A bright, new, cheerful jazz concert cabaret club, The Red Room, has taking its place in the Philadelphia jazz scene. It joins several sophisticated listening spots that have surprisingly good jazz offerings.
THE RED ROOM at the Society Hill Playhouse began operations as a jazz club jazz concert performance spot this September. It is run by and the brainchild of Susan Ator, felicitously, a good friend of the Playhouse owner. The 99-seat, brightly colored (red and black) room is in the ground floor of the playhouse. Drinks and snacks are available and jazz will be featured varied with other music stylings on thursday nights. The first offerings here have included Barbara Montgomery, The Odeon Pope Trio and Monnette Sudler. Thursday night, Nov. 6, Philadelphia’s own, longtime jazz-pop vocalist Denise Montana backed by local sax legend Larry McKenna will be taking the stand. Montana’s recent CD, In My Life has been garnering rave reviews. She is the daughter of composer-arranger Vince Montana. Upcoming jazz stars being featured here include other local leading lights such as vocalist-leader Lou Lanza and pianist-composer “Father John” D’Amico. The concept and context of this club is the stuff of movie musicals”let’s put on a show right here in the playhouse ground floor.” The concept and motivation is one that has you cheering for its success. Other productions have been featured on other nights and have been for some time now.
THE RITZ CARLTON HOTEL, Philadelphia’s posh palace on Broad Street, continues its weekend sessions with the winning jazz presentations of Tony Williams and his group. Winner of the 2003 Mellon Jazz Community Award, alto sax artist-leader Williams has worked with such stars as Wild Bill Davis, Nat Adderley and Dakota Staton. He is a star in his own right whether playing in the Ritz lounge or the Natalie Lounge jam sessions. Williams continues to play jazz as it was meant to be played with joy and skill and an excitement that is nothing less than uplifting. There is no other word for it.
THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, that towering art center on the Parkway, is still showing some of America’s indigenous art, jazz on Friday and some Wednesday night shows. Tonight has the Phil Markowitz Trio demonstrating the benefits of 35 years performance as a piano man-leader. Next Friday, they will be bringing in Stacey Kent, a swinging sultry singer of jazz and pop standards backed by her husband, tenor sax man Jim Tomlinson. Show times and dates....
THE RED ROOM at the Society Hill Playhouse, 507 S. 8th St., 215.923.0210, Nov. 6 & other Thursday nights, call for time/price, Denise Montana with Larry McKenna.
THE RITZ CARLTON HOTEL, 10.S. Broad St., 215.523.8000, Thursday-6-10 p.m. Fri-Sat, 8:p.m.-Midnight, Tony Williams Quartet.
THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART, Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th St., 215.563.8100, tonight, 5-8 p.m., $7-$10, Phil Markowitz Trio.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.