The Philadelphia jazz scene over the next two weeks will be sweet and hot with stylish singers and torrid jazz musicians setting a feverish pace.
ORTLIEB’S JAZZ HAUS, that mainstay jazz club, shaped like a bowling alley and run like a neighborhood bar, will once again feature some of the finest jazz going in this town. Tonight and tomorrow night (August 1&2) the genial owner who plays a fair sax himself will be featuring the steaming sax of Bootsie Barnes with the torrid trumpet of John Swana and their smoking sextet. Next Friday (Aug. 8) brings in the club’s main bass manMike Boone including a birthday party being held for him. Boone works regular gigs at the club and with Roger Prieto in addition to playing with such other Philly stars as Tony Williams among others. When he is working in the rhythm section there is never any question of whether they’ve got rhythm. This club is like those of the halcyon jazz days of years gone by in New York City and Chicago where mainstay jazz people worked year in and year and out keeping the music alive.
CHRIS’ JAZZ CAFE, the closest thing to fabled Swing Street clubs this town has, is going with a winning proposition and featuring the song stylings of Mary Ellen Desmond and her quartet with the added punch from Bootsie Barnes next Saturday (Aug. 9). The eloquent bass man Lee Smith along with Tom Lawton on piano and Jim Schade on drums will be part of this winning package. Miss Desmond can sing anything from light opera to rock, but she delivers jazz and classic pop with stunning style. This club is something like a twin in spirit to Ortlieb’s bringing in top jazz performers and keeping old reliable gems sparkling for fans who really care.
L2, the most relaxed drop-in anytime free club in Philly is still featuring two of the finest singers in town on alternate ThursdaysMiss Justine and Ms Desmond. Mary Ellen is due back on Aug. 14 with Tom Lawton on piano. Miss Justine, has written her name in Philadelphia club history playing various dates in clubs all over town and beyond. She can take the American song book and bring old standards new life.
JAZZ AT THE FARMER’S MARKET free Friday night sessions continue steaming along, next Friday (Aug. 8) with the incomparable Ms Justine. These sessions sponsored by local singer Denise King have neighborhood and visitors support all through the Summer.
THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART continues to display the American art form of jazz for happy customers, this week with the singing of Rene Marie who has been getting rave reviews for her CD Live at the Jazz Standard. She is another singer who can make old tunes new again.
Show Dates & Times
Ortlieb’s Jazz Haus, 847 N. 3rd St. (215-922.1035) Aug 1&2-8:45 p.m.-1:30 a.m., Barnes/Swana,$7; Aug. 8-same time& price.
Chris’Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom St. (215.568.3131) Aug. 9-9 p.m.-1.a.m., Desmond & Barnes, $8 L2, 2201 South St., Aug. 7,7-11 p.m., Ms Justine, Free
Jazz at Farmers Market, 50th St. & Baltimore Ave., (215.724.6261)Aug. 8, 6-8 p.m., Ms Justine, Free
The Philadelhia Museum of Art, 215. 763.8100, 26th and the Parkway, Aug. 1, $10.