Thursday, October 7, 2010

This 'n That 'n Saturday Night Blues

Saturday night is prime time for jazz in jazz clubs. Except where it’s not.

I’ve previously quoted others questioning whether The Phoenix is really a jazz club. Now, by their own admission, on Saturday nights, they’re not. From their October email newsletter:

“On Saturday nights we got the BLUES 

“Saturdays are trending towards more blues bands, such as the Rick Bacus Trio, Mark Montgomery & the Sofa Kings, Brody Buster Band, and Shannon and the Rhythm Kings to name a few. The Phoenix will always have great jazz, but that’s not the only trick in our bag… ”

I wonder what time on Saturdays they’ll shut off the “Live Jazz” neon window sign?


But there is good live jazz to be found downtown on Saturday nights. The Majestic’s October schedule shows the Bram Wijnands Trio there each weekend with top-tier names like Rod Fleeman, Hal Melia and Tommy Ruskin joining him. And the last couple Saturdays of the month you can catch singer Megan Birdsall at the Drum Room.

Newly booking jazz is The Marquee Lounge inside the AMC Theaters in the Power and Light District. The club just opened on October 2nd, so we’ll momentarily forgive them for offering no place online to find out who’s there. But an email submitted via their web site (here) asking about the lineup elicited a very nice response, received yesterday (Wednesday):

“There is a rotation in place, let me know what dates you're thinking of stopping in and I can let you know who is playing. We book some of our acts through Beena at Jardine’s so it depends. Tonight we have the Jazz Disciples, Friday The Warner Project is playing and Saturday Stan Kessler is playing. Hopefully we'll see you in!!”

Shay Estes’ web site shows her and Mark Lowrey there each Wednesday next week through the end of the month, from 7 to 10 p.m.

That’s a nice lineup indeed. Good enough, even, to make up for another downtown club which has succumbed to the Saturday night blues.

Open less than two weeks, The Marquee Lounge is no doubt addressing a plethora of priorities. But I sincerely hope they’ll soon make publicizing that talent one of those priorities. How about starting with a daily talent tweet (which, so far, they’ve done once; their Twitter feed is here)?


Many thanks to the blog KC Stage, which you can find here. They not only linked to The Magic Jazz Fairy post, but included a drawing of the jazz fairy which I absolutely adore and share here (without permission…I hope the artist doesn’t mind).


Hearty congratulations to Bill Brownlee, who has been named by The Pitch as Kansas City’s 2010 Best Blogger. It's an honor hard earned and well deserved.

(Next time I see you in a jazz club, Bill, I'm buying you a celebratory drink.)


  1. Thanks. How about tonight? Bobby Watson and his UMKC band at GiGi's followed by Louis Hayes at the Blue Room.

  2. I'm headed out of town tonight. But maybe I'll see you at Bobby Watson's CD release party at the Blue Room on the 18th? I plan to be there (with camera).

  3. They took me off Sat. nights.


Comments are welcome. If you prefer, you can reach me directly at kcjazzlark(at)gmail(dot)com.