02.22.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Upcoming Events In Blues, Jazz, Cognac, and Wine

It’s the dead of winter, and you can’t remember the last time you didn’t have to put on a coat to go outside (at least, we can’t)–so why not belly up to the bar for a glass and soak up some of rock ‘n roll’s daddy and brother? This week, Chicago and New York are featuring the kinds of old-school jazz and blues events that recall moody scenes of whiskey, a dimly lit piano, and, as Sinatra once sang, “bending your ear” (the bartender’s, that is).

1. CHICAGO: Wednesday, 2/23 at 7 p.m.: Andy’s Jazz Club hosts Marquis Hill. A historic club that’s existed before River North became the place to be, Andy’s is a must-visit for a healthy dose of authentic jazz. On February 23, catch 23-year old trumpeter Marquis Hill, and don’t forget to reserve a table for dinner, too. There is a 2-drink minimum–easy to achieve in the midst of all that brooding, non-smooth-jazz sound. 11 East Hubbard Street | 312.642.6805

2. NEW YORK: Wednesday, 2/23 at 7 p.m.: City Winery hosts Blues & Cognac Pairing. It’s a wine that’s like a whiskey, and it makes an incongruous appearance with the blues on Wednesday night at SoHo’s City Winery. The FTC Trio will play a mix of Delta blues (think John Lee Hooker) and urban blues (think B.B. King) while you’re plied with different age of cognac–four flights total–paired with cheese from the city’s Murray’s Cheese. $70 gets you in; call ahead to reserve. 155 Varick Street | 212.608.0555

3. NEW YORK: Thursday, 2/24 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.: Jazz Standard hosts Benny Green Trio.Found below Blue Smoke, the sumptuous Flatiron barbecue joint, this jazz club often features big names within the jazz circuit. On Thursday, Benny Green and his guys visit from San Francisco to regale with piano-based jazz…the kind that goes best with a dram of scotch. Tickets for $25. 116 East 27th Street | 212.576.2232

4. CHICAGO: Weds 2/23 – Thurs 2/24 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.: Jazz Showcase hosts Larry Coryell Trio. A beloved blues and jazz guitarist comes to this equally beloved Chicago jazz establishment, which has seen legends such as Dizzy Gillespie come to play. Best part: there are no drink minimums, so for $20-$25, you can get yourself a seat, bask in the guitar glory, and pick up a drink any time you want…no pressure. 806 S. Plymouth Court | 312.360.0234

5. NEW YORK: Any time (just go, thank us later): The Moldy Fig. This newly opened Lower East Side joint takes all the good about jazz clubs and leaves out the bad (creaky, poorly lit–not dimly lit, cramped) and transforms it into a long, warmly lit space that can be seen from the street. At the end of the corridor-ish room is an intimate stage that will have acoustic city jazz artists jammin’ till the wee hours; the space itself is lined with cozy couches and chairs that fill up quickly, thanks to the extensive beer and wine menu that goes with the small shared plates. 178 Stanton Street | 646.559.2553

Photo: Jill Damatac/Markets Media 2012. All rights reserved.

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