same time…so you can wake up your senses in every possible way to drink their music in all night long.
D.C. Dowdell, a San Diego-based jazz pianist and teacher has said, “Jazz goes into my coffee in the morning, and in my wine at night.” Fourteen words of poetry expressing the love of jazz, coffee, and even wine, in a way that totally captures the exhilaration of the experience of drinking coffee (and wine) and listening to music that holds so many souls captive with its sheer beauty and ever-changing majesty.
Jazz Standard is located at 116 East 27th in NYC. The closest subway line is the 4/5/6, though you can get there other ways. World-class performers play classic jazz, funk and R&B, with performances every night of the week. There is a barbecue restaurant upstairs called Blue Smoke, renowned for its smoked dishes and sweet potato fries. However, food, drinks, dessert and coffee are also served in the club. The coffee is really good---as is the wine, the food, and especially the dessert (thumbs up to the pumpkin-ginger cake). Reservations are required.