Today’s SWEET 6 > FRIDAY / NOV. 06, 2015
“We search the internet everyday looking for the very best of What’s Happening, primarily on Manhattan’s WestSide, so that you don’t have to.” We make it as easy as 1-2-3.
(click on links for more complete event info.)
Music, Dance, Performing Arts
Russell Malone Quartet (through Sunday)
Smoke Jazz Club, 2751 Broadway, (btw 105th/106th Sts.)/
“Ask for sleek guitar work that laces a ballad with silken tones and Russell Malone can provide all you care to hear. But with a tight rhythm section behind him, as he has at this special birthday engagement, this adroit neo-bop stylist is apt to turn on the heat. His quartet includes Rick Germanson on piano and Willie Jones lll on drums.” (NewYorker)
City Winery, 155 Varick St./ Nov. 1-2 + Nov. 4-6
$ – may need to stub hub this one or settle for standing room, which is not bad here.
“Instances of Gregg Allman playing rooms as intimate as City Winery are rare—so much so that he’s on the schedule for five nights to keep the clamor for seats reasonable. The founding member of the Allman Brothers Band has accumulated decades’ worth of material to mine, and after the group played its supposed final show last fall at Beacon Theater, he has ventured out on his own. He sent early signals of such activity with the release last year of “Back To Macon, GA,” a live album of a concert in his adopted hometown, and now Mr. Allman is out on tour with a new full band backing him. Expect a mix of songs of different vintages, with wine to wash them all down.” (WSJ)
John Zorn (thru Nov 8)
Village Vanguard, 178 7th Ave. South at 11th St./ 8:30 +10:30PM, $30
A veteran downtown figure whose recent activities have been guiding him around the city to stages big and small, John Zorn takes up residence in maybe the most storied New York music venue of all. For the six-night series “John Zorn at the Vanguard,” the electrifying composer and wily improviser will lead different lineups through aspects of his eclectic musical output.
The first stint on Nov. 3-4 is devoted to Electric Masada, an energetic ensemble—with Mr. Zorn on saxophone with seven others including Marc Ribot on guitar and Joey Baron on drums—devoted to a songbook composed around the notion of combining Jewish music and the peculiar scales of Ornette Coleman. Nights to follow focus on four other incarnations, highlighted by a quartet performance on Nov. 7 with Wadada Leo Smith, Bill Laswell and Milford Graves.” (WSJ)
Smart Stuff / Other
(Lectures, Discussions, Book Talks, Literary Readings, Classes, Food & Drink, Other)
Canstruction (through Nov. 16)
Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., at West St.,
“You don’t need to wear chef’s whites to turn food into art. Each year, teams of architects, engineers and designers build large-scale sculptures out of canned food for this competition and food drive. Twenty-six entries will be displayed and judged in categories such as Best Use of Labels, Most Cans and People’s Choice; favorites from last year’s contest, including a replica Jefferson Memorial made of tuna fish. Visitors are encouraged to bring nonperishable tinned grub to donate to City Harvest; the last effort helped feed 90,000 hungry New Yorkers.” (TONY)
Parsons Pop Up Print Shop & Show
The New School, 66 W. 12th St./ 6PM, FREE
Coinciding with 2015 Print Week, the Parsons Pop Up Print Shop showcases the printed form, from fine art prints, illustrations and graphic designs to zines and book arts. Join us for a one night exhibition, demonstrations, and hands-on printmaking workshops.
The event will include an exhibition of printed works and a series of printmaking demonstrations and hands-on workshops with master printmaker Michael Kirk, communication design educator Steven Kennedy and the painter Emily Lambert.
Festival Albertine (through Nov. 9)
Albertine, 972 Fifth Avenue, at 79th St./ at various times, FREE
“Albertine, the French- and English-language bookstore inside the Payne Whitney mansion, experimented last year with hosting a festival about the French-American exchange of books and ideas; there’s still more conversation to be had. All events will be streamed at livestream.com/frenchembassy.” (NYT-SpareTimes)
Bonus – Jazz Picks:
Many consider NYCity the Jazz capital of the world. Here are my favorite Jazz clubs, all on Manhattan’s WestSide. Check out who is playing tonight:
Village Vanguard – 178 7th Ave. South, villagevanguard.com, 212-255-4037
Blue Note – 131 W3rd St. nr 6th ave. bluenotejazz.com, 212-475-8592
55 Bar – 55 Christopher St. nr 7th ave.S. 55bar.com, 212-929-9883
Outside Greenwich Village:
Dizzy’s Club – Broadway @ 60th St. jazz.org/dizzys, 212-258-9595
Birdland – 315 W44th St.(btw 8/9ave), birdlandjazz.com, 212-581-3080
Smoke Jazz Club – 2751 Broadway nr.106th St. smokejazz.com, 212-864-6662
Caffe Vivaldi – 32 Jones St. nr Bleecker St. caffevivaldi.com, 212-691-7538
a classic, old jazz club in the Village, Caffe V often surprises with a wonderfully eclectic lineup. It’s my favorite spot for an evening of listening enjoyment and discovery.
♦ Before making final plans, we suggest you call the venue to confirm ticket availability, dates and times, as schedules are subject to change.
♦ NYCity, with a population of 8.5 million, had a record 56 million visitors last year and is TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Top U.S. Destination for 2015. Quality shows draw crowds. Try to reserve seats in advance, even if just on day of performance.
A PremierPub / Tribeca
B-Flat / 277 Church St. (btw Franklin/White St))
There are some places that are tough to find, then add a layer of mystery when you do find them. B-Flat has a nondescript, almost unmarked door at street level – today’s speakeasy vibe. Open this door and you face a dimly lit stairway down to their basement location. It almost takes a leap of faith to follow the stairs down to their interior door.
But open that door and a pleasant surprise awaits you.
It’s a basement jazz spot all right, but not like any traditional jazz joint you may have been to before. This place looks as fresh as today, probably because it’s only been open for 6 years. Even though it hasn’t had a chance to age gracefully, the cherry wood accents and low lighting make this small space very inviting.
There is always jazz, often progressive jazz, playing over their very discrete, stylish bose speakers, setting just the right tone as you find a seat at the bar, or one of the small tables. There is wine and beer available, but this place has some expert mixologists making some very creative cocktails, which I’m told change seasonally, a nice touch.
Come at happy hour and tasty cocktails like the el Diablo or the lychee martini are $8 – not bad. I am a sucker for any drink made with lychee and how can you not try a tequila drink named el Diablo. There is also nice selection of small bites available at happy hour and a food menu that is as innovative as the cocktail menu, so this does not have to be a happy hour only stop.
It wasn’t surprising to find a tasty prosciutto and arugula salad with yuzu dressing, but I did not expect to find such a good version of fried chicken breast on the apps menu. Here it’s called “Tatsuta.” Best bet is to sample happy hour, then dinner on a Monday or Wednesday night, when you can finish with no cover live jazz that starts around 8.
This place is tough to find (look for a small slate sandwich board on the sidewalk out front advertising happy hour) and on some nights when there is no live music iot may be a little too quiet for some. But I think it’s worth searching out if you want a place with good music, food, and especially drinks, away from the maddening crowd.
Phone #: 212-219-2970
Hours: Mo-Wed 5pm-2am; Th-Sat 5pm-3am; no Sun
Happy Hour: 5-7pm every day; $8 cocktails + special prices on apps
Music: Mon/Wed 8pm
Subway: #1 to Franklin; walk E 1 blk to Church; N 1 blk to bFlat
“Pub” is used in it’s broadest sense – bars, bar/restaurants, jazz clubs, wine bars, tapas bars, craft beer bars, dive bars, cocktail lounges, and of course, pubs – just about anyplace you can get a drink without a cover charge (except for certain jazz clubs).
If you have a fave premier pub or good eating place on Manhattan’s WestSide let us all know about it – leave a comment.