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Iridium Jazz Club

Don't know if there are any jazz fans out there, but I went for the first time to Iridium last weekend. Saw Michael Brecker. The show was awful... and I'm a big Michael Brecker fan. Rather than talk about why the music didn't work that night, I'd rather focus on the club (since this is a New York board), which I'd say is one of the worst venues I've experienced. The sets are super short so that they can squeeze in three per night. The numerous wait staff are constantly (and I mean constantly) walking in your view. The kitchen/bar noise is loud, and the acoustics are really not good at all. Since shows there are almost $40 plus a $10-15 minimum drink/food order, I'd expect a better experience. I almost felt like I was at a fast-food hamburger joint that happened to have jazz and dim lighting.

John Perkins
Thursday, November 27, 2003

Iridium just moved.
Friday, November 28, 2003

Obviously I went to the new location. Do you mean that things were different in the old location?

John Perkins
Friday, November 28, 2003

i had the same crappy experience at the holy blue note. add to that the fact that the tables were so surreally small that my knees were literally pressed up against a stranger on both sides. shameful!

the knitting factory is great though.

Monday, December 1, 2003

Knitting factory is a completely different kind of venue.

I enjoyed BB King's, even if Wilson Picket has no voice now, and Cachao isn't as entertaining as he once was. It's crowded, and the food is expensive, but the food is pretty good, and I think all the seats are too.

I've never been to Iridium or the Blue Note. I just noticed a sign on the door of Iridium as I walked by.
Monday, December 1, 2003

I've been to the Blue Note before for a late show and stood at the bar, but I've never had the food. A few of us are going this weekend with an out-of-town jazz fan who wanted to see Elvin Jones, so I'll report back on the venue.

John Perkins
Monday, December 1, 2003

I actually roadied at the Blue Note once for a vibist/marimbist several years ago. I concur the tables are unbelievably small. There is a rasied section towards the back of the place which is kind of L-shaped if memory serves. The best seats in the house are on the raised section because you are eye-level with the performers. I've heard the food there is decent, but not eaten it myself. I've also not been there for several years so the it might be a little different now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

sadly most big label jazz acts these days have to cater to the starbucks compilation CD crowd. instead of catering to the traditional intellectual type jazz fan, clubs like the iridium and blue note cater to upper-middle-management types who are trying to pretend to have taste. by definition, these people have no taste, therefore the iridium can get away with it, because most people don't even notice.

if you want a better experience, try the knitting factory or tonic. john zorn's masada or bar kokba at tonic is a truly sublime experience.

Thursday, December 4, 2003

Huh, so Iridium moved. I've been there once to see Les Paul. That show was absolutely awesome!

I mostly go to the Village Vanguard.

Saturday, December 6, 2003

Went last night to the Blue Note to see Elvin Jones' Jazz Machine. This is my second trip there, but my first where I actually was seated at a table. There was amplification, but the sound was mostly ok... not the greatest room I've heard. A good time was had by everyone at our table, though, and I'd recommend this club over the new Iridium any day. Still, I like the Village Vanguard better. Next stops are some of the smaller venues in NYC... making the rounds in my new town.

John Perkins
Sunday, December 7, 2003

For a great jazz experience go see the Mingus Big Band at Fez (in the basement of Time Cafe every Thursday).  The food, price ($18) and music cannot be beat.

Thursday, December 18, 2003


Amy Chen
Sunday, February 15, 2004

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