- Le Jazz Au Bar
41 East 58th Street, 212-308-9455
When former rock and disco promoter Howard Stein opened this midtown jazz spot earlier in the year, we admired his guts but wondered how he’d stake his claim in the already-crowded New York jazz scene. Stein quickly came up with an ingenious answer: Le Jazz Au Bar is the place for vocalists, from versatile singers like Kevin Mahogany (who’s equally comfortable with Marvin Gaye and Duke Ellington) to better-known standards-bearers like Wesla Whitfield. There’s no lusher setting for taking in the music’s top voices: deep, plush banquettes, dark wood paneling worthy of an Oxford don’s study, thick Oriental rugs. But the plush décor is just the icing on the cake: We like Le Jazz Au Bar because it lets the singers swing.
Best Jazz Singing
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).