2007_04_arts_jazzbk.jpgWith all this talk about venues closing, opening, renaming and branding themselves...it's easy for the little venues that aren't so publicized to get lost in the shuffle. Perhaps that's good, because once you find a nice small (no drink minimum) jazz club, you don't want everyone to know about it. However, you want it to stay in business, too. Over In Brooklyn (the blog) has a list of jazz spots in the borough, and a story about Brooklynite/jazz musician/bass maker Carl Thompson:

I asked him if he lived in the neighborhood and he told me that “he was the neighborhood”. He then proceeded to tell me about his custom bass making business. He told me that he just finished making a Bass for Lou Reed and that he has be making customized basses since 1974 at the rate of about ten or so every year. His site says he makes the Stradivarius of the electric bass guitar. He has made instruments for such greats as Anthony Jackson, Stanley Clarke, Les Claypool, and the Allman Brothers bassist, as well as created the first electric 6-string bass and the first piccolo bass. All of his instruments are custom order and completely unique, there is no assembly line. He has even made a 10 million dollar bass.

When I mentioned to Carl aka “The Jazz Cat” that there was no great jazz spots in the neighborhood, he told me that I was mistaken and that the best spot for jazz was Sunday’s 7-10pm at Downtown Atlantic, where you can see Carl Thompson and Friends play each and every Sunday!

See that $10 million dollar bass right here. The story behind it is that Carl's Boerum Place shop was getting shut down when the building had been sold, and this is the last bass to be completed there. It bares the serial # 7-31-02, the last day the historic store was open - over the years it welcomed countless musicians and friends, most of whom could be found "playing the basses, guitars and worn piano in the corner." Sounds like that may have been the best place to hear some music in Brooklyn.

We've asked about some good venues to see jazz in the past, any suggestions for smaller hole-in-the-wall venues to hear some good tunes? On June 21st, lots of spaces will be turned in to venues for the day.

Photo, Jazz on the Brooklyn Bridge, via sabriirmak's flickr.