With the close of Tonic last year, New York City lost a major venue for experimental jazz, as well as one of the last great mid-size clubs to see ANY jazz where you aren't charged an arm and a leg and a drink minimum (Iridium, Vanguard, Blue Note etc…). People are waiting in lines out the door for great shows at the Stone, 55 Bar, and the Jazz Gallery constantly, but because of the size of those clubs, it becomes an exclusive affair, only available to other musicians, and those in the know willing to spend the time camping out. I believe that in order to create a sustainable jazz community we need to make great jazz more open to the public.
In an attempt to do just that, I've started a series at the Knitting Factory called “Search and Restore.” It's a monthly affair right now, but eventually it will become more frequent. It takes place at the Tap Bar, the middle room in the Knitting Factory, 170 capacity, grand piano. Our shows are always double bills, to provide for a more communal aspect of the live jazz show. No drink minimum, no emptying out after a set. Standing room and seats, and hopefully this more casual jazz environment will foster a setting where people can feel as though they're part of something.