Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Jazz" in Pittsburgh: Paparazzi

2100 E Carson St
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: (412) 488-0800

Saturday night, Karl and I went out with one of his friends, Neal, and Neal's girlfriend Heather who was visiting from out of town. Neal had expressed interest in finding a good jazz club as the site of our Saturday escapade, and he settled on Paparazzi, which was supposed to have a jazz band performing that night.

Paparazzi is a combination bar and restaurant. The restaurant is on the second floor, and the bar is on the first floor. The bar has a very small dance space (supposedly to accommodate swing dancers for their monthly swing nights): it doesn't seem large enough for more than two pairs to really heat things up, though.

When we arrived, the band was still setting up, so we just took our seats and ordered drinks. My Pomegranate Truffle martini ($7) was pretty delicious, I have to confess. Karl ordered a Yeungling for $2.50.

Then the band started playing.

Now, I don't know if they changed their lineup because there was an undergraduate fraternity playing "Bar Golf" passing through, or if they really weren't a jazz band at all: the first song they played was a cover of Usher's "Yeah!" Then they played "Kiss" (Prince), "Sexyback" (Justin Timberlake), and "Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson), before they settled into some old-school soul and R&B (following the exit of the golfers).

Needless to say, I was not terribly impressed. Although, to be fair, they were a good group of musicians. The covers were very good. I was probably not enthused because i had come expecting jazz.

Ah well. I wouldn't mind going back just to hang out at the bar. The patrons were an eclectic mix of senior citizens (dressed in their finery), middle-aged businesspeople, 20-somethings, and, of course, the undergraduate fraternity/sorority crowd. Any bar that hosts such a mixed crowd is ok in my book!

Pomegranate Truffle Martini

2 oz Pomegranate Flavored Vodka
1 oz White Crème de Cacao
1 oz Fresh Cream
½ oz Grenadine

Shake well with ice in a shaker and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a Maraschino cherry.