Blowin' the Blues

Blowin' the Blues

Back in the day when it was bohemian, Greenwich Village used to be full of jazz clubs. Those glory days live on at the Blue Note, a nightspot that's been swinging on a little Downtown street since 1981.  With two shows nightly, it covers almost every variety of jazz, from Big Band to to be-bop to R&B -- not to mention more modern sounds, especially during its Late Night Groove Series on weekends.

They do pack you into the blue-hued setting, but sitting cheek-by-jowl as you chow down on American eats and cocktails is part of the fun. On a recent visit, to hear The Manhattan Transfer warble their smooth four-part harmonies, I got to know a motley collection of tablemates: a couple from Australia, two Russian ex-pats (one now residing in Florida), a lady who sings in choral groups and a groupie who's seen TMT some 15 times. The singers recognized him as they filed past our table onto the small stage.

If you're hitting the early show, definitely make the scene at least an hour early:  While you can make reservations, seating is first come, first serve. Artists' gigs tend to be short, usually 2-3 days, though trumpeter Chris Botti will be in residency for half a month, from Dec. 16 to Jan. 5.

Looks like mine is going to be a blue Christmas.

» Blue Note New York, 131 W. 3rd St., 212.475.8592