By Stephanie Jones. Follow her on Twitter @MissJonesJazz
At the corner of 106th and Broadway, among the bodegas, bars and beauty supplies, a narrow doorway beneath iconic copper letters unlocks the hippest kept secret of the Upper Westside.
Inside, the smoldering sound of a tenor saxophone blowing on a blues follows a trio of club goers into a corner of the bar where they order three signature mint-muddled Mojitos from the mahogany stained counter. And then, the music.
At the far end of the bar, on a mildly cluttered, meticulously arranged bandstand, leader and bona fide beast of the B3, Mike LeDonne, sizzles through another chorus of comping on Bags’ Groove with a burning left hand, before following tenor monster, Eric Alexander, with an equally searing solo.
The Groover Quartet features a blisteringly hip lineup: Mr. LeDonne on Hammond B3, Mr. Alexander on tenor saxophone, the incomparable Peter Bernstein on guitar, and that titan of time, Joe Farnsworth on drums. In addition to his original lineup, Mr. LeDonne’s Tuesday night stable includes players like Paul Bollenback, Vincent Herring, Dave Stryker, Jason Tiemann, Steve Williams, Jimmy Greene and many other celebrities of syncopation.
For the insatiably sociable devotees of New York nightlife, every night is date night at Smoke Jazz and Supper Club. A savory and sophisticated Southern-inspired menu from renowned chef, Patricia Williams, and a full bar offering a hand selected, eclectic wine list from club co-owner Paul Stache, guarantees the perfect culinary complement to a distinctively swinging set.
CHECK OUT: The Smoke Sessions record label featuring a serious arsenal of New York (and international) talent recorded both on vinyl and CD.
DON’T MISS: The S’mores Brownie with caramelized homemade fluff and blueberry caramel.
ADDRESS: Smoke is located at 2751 Broadway New York, NY 1002 (between 105th and 106th streets on Broadway Avenue)