The first thing you notice about Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola is the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park through a floor-to-ceiling window. That assault on your senses is only the beginning. Located at Jazz at Lincoln Center, on the fifth floor of New York City’s Time Warner Center at Broadway and 60th Street, the jazz club-cum-restaurant named after legendary trumpeter John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie is an intimate venue where music and food seduce every cell in your body.
Jazz at Lincoln Center, which hosted its grand opening last October, is not just for the well heeled and well connected. Far from it. At Dizzy’s Club, every New Yorker, tourist and jazz aficionado is welcome to listen to jamming at its best, with classics and new tunes. In April, for example, patrons were treated to Kenny Barron’s new sextet—Vincent Herring, Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, Dayna Stephens, Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Victor Lewis—and a menu courtesy of the Southern-inspired cuisine of Spoonbread Inc., one of New York’s largest African-American-owned caterers.
The lights dim for the performance, creating just the right atmosphere for good music and good food. Patrons can savor rosemary baby lamb chops—lightly seasoned with rosemary, garlic, lemon, and olive oil—Southern fried chicken, or North Carolina BBQ ribs, cooked slowly in a sweet and piquant BBQ sauce, as well as a diverse sampling of appetizers and decadent desserts.
Prices at Dizzy’s are not what you would expect at a location where the who’s who of jazz and R& B, including Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, have been known to show up unannounced to jam with the band. The most expensive entrée is “chicken Coca-Cola,” served with collard greens and corn bread.
As at most jazz joints, there is a cover for tables ($10 minimum) and the bar ($5 minimum). The music cover for artist sets is $30 per person. Show times are Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. There are after-hour sets at 11 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, and on Friday and Saturday after the last artist set. Reservations are recommended, as the Time Warner Center is fast becoming a must for shopping and dining. In addition to Dizzy’s Club, other jazz at venues at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall are the Rose Theater and the Allen Room.
An evening of jazz at Dizzy’s presents the opportunity to appreciate working musician/composers. It is a testimony to the fact that the days of venues where the stage feels like a podium are long gone. At Dizzy’s, with its seductive Manhattan backdrop, there is an open invitation to connect with the musicians. There is nothing like enjoying an evening of easy-listening jazz, where you lose all sense of time and even overlook the fact that the sunny sky that welcomed you has turned to night.
For reservations call 212-258-9595. Visit www.jalc.org to check featured artists and their performance times.