I was talking with a colleague earlier in the week about jazz and mentioned The Jack London Revue. I love this place because this is what I imagine jazz clubs where like back in the early days of the genera. The basement of some dark, dingy, building but also very intimate. The venue has a way of sucking you in and making you a part of the performance because of how things are setup. I just love this place. On Thursday’s Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group has a weekly two set residency.
My colleague couldn’t make the show but I had hyped myself up just thinking about it I went Thursday night for their regular gig. I just wanted to listen to some live music. Even though I only stayed for the first set it was a lot of fun. I thought it better to get home at a reasonable hour and sleep then stay out too late.
The walk to and from the venue was nice. The weather was starting to become more comfortable. It rained in both directions. Going home it was pretty heavy. I didn’t even thing to check the weather till I was already outside. It just adds to the memories of the night.
Another good performance by Mel Brown and and the gang. They had a sit-in keyboardists this time. He too played with the same person Mel did. For some reason I want to say Aretha Franklin but I could be wrong on that. Another good night of jazz with Mel Brown at the Jack London Revue.
Everyday I walk to work. I take the same path and often I see the same folks. Its a nice routine I have in the morning and a good way to clear my head before I start my day. While I consider it trash I do look forward to seeing what new posters have been plastered around the neighborhood. Only in a city can this kind of advertising be tolerated and actual work at the same time.
This particular morning a new one caught my eye. It was for the Mel Brown B-3 Organ Group. The way things looked and sounded The Jack London Revue was a classic jazz band playing at a club from the 60’s. With nothing better to do I decided to see a jazz show on a Thursday night. For not having much of a plan when I started things really worked out.
I was not to sure about the show so I keep things loose for the night. I walked to the venue and arrived just before 8pm. It was fleet week so I got to see the ships docked at sunset which was cool. Note, cash only cover charge which sucked. Another thing to understand is the venue really is in the basement of the building. You walk into a pool hall and in the back of the hall are stairs leading downstairs to the jazz club. I walked right past the entrance the first time because it is not clearly marked.
The Jack London Revue really does have that class small jazz club feel from the 60’s in New York City. Honestly the only thing that was missing was cigar smoke. The ceiling is low and unfinished yet painted black to dull the room. The lights are low which with the decor give the place a very relaxed and chill vibe. A low stage with the first few spots reserved for cocktail tables. The further back in the venue you got the more space there is for seating which I think is a good idea. Table service is offered and for the most part staff is respectful of the performance. By the second set things really started to break down however. Decent selection of beers and offer a full menu which is cool too.
Before the show even started I was already in love with the place. Not a large crowd which was great in my opinion. Things did fill out not long after the set started which was I am sure a good moral booster for the band. Not knowing how things would go I started with just a beer. If they sucked I didn’t want to get suckered into food too. Thankfully the band was pretty good so I stuck around for both sets. By the end of the night I had a couple beers and a sandwich which was ok, nothing special. I just loved the fact that I could get food, beer and listen to some good jazz in such an appropriate spot.
The music all night was great. The first set I thought was better then the second and mostly that was because of original songs. The first set seamed to have more of the band’s own material, most straight ahead jazz. The second set I believe had no original songs and way way more covers. Mostly of jazz classics but also pulling from a range of diverse genres. They also interacted more with the audience. Again with the classic jazz club vibe they asked where everyone was from and engaged those visiting from out of town. Come to find out this is their regular gig on Thursday nights at the Jack London Revue. Its good to know I have a dedicated place I can go to in the city for jazz.
As an added bonus for sticking around through both sets there was a free comedy show right after Mel Brown at 11pm. Since I was already there for the concert I stuck around for some comedy as well. All I will say about the comedy was you get what you pay for. After only three acts it was time for me to make my way home.
The venue is freaking amazing and the band was pretty good. Since this is a regular Thursday thing at The Jack London Revue I can see myself going back semi-regularly to catch a show and some free laughs.