Jazz bars

Time Out (Melbourne) - - INSIDE - By Re­becca Russo

Jazz up your life and bop into these im­pro­vised mu­sic venues

Crav­ing a bit of jazz in your life? Here’s where you can see it live, most nights of the week.

1 Bird’s Base­ment The sis­ter club to New York City’s famed Bird­land is a gutsy 200-seater that fol­lows the Bird­land model of two din­ner shows per evening. It shares in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal jazz tal­ent with its dead-cool older sib­ling (Ravi Coltrane, John Scofield and teen star turned crooner Molly Ring­wald have all graced the stage) but also shines a light on lo­cal mu­si­cians who’ve nailed the old-school aes­thetic. Throw in some well priced Ital­ian din­ing from Beer Wine & Cal­zone up­stairs and you’re in for a rip­per night. à 11 Singers Ln, Mel­bourne 3000. 1800 225 299. birds­base­ment.com. 8pm; check web­site for show dates. 2 The Paris Cat Jazz Club Lo­cated down one of Mel­bourne’s many CBD laneways, the Paris Cat is cool and cosy. Fea­tur­ing two band rooms with a lounge bar in the mid­dle, the Paris Cat has played host to some se­ri­ously good in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal per­form­ers since its doors opened in 2006. Jazz greats cover the vel­vety walls, with an in­ti­mate at­mos­phere set­ting the tone for easy mu­sic lis­ten­ing. à 6 Goldie Pl, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9642 4711. pariscat.com.au. Wed, Thu 7-11pm; Fri, Sat 7pm-mid­night. 3 Up­town Jazz Café Walk up the unas­sum­ing stairs un­der the neon sign and you’ll find this chic lit­tle jazz bar that boasts live mu­sic four nights a week. These guys take their craft pretty se­ri­ously – you can tell by the gi­ant shrine to Char­lie Parker that’s on the wall. Up­town re­vere the ‘Mel­bourne sound’, a rougharound-the-edges im­pro­vi­sa­tion style. Park your­self be­side the win­dow look­ing down on Brunswick Street. à 177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 3065. 03 9416 4546. www.up­town­jaz­zcafe.com. Wed-sat 7pm-mid­night. 4 Dizzy’s Jazz Club Jazz doesn’t have to be grungy and un­der­ground, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club proves how to do it with a bit of old-school piz­zazz. Dizzy’s hosts in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal acts, and prides it­self on of­fer­ing up­com­ing

jazz bands the chance to show their stuff. On Wed­nes­days, Dizzy’s trade­mark big band hits the stage, Fri­days and Satur­days up-and-com­ers wan­der through with spe­cial events tak­ing place on Tues­days and Thurs­days. They’ve even got their own motto: “Dizzy’s: where life is jazz!” à 368 Bridge Rd, Rich­mond 3121. 0474 723 076. dizzys.com.au. Tue-thu 6-11pm; Fri, Sat 5.30pm-12.30am. 5 303 The colour­ful, shabby 303 is usu­ally a hub of ac­tiv­ity, so it’s no sur­prise you’ll find some of the city’s best live mu­sic here. They aren’t de­fined as a jazz club per se, but they of­fer jazz in bite-sized and ac­ces­si­ble bouts, per­fect for the ca­sual jazz fan. Only a few doors down from the North­cote So­cial Club, 303 usu­ally has bands play­ing free from noon un­til late. à 303 High St, North­cote 3070. 03 9482 4577. 303.net.au. Mon-sat 6pm-3am; Sun 3pm-1am. 6 Fitzroy Pin­na­cle The weird­est-shaped pub in Mel­bourne feels more like a cosy lounge room than a mu­sic venue. Here, you can catch live mu­sic sev­eral nights a week: jazz, funk, coun­try or blues. The Pinn is no frills, no bull – just couchd­welling jazz fans hun­ker­ing down for a chilled-out sesh. Check their up­dat­ing gig guide for croon­ers, be­bop­pers and genre-strad­dling multi-in­stru­men­tal­ists. à 251 St Ge­orges Rd, Fitzroy North 3068. 03 9489 3044. www.fitzroyp­in­na­cle.com.au. Mon-thu 3pm-mid­night; Fri 3pm-1am; Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-10pm. 7 The Rooks Re­turn On Wed­nes­day nights head over to this un­der-the-radar Brunswick Street gem that serves up cock­tails, craft brews and a free jazz show to boot. Set­tle in be­side their cosy in­door stage where jazz hep­cats the Rook­ies do their thing. As the Rooks Re­turn’s house jazz band, the Rook­ies have mas­tered a set list of bal­lads and up­tempo be­bop num­bers which are of­ten ac­cented by spe­cial guest per­form­ers. à 201 Brunswick St, Fitzroy 3065. 03 9417 1401. therook­sre­turn.com.au. Wed 4pm-1am.

The Rooks Re­turn Best jazz clubs cont’d

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