Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Check out my new post at the Wine and Jazz magazine blog on Peconic Bay: a Long Island winery with a very cool live music series. This coincides with my new project to feature wines from Michigan, Ontario, and New York. (Below are some photos of some summer concerts at Peconic Bay.)

I’m off to France tomorrow — Paris and Dijon, and maybe a mystery location yet to be determined. I’ll definitely have some cool stories to share from my time in both Paris and Burgundy, with none other than It’s About That Time contributor,  hot shot sommelier Anthony Minne!



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“No one questions New York’s jazz intensity,” my friend Patrick Jarenwattananon over at A Blog Supreme aptly stated in regards to this weekends attention-surplus-disordered New York Winter Jazz Fest: a two day event that showcases around 200 of the planet’s most creative jazz musicians. The same could be said about eating and drinking in New York. And the same could even be said about eating and drinking in the West Village, home to the five venues of Winter Jazz Fest, and a mecca for foodies and boozies.

As a music, food, and wine writer for Wine and Jazz Magazine, and as a former resident of the West Village, instead of listing my top music picks for Winter Jazz Fest, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite places to eat and drink in the area. Because you’ll likely at some point be standing in the back of a venue with an obstructed view, hungry, thirsty, sweating but having already shed all your layers, so let the temptation of countless West Village dinning and drinking spots win you over for a portion of the weekend.

Wilfie and Nell


Forget beers at the Blind Tiger (the last time I went no one was in sight to take my order, the only visible person appeared to be a maintenance employee changing a light bulb, and what was featured on the menu as being on cask was not available) or cocktails at Little Branch (the wait alone could be the length of an entire set), and head to Wilfie and Nell (228 West 4th Street) for stellar drafts, cocktails — designed by owner Simon Gibson — and a locavore menu.

The drafts can’t compete with the nearby Blind Tiger in numbers, but their selection is always stellar with, among others, Vicotry Prima Pilsner, Bitburger, Brooklyn seasonal, Chimay Rouge, and passionately poured Guinness. It fills up fast on the weekends but all it takes is a quick glance at a bar tender to get a drink.


The serious oeno-geek will want to make the trek to Anfora over at 34 8th Avenue. But for something closer to the action check out ‘ino (21 Bedford Street) for small Italian plates and bottles, carafes or glasses of Italian wines.


For those who want to try to fit in a serious, sit down dinner, Lupa (170 Thompson Street) is the little brother of Iron Chef Mario Batali’s Babbo. Lupa accepts walk-ins and I’ve always been able to sit and eat at the bar right away.


Rocco's Pastry Shop

Open until 1:30 A.M., Rocco’s Pastry Shop (243 Bleeker Street) has lots of space with tables, and cases and cases of pastries. For coffee drinks to-go, walk in and head right to the Barista’s counter to order.

Late Night Pizza

John’s and Joe’s have the reputations but give the guys at Bleeker Street Pizza a chance (69 7th Avenue, on the corner of Bleeker and 7th). Try the Nonna Maria slice and thank me later.

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Yours truly DJing at La Pomme D'Eve, Paris, France, 2001

Happy 2011! By now you’ve probably read enough annoying “Best-Of-2010” lists that even the amount of champagne you drank last night wouldn’t make them any more tolerable. So, I thought I’d wait and give you my annoying 2010 recording-of-the-year choice to complement today’s annoying hangover. And for those of you who had to work early today, I hope you didn’t use the New Years Day-iPhone-bugged-clock as your alarm like my roommate (though he conveniently works at the Apple Store so he was off the hook). (more…)

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Jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson (photo by Ian Gitler)

The Jazz writer David Adler cited jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson’s “furiously smoking nonet at Smalls,” as one of his live music highlights of 2010. I have to say, I agree. I caught up with Anthony in New York City a few weeks ago to chat about wine — the dude is the most knowledgeable non-industry oenophile I’ve ever met — and some of his latest projects. Check out the full article at the Wine and Jazz magazine blog.

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Jazz bassist Matt Pavolka brought his quartet to Barbès, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, this past Monday.


“You’re a very punctual audience,” the bassist Matt Pavolka said as he took his band stand shortly after 7:00 P.M. on Monday at Barbès.

Pavolka knows how to move an audience with an aggressive, post modern approach to what some might call Brooklyn Jazz. His compositions are mostly groove based and usually climax mid way through, but not without delicately structured expositions and codas. Winding down his first set, he dug hard into his double bass during an unaccompanied solo, patiently creating melodies in the upper register, seemingly in no hurry to take that break. (more…)

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Andy Rothman, Gerald Clayton, Diane Rothman, and John Clayton

As a follow up to JazzTimes’ October article on house concerts, I interviewed Andy Rothman — a Detroit area home-concert promoter — on his own jazz series: the Detroit Groove Society. Andy is possibly the most passionate jazz fan I have ever met. Earlier this year we hung out in New York when Andy and his wife Diane flew in (during the dead of the winter) on the day of pianist Gerald Clayton’s debut/opening night at the Village Vanguard. We met for a quick beer after the concert, and they headed back to Detroit first thing the next morning. Now that’s hardcore. The article was written for the blog at Wine and Jazz, and the full interview with Andy appears below. (more…)

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Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY.


If you’re like me, then this is your favorite time of year. And here in Brooklyn, the weather is still warm enough to guzzle your favorite white wine after a long walk with the fall colors. Check out my latest post at Wine and Jazz on late summer/early fall wines.

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