Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The Jazz Bistro (2013) Toronto
You’ll remember Sybil for her dedicated years keeping The Top of the Senator a going concern. I had one of those cherished seats for Betty Carter, Shirley Horn, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Jane Monheit, Jamie Cullun, Marcus Roberts, Christian McBride, Russell Malone, Diana Krall, an endless list of A league performers.
The renovations have given the Jazz Bistro an observers point from above where Senator jazz played nightly. Moving the music to street level gives the Bistro an airy spacious feel far different from the cramped setting of the original room. The upstairs bar has been moved to the front of room with plenty space to retire with company and enjoy music and conversation without interfering with happenings below.
The room is warm and welcoming – a place that feels familiar.
The red and black Steinway (Red Pop) is most appealing. Joan Hunter picked the piano as the centerpiece and made a magnificent choice. The piano is eye popping in stature and a feast for the ears.
Location is everything. With the return of the big Mirvish shows Walker and company can be assured of the overflow – before and after theatre patrons.
Ms. Walker has assured programming will be much broader encompassing blues and beyond. From this vantage point that’s a savvy move.
I will make a prediction: Big win for jazz fans and long robust future ahead!