Any great Live Jazz venues around L.A.?

HI @secretasianman

Thanks Barry. Actually I don’t mind paying cover for a good Jazz quintet to see the next Bill Evans, John Coltrane or Miles Davis. :slight_smile:

I have some friends visiting in the near future and Fri - Sun are probably the days that will work the most. So send me any suggestions you have, cover charge is fine.

you already know about vibrato. you might try the blue whale downtown.

they also used to feature live blues at the langham in pasadena on saturday nighte but that got phased out. their chef denny is well known locally as a blues harp (harmonica) player. i see chef denny occasionally at live blues event.

they converted that lounge into something called the tap room and they have live jazz there on friday saturday nights, but nothing bigger than a trio.

a local band called angel town combo plays at the barkley in pasadena.

unfortunately they do a lousy job of updating their website but ATC plays every last saturday of the month

is a trio but they frequently include a sax player, lots of standards but they also do a bit of miles davis here

no cover at the barkley the food is not the reason to go there. but it fits my current budget and they have a dance floor

You can take the boy out of the dawg pound, but…

had a chat with my friend jerry (watts) who’s a world class bass player. posed him the question{ hard bop quintet, standards and ballads and he thought the best bet was the blue whale and another place in DTLA called the springs where they had music every night and jams on certain nights


This Springs?

apparently, although jazz has apparently become only an occasional event. it’s been a quite a while since jerry’s played jams.

Alas, LA has never, in the last 50 years, been great at supporting jazz venues, and has only gone downhill as the jazz listenership has declined, and more of jazz has moved into “concert” spaces, (Royce Hall, Redcat, etc.) as contrasted with clubs. See Chowhound
Over the last 40 years (as long as I’ve lived in LA) the town has supported, at most, two real “flagship” national-acts-on-tour places, and a handful of others, at a given time, and the appearance of another has generally marked the demise of one of the veterans. With the gradual extinction of the movie/tv/recording studio music scene in LA, the “musician’s hangout/jam” places (mostly in the SFV) have faded away as well.
…and food? Notwithstanding the claim, on the old Hop Singh’s phone message, that “the food is good” (pronounced so it rhymes) food in good listening venues has rarely been better than mediocre.

Now that’s an old link!

@Silverlakebodhisattv, thanks for the reflection. If I may ask, what are the “two real flagships” in L.A. you’re talking about? I’d love to go.

Casey’s Tavern - 2209 Sherman Way…every Tuesday night Jazz Buffet starts at 8:30 pm…a little jazz, a little swing depending on who joins the regulars…I can highly recommend the bass - and no swearing (seriously!!)

The Falls Lounge Every Monday live jazz! Happy Hour 5PM-9PM. Showtime 9pm. No cover.
626 S. Spring St. Downtown LA…ohyeah…cheese plate is solid, and the mini crab cakes okay…flatbread pizza-not bad, go for either the chicken pesto or greek. we’ve only been when they have Americana/Roots bands play.

Cadillac Zack puts on a blues gig in Pasadena occasionally on Saturday nights at Mamas BBQ on N. Lake…he also runs the Monday night at Maui Sugar Mill (discussed above) and blues every SUNDAY at 4 p.m. at Malarkeys in Long Beach…ymmv - some of it’s more blues/rock than blues though we saw Kim Wilson there two weekends ago, and Rick Estrin last Friday. Food at Malarkeys isn’t bad…stick to the simple stuff and you’ll be okay. For the person looking for the asparagus fries…they’ve got them (had them once, no need to try again).

Also Arcadia Blues Club. Chef Denis plays there fairly often…good show with Junior Watson there on their February calendar. ymmv there too- we used to go fairly often but less so in the past year - more rock than blues. Occasional national touring bands. Nico Duportal is coming in from France to play with Denis/Junior at the February show. Food there is mediocre at best. Their salads used to be a safe choice-notsogood the last time. Don’t bother with fries either - overdone.

Not to steal his (SB’s) thunder, but at this point I’d say Catalina’s and Vibrato. They seem to have the best artists and biggest footprints. But I confess I have not been to The Blue Whale which seems to be attracting some really good talent. I am going to get there.

There aren’t two right now. Catalina’s barely qualifies any more, Jazz Bakery seems to be in semi-limbo, etc, and the Blue Whale may be as close as we get right now. In the late 70’s, it was Lighthouse and Parisian Room; then Concerts By The Sea opened, and Hop Singh’s reopened in MDR, and then the Parisian and the Lighthouse closed. The place right on the beach in Malibu (Pasquale’s? Senatore’s? what was it called?) opened, then got washed away in the flood…

you know freddie johnson (the bass player) then?.yeah, he’s got chops. i forgot about casey’s but then i have a standing commitment on tuesday nights.

yep…known Freddie for ages…we both were raised in Pasadena. He’s a talented musician and all-around swell guy.

i met him through mark (torch) at joes. hard to believe he’s been gone for over a year already.

Some blues can also be found at The Mint in West LA. If there’s food, I haven’t sampled it.

Thanks again for the additional suggestions! :slight_smile:

For those that have been to The Blue Whale, how’s the food and drinks? Surprised they’re serving Kara-age (Japanese Fried Chicken), and I’m curious if the Moscow Mule they serve there is legit or not? (bonus points if it’s served in a copper mug :).

yeah…seems like forever, seems like just yesterday.

RE The Mint: There is food, tho again, it’s more about the music and drinks than the food…in order to sit at a table there’s a minimum drink/set or food order, but it’s not unreasonable. Do get reservations if you want a table, otherwise first come first serve and they may be gone… they also sometimes will clear out the bar seats for more popular shows, so you can end up standing or leaning against a post all night. Garlic fries are good. For those of us who’ve eaten anything, the appetizers seem to be more successful (humous, chicken skewers, fries) than the sandwiches and substantial plates…ixnay on the steak burrito (friend said it was overdone chewy stuff.)

LIQUID Kitty on that side of town also had blues sometimes on Sunday nights…sometimes pretty good stuff. think Rick Holmstrom…Dave Gleason (honkytonk blues).

Vibrato SUX! not a jazz club…so much yappin in there i almost got into a squabble with one of the many assholes in there! i dont know any musicians who really like playin there…disrespectful beyond belief…oh yeah, good steaks