A-TRANE BAR, BERLIN — In most cities, you’d be hard-pressed to name a jazz club where they actually LISTEN to the musicians instead of talking over them and clapping only reflexively when they notice the music has stopped.
Not at The A-Trane (yes, they spell it that way) Jazz Club in Berlin.
On two separate visits in May of 2015, you could have heard a pin drop (if it weren’t for the music) while the bands played. The crowd’s respect for the musicians and their music was so intense, they wouldn’t even start applauding until the final player removed the instrument from his or her lips. Then they erupted into applause.
The first sampler clip you’ll see is a quartet, led by an incredible female saxophone player, whose subtle style and nuanced emphases entranced the audience. She was particularly effective in stretching the finale of the song with a very long last note, keeping the reed in her mouth even after that note had died away, and then slowly drawing the instrument away. Which, of course, the crowd loved!
The second sampler video is a much different style, the crazy, often atonal, wild explosions of sound. Watch the fingers of the saxophone and horn players and you’ll be amazed. They also did a flute duet that is extraordinary.
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CLUB: The A-Trane (yes, it’s spelled that way there)
ADDRESS: Pestalozzistraße 105, 10625 Berlin, Germany (click link for map)
SUMMARY: A very cozy club for jazz aficionados who do NOT talk during performances. Do NOT come here if you want to socialize with friends (except between sets).
DRINKS: Great beer, but then it is Berlin, GERMANY!
Below: Two short videos of two different groups performing at the A-Trane in March of 2015.