The other evening I was invited by a friend to go to the Birdland Jazz Club which is located at 315 W. 44th Street.
So it’s ever since most of Chicago’s top musicians moved to New York in the mid-to-late 1920s that New York City has been the Jazz Mecca. Nearly every major jazz style of the past seventy years has been initiated in the Big Apple.
It was Charlie Parker, familiarly known to his fans and fellow musicians as “Bird,” a contraction of Yardbird, his formal nickname, who was the dynamic creative personality and genius of the alto saxophone who served as the inspiration for the Birdland Jazz Club.
Birdland opened 60 years ago in December of 1949 and still serves as the hotbed of jazz today…
Here’s the inside of the Club…
And what did I order?
I decided on the Chicken Caesar Salad and I have to tell you for a music venue the salad was very good and the menu very large.
So the performance that I saw that evening (see below) was over the top phenomenal. I was lucky enough to hear Vincent Herrings and 9 other ensemble fantabulous musicians play The Story of Jazz. There was Vincent Herring who played the alto sax, Jjon Faddis, and Jeremy Pelt who played the trumpets, James Carter who played the saxophone, Mike LeDonne on the piano and Carl Allen on the drums.
This 10 piece All Star ensemble performed newly commissioned arrangement of classic jazz songs written by prominent artists from each decade of jazz history since 1917. The musical journey began with the African drumming and work songs that led to the birth of the blues. The show moved through the 1920’s Ragtime, to 1930’s Swing, to 1940’s Bebop, to 1950’s Cool, through the 1960’s jazz that exploded with innovation.The Program concluded with the 1970’s Fusion and my Post Bog iterations from the 1980’s to the present.
I completely recommend an evening at the Birdland Jazz Club. Check their schedule, make an earlier reservation of dinner and be truly entertained.