Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Detour Jazz Club

349 E. 13th St.
New York, NY 10003

Detour has been around since 1995 and is one of the only non-cover jazz clubs of quality. The space is not too big or small, and at max could pack 40 people in. There are some high tables, some low tables and some benches against the wall. The tables are not too packed in, which is a common problem at NY jazz clubs. The candlelit tables are composed of old slogans and vintage ads, giving the occupant something to look at in between sets or if conversation runs dry. The lights are rarely white, with most being covered in transparent red, green or blue, with the stage area being lit, but not too bright.

Spacing (3/5 - better than most jazz clubs spacing, but still tight)
Lighting (4/5 - Dark enough, but not too dark not to see performers)
Table Wobble (2/5 - surf's up, thankfully the drinks are cheap)
Dive Atmosphere - (2/5 - Middle of the road, not dingy, but not fancy - points off for not being depressing)

A value - I hope they have a long lease. Any other no cover club would make it up with $10 drinks. Here, a martini is $8, and the top shelf beer is $6. Beers on tap include Yuengling, Brooklyn Weiss, Seasonal choice (Sam Adams White at the time), Carlsberg, Bass and Guinness. Big bottle selection including Leffe ($6) and others like Stella, Amstel Light, etc. ($5). I hope they have a long lease.

Price (5/5 - for a no cover jazz club not bad)
Strength (3/5 - normal)
Selection (3.5/5 - better than average but not blown away)
Service (4/5 - friendly)

* 2 drink minimum on honor system

Handful of friends of the band, some tourists (3 aggressive picture takers were then when we visited), a couple lone jazz (or drink) fans, some couples of all ages, some groups. On weekends I would imagine NYU students trying too hard, but a nice weekday crowd.

Crowd on Dive Scale (2/5 - happy and alcohol problem free)
Diversity (4/5 - nice diversity of age and interest)
Stranger Approachability (1/5 - this ain't the place)

And the band (Mirja Makela Quartet feat. Mika Pohjola) was great.

Scores low on actually being a dive, but scores high on being a great bar to listen to music. When the music stops (12:30am weekdays) and you need a dive, International Bar (1st Ave @ 7th) is closeby, but do support the free venue (and the band) by drinking and tipping generously.


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