Todd Marcus trio @ Garage and Mike Stern @ 55 Bar
There’s another jazz music venue called Garage on 7th Avenue @ Grove Street, Greenwich Village, that has 2 acts of live jazz every day with no cover and no minimums. And they had $4 draft beer as a happy hour deal even @ 10:30 PM. I went there actually to hear a good friend and burnin’ bass clarinet player from Baltimore – Todd Marcus. I was there for the first set with some great standards playing. But the bands play at that venue ’til 2:30 AM, that’s three sets, I guess. I got the impression that the bartenders there aren’t the friendliest people ever, though.
On my way home I thought I should check out what’s happening @ 55 Bar. It was Mike Stern trio having the regular, every-other-Wednesday gig. The place was almost packed. The bass player- Tom Kennedy was just ridiculous – more than perfect technique, great groove and sound. The live vibe was happy, energetic and relaxed at the same time.
And Mike Stern just sounds like a superstar, with his inimitable sound that for me seems to be friendly, open and personal all at once. Anyway, for having a good time, Mike Stern concert is a great option. When usually they end last sets @ 55 Bar somewhere arounf 1 AM, then this time it went on for about forty minutes after 1. They finished with a really burnin take of Straight No Chaser. I wonder what the tempo was when they switched to double time with the already uptempo tune.