Whether your exposure to jazz and blues music in Los Angeles county is limited to a snippet of song from Long Beach AM radio station 88.1 KKJZ (better-known as "K-JAZZ"), or if you're a regular listener and fan of the genre, you'll enjoy LA's high-quality, jazzy joints. So if you have an urge to get an earful, here are five where you can hear (and see) it live:
Babe's & Ricky's Inn
Babe's & Ricky's Inn was named after late founder Laura Mae Gross' son and nephew. It bills itself as "Los Angeles' Oldest Blues Club", and appears to have earned that title, having originated in 1964. The club closed in 1996 but swiftly reopened at its current location the following year. It is a place for true devotees; blues singer and "living legend" Mickey Champion even recorded a CD within its walls in 2000.
- Location: 4339 Leimert Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
- Phone: 323-295-9112
- Website: www.babesandrickysinn.com
Jax Bar & Grill
Jax Bar & Grill is another club and restaurant with ample history. It is housed inside a 1920's building in downtown Glendale and was established in 1984, with jazz nightly since 1985. One featured artist has played there for over ten years. The photo page on its website has pictures of each musician scheduled to play during the month, and the homepage touts Jax's lack of a cover charge or minimum order.
- Location: 339 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA
- Phone: 818-500-1604
- Website: www.jaxbarandgrill.com
Cozy's Bar & Grill
Cozy's Bar & Grill was launched in 1996 by a blues aficionado. Cozy's brands itself as "LA's Home of the Blues" due to the high caliber of performers it purportedly attracts. There is no disputing the impressive list of celebrities who have either sat in the audience or stepped onstage here, yet non-famous amateurs can belt out the blues and feel at home by partaking in its "Non-Hokey Karaoke" on Sunday nights.
- Location: 14058 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA
- Phone: 818-986-6000
- Website: www.cozysblues.com
Grand Star Jazz Club
Grand Star Jazz Club may not be well known, but is notable as the only club of its kind in the heart of Chinatown. On its website, there is a "join us" page that grants each member a "free package of premium tea", redeemable at the club. It professes to have "some of the greatest Jazz Los Angeles has to offer", but "also embraces Hip Hop, R&B, and Blues." Such diversity is evidenced by a glance at the calendar and/or photos page. Lastly, it boasts having been visited by Britney Spears in August 2009—a fact that may be a draw or a repellent, depending on opinion.
- Location: 943 Sun Mun Way, Los Angeles, CA
- Phone: 213-626-2285
- Website: www.grandstarjazzclub.com
Redwhite+bluezz is the newcomer of the bunch, but has already received "Best Jazz" votes by three Pasadena magazines. Like the other purist places, live jazz seven days a week is the norm, but in the words of its website, "it's not just a restaurant, wine bar or a jazz club--it's an experience," and the club's "Wednesday Experience", with a different weekly theme each month, affirms its ambition.
- Location: 70 South Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA
- Phone: 626-792-4441
- Website: www.redwhitebluezz.com