The Dallas Observer's Best of Dallas Awards for 2009 are out and The Amsterdam Bar has been named Best Jazz Club for 2009!
This Exposition Park staple isn't really a jazz club, but step into this European-styled bar on a Monday night and, traditional jazz room settings be damned, you're gonna see yourself as good a night of jazz performance as offered by any other venue in town. Bad Ass Jazz, as the night is called, is pretty much just what the title implies—a night of the region's finest jazz talents rotating in and out of the playing area in the back of the room, sharing smiles, drinks and enough improvised jazz solos and group jams to keep the always-crowded room delighted. Even to the uneducated jazz listener, it's an impressive sight, not to mention an easy way to pretend you're more cultured than you probably are. Plus, it's free.As this review notes, The Amsterdam Bar really isn't a jazz club at all. Our reputation as a jazz venue stems from our Monday night jazz, the notorious "Bad Ass Jazz" coordinated by local jazz great Shelly Carrol. We believe that Bass Ass Jazz is the single greatest night of jazz you are likely to find in Dallas, or in Texas, or quite possibly west of New Orleans or Chicago. It's that good.
We attribute this to Shelly's commitment to providing the very best in straight-ahead jazz and the talent of the diverse jazz ensembles he assembles to play every week. The lineup is never the same and there are always new faces sitting in to shake things up and keep the improvisation fresh.
Our thanks to the judges at the Dallas Observer and to Shelly and all the other talented musicians who have made Monday night at The Amsterdam Bar something extremely special!