Friday, July 31, 2009

Where To Buy & Where To See

From time to time I get people asking "where can I get that?" or "where can we see some jazz?". So I thought I would provide a shortlist of some of the places in particular areas across the globe that I've been to or know about for jazz. I haven't spent enough time in the Southern US to give a good assessment. So if anyone knows the good hotspots in the South and Southwest please comment.
I hope you enjoy your next trip if you're in any of these cities.

Chicago
Clubs: The New Apartment Lounge attracts a wide array of artists and has a great low key vibe that everyone should enjoy. The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) and Velvet Lounge (http://www.velvetlounge.net/) are other great options if you want to avant garde and experimental jazz.
Stores: Dusty Groove America (http://www.dustygroove.com/) for obscure, out-there jazz albums and funky soul (old and new). Jazz Record Mart (http://www.jazzrecordmart.com/) is almost a massive supermarket of jazz in a space built for a shoe (figuratively speaking). But it's worth the time spent hunting for cool stuff.

San Francisco
Clubs: Yoshis (http://www.yoshis.com/) is the place to be for anyone looking for all styles of jazz. Just get there when they tell you to get there or you'll miss out. The audience is the quintessential jazz crowd, no noise, no phones, just listen to the music--you dig.
Stores: Amoeba (http://www.amoeba.com/) is probably one of the best s(independent or chain) in the country. A selection of everything - alternative, pop, country, classical and jazz. They also have fantastic live performances.

New York
Clubs: The Village Vanguard (http://www.villagevanguard.com/) is the grandaddy of them all. If you want the jazz experience you've dreamed about or seen in books and on TV, The Vanguard is it. The Jazz Standard (http://www.jazzstandard.net/) is another great venue for both upcoming musicians and big names. The atmosphere at the Standard can sometimes be annoying but for the most part people are there for the music.
Stores: Well, considering that there are very few music stores left in NYC, the best place for a wide selection and good prices will be J and R Music (http://www.jandr.com/).

London
Clubs: Jazz Cafe (http://www.jazzcafe.co.uk/) in Camden Town is where you need to be if you want to learn anything about Jazz in England. It is the hip place for jazz and neo-soul. The classic jazz club that still remains is Ronnie Scott's Club (http://www.ronniescotts.co.uk/). Not allot needs to be said - it is the Blue Note or Birdland of London. Everyone who's anyone has to play Ronnie Scott's Club.
Stores: Believe it or not but many of the independent record stores have become underwhelming in recent years but except for Rays Jazz Shop and Soul Brother (http://www.soulbrother.com/) They each still have some goods to make your trip worth while.

Oslo
Clubs: Bla (http://www.blx.no/) is considered by many as the best jazz club in Norway. It attracts the best in European jazz and audiences are a nice mixture of both tourists and the hardcore jazz fan. It might be a little too hip for its own good but its still a nice place to hang.

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