Is the Dirty Dog The Best Jazz Club in the World?
What does it matter what people think of you? For some people being the very best is important, like right now we are getting a 24/7 view of folks hopefully and sometimes desperately trying to be viewed as the very best candidate for President of the United States. This is not always a pretty sight, as one of the hardest things to do is to promote yourself. One of the two remaining candidates will be deemed the best. It made me stop and think. It is easy to claim you are the best if you keep the sample small enough.
A REALLY GOOD LOCAL JAZZ CLUB
The Dirty Dog Jazz Café is a small and intimate jazz club that serves really good food. It is one of the only places to hear jazz in Grosse Pointe and certainly is the best in town. It is promoted mainly through word of mouth and the proclamations of others. The word is out that this place makes an honest effort to give jazz artists and their fans a great place to come together. Friends tell friends, and Detroit has a way of finding out about anything that is a cut above. The Dirty Dog didn’t set out to be the greatest club in the world and would never presume to be something special, however, I have observed others who often say, “THE DIRTY DOG IS THE BEST JAZZ CLUB IN THE COUNTRY”
THE WORLDLY RALPHE ARMSTRONG
I never thought about this idea until one night the well traveled Ralphe Armstrong offhandedly asked the question, “Has anyone been in a better jazz club in their life?”
No one stood up and challenged him. Truthfully, there are few people who would stand up and challenge Ralphe. Since then Ralphe rarely appears at the Dirty Dog without making this claim. He is not alone. Looking out at an attentive audience many artists pause to remind us how remarkable this venue is. These aren’t always local musicians full of pride for their city who are making this claim, it is also many who have traveled throughout the world and lots more who are visiting from around the world. I started listening to them.
SOME REASONS THAT THE DIRTY DOG IS SO RESPECTED:
RESPECT FOR THE MUSIC The club is a place that is run almost entirely for the music’s benefit. The Dog has paid attention to those things that allow the music to live. There is a great sound system with a sound engineer on staff. The Dog is a place with an openness to new ideas and encourages musicians to stretch their craft.
RESPECT FOR THE ARTISTS What I have heard from visiting artists is that the Dirty Dog is an oasis of respect. Respect pours over musicians from the moment they enter the club. The Dirty Dog is a place where jazz thrives because Gretchen, the management and the audience think that the music deserves to be heard. Finally, where else do artists get four day gigs?
RESPECT FOR THE AUDIENCE It is an intimate space small enough to offer proximity to the action. Jazz is often a spontaneous, evolving relationship that is sometimes sublimely harmonious, often gleeful and sometimes raucous. Patrons can witness the fleeting glance and the startled smile between players. Jazz can be at its most engaging when you can experience that process unfolding with your eyes as well as your ears.
AND THE UNIQUE REASONS THAT CLINCH IT FOR THE DIRTY DOG
SOME REALLY GOOD FOOD AND A GREAT BAR The Dog has some really good food and a great bar for the customers
THE GREEN ROOM AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ The same great food and drink is served in a beautiful green room reserved for the artists.
BONUS POINTS FOR:
Chef Andre Neimanus, Manager / Director of jazz Willie Jones and their amazing staffs with all their good cheer and smiles.
EXTRA BONUS POINTS:
The classiest proprietor in all of jazzdom, Gretchen Valade.
ALL THIS LEAVES ME WITH THE BURNING QUESTION, COULD THE DIRT DOG JAZZ CAFÉ POSSIBLY BE “THE BEST JAZZ CLUB IN THE WORLD?” AND WHY NOT?
We will need more information to really know the answer, so, please think about it and let us know.
THIS WEEK GET OUT AND LISTEN TO SOME LIVE MUSIC
Detroit has always been a great jazz town with so many great places to hear music. Anytime you get a chance to hear live music in Detroit, don’t pass it up. You owe it to yourselves to get to know them. Maybe the best jazz club for you is the one just down the street.
AT THE DIRTY DOG THIS WEEK
Down the street at the best jazz club in America will be two world class saxophonists. Coming to the Dog this Wednesday and Thursday will be Diego Rivera , followed by Eric Alexander on Friday and Saturday.
UPCOMING SHOWS CAN BE FOUND AT: http://: dirtydogjazz.com
HERE ARE SOME OPINIONS ABOUT “THE GREATEST CLUB IN AMERICA?”
Dennis Coffey has been around the block, maybe a few times, and seen his share of jazz clubs. Here is what Dennis had to say about the Dirty Dog along with Rayse Biggs, Ralphe Armstrong, Grace Kelley, Gene Dunlap and Dave McMurray. They discuss the possibility that the Dirty Dog is America’s best jazz club. They could be right.