Expand Your Playlist
Dance, meditate, muse, romance, reflect and boogie
Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is obviously not on the email lists of music publicists. Press releases for new recordings swamp the inbox daily. Here’s a handful of recent local and national releases, culled from the flood, that deserve attention.
New Downtown music venue opens inside Hotel Andaluz
It bummed me out when La Posada de Albuquerque closed in 2005. The lobby bar was one of my favorite places in Albuquerque—it was an elegant, jazz-filled, brown-and-white respite from the Downtown riffraff, the flashing neons, the ill-fitting fashions and questionable taste in mechanical beats. Little did I know that four years later the 1939 building—New Mexico native Conrad Hilton’s fourth hotel, and first outside of Texas—would open anew, having been reinvented as green boutique lodging. Hotel Andaluz not only has 107 rooms and suites, but also a fine Mediterranean-inspired restaurant (Lucia), rooftop bar (Ibiza) and, as of the end of January, a live music venue called Casablanca.
A Nice Little Jazz Joint
But you gotta know the password
Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, a classy restaurant on North Fourth, has done very well pretending to be a speakeasy. Advertising has been low-key—what else would you expect from a speakeasy?—and you’ve got to know the password to get in. The windowless dining room looks and feels like a well-appointed back room in a Chicago basement, what with its elegantly polished black diamond plaster walls and period paraphernalia, and the speakeasy charade—complete with the “What’s the password?” routine—adds a little spice and corny fun to an evening out.