Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This is pretty funny!

Some things that put a smile on my face:
Dunkin Donuts coffee
Egg tarts when they're hot
People arguing in Lebanese
Food joints that are open way after 11 p.m. when you're hungry
Craving for diner breakfast food
College students doing homework and hanging out in library at 2 a.m.
Older people who are young at heart
Water fountains

So the Henley Park jazz program is closed, after a well-run two plus years by Chris Grasso, featuring some of DC's and the nation's best jazz musicians. Its tenure also witnessed the deaths of two of its most dynamic singers: Pam Bricker and Sam Smith, and the growth of many up-and-coming ones. All in all, despite some personal preference of artists, the Henley had become one of my favorite places to listen to jazz. For one thing, there was no cover. Their food and drinks were in the reasonable price range. The musicians were always top-notch (with some minor exceptions). There was a real grand piano there, in lieu of funny sounding keyboards. I bidded my farewell to it last Friday seeing the second to last show.

It's harder and harder to listen to good jazz in DC town. If you wanted to see a really good show, you could always go to Blues Alley and spend at least $75 on everything. If you brought a date, it'd be $150+. Call me cheap, but that's not my idea of a good night. You could also go to Kennedy Center or Wolf Trap or Constitution Hall to listen to some world renowned artists. But it's not an intimate setting. I try to avoid these "siddown and shuddup" type places.

Jazz is meant to be listened to at nightclubs. Period.

Twins Jazz does not have a good vibe. I'd still try to go to Twins Lounge on Colorado Avenue on occasion but lately there hasn't been a lot of good acts. You can always count on the Big Three Trio at 219 in Alexandria putting on a good show on a weekend night. The cover is minimal and the atmosphere commands the attention of the audience. U-Topia on any given night should be fun but there's no piano. Keyboards just don't sound the same to my ears (Imagine Diana Krall playing keyboards - you immediately lose all interests). There's also Kinkead's on Penn Avenue with Hilton Felton, Bohemian Caverns on some nights, etc. with a real piano.

The closing of Blue Bar is another loss to the jazz community in DC after the closing of One Step Down and Fino. Sooner or later the only way to listen to good jazz is to put on an Oscar Peterson album at home. That's only one step away.

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