Inside, on a Friday night, the crowd fills every seat. Folding chairs have been set up, but they’re not enough. Some people stand, leaning against a counter or a wall. They range in age from grade school to the gray haired. This crowd is as suburban Johnson County as it gets.
|Take Five Coffee + Bar last Saturday night|
In a coffee house. In suburban Johnson County.
|Matt Otto, Jeff Harshbarger and Michael Warren perform|
In the quarter century I’ve been listening to jazz in Kansas City, I’ve seen Johnson County jazz clubs come and go. I long ago concluded that jazz doesn’t work in Johnson County. People don’t move to the suburbs looking to slum a little urban grittiness at a juke joint down the street. That – at the risk of unfairly generalizing – is what most Johnson Countians think the city is for.
|Matt Otto and Jeff Harshbarger|
So credit Take Five owner Lori Chandler for pursuing a different vision and, based on the recent packed house, one which appears to be taking hold in Johnson County. Credit her for opening a clean, suburban room, with some plush easy chairs and a fireplace, tables on which to set your latte or wine, carpeting, and angled beams which contribute to an acoustically wonderful space.
|Jeff Harshbarger and Michael Warren|
(Jeff unpacked his amplifier for the second set. It wasn't needed.)
|Matt, Jeff and Michael in Take Five|
They’re listening to jazz in the suburbs.
|Take Five Coffee + Bar|