Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Blue Note for two back to back events. The first Italian Jazz pianist Danilo Rea with his very talented daughter Oona Rea (¥200), and the second Ravi Coltrane (¥370) son of saxophonist John Coltrane and jazz pianist Alice Coltrane. We can honestly say we have tested, tasted and experienced everything at Blue Note Beijing.
First things first the music was amazing. The Reas together had won over a difficult crowd. What made it difficult was probably the fact that little was known of Oona Rea’s talents. However, she sang beautifully with the same professionalism and talent as her father, proving to the crowd that she was her father’s daughter in both musical talent and, most importantly, her jazz sound. By the end of the first night we were ecstatic, but could not help wonder how listening to a band would have been different.
Lucky for us the next day we were invited there again, and this time to listen to Ravi Coltrane for the opening of Blue Note Beijing’s One Year Anniversary. Boy were we treated to something incredible. Ravi and his crew had it easy, the audience knew who they were and what they could do, but it did not stop them from impressing us. Ravi Coltrane and his band like true jazzmen do their best work when they are live and on stage. We can’t lie, we did find the second night a lot more enjoyable, the fact that it was a band playing made the room filled with sound making the music richer. Either way, we had the time of our lives.
Now finally how was the food? All in all, very, very good, on the second night we went on to explore the menu. We started with the seafood & avocados timbale, where the prawns and squid just melted in our mouths between the fresh avocados and beet-sour cream puree. For a main we tried the roasted lamb chop, it took some time to arrive, but when it did the meat was succulent and came right off the bone. Finally ended our night with a cold lemon soufflé, with the right balance of sweet and sour in its creamy texture.
The nights were magical, even if it was strange to hear live music from such world famous musicians and be dining at the same time. There a few opportunities where you could dine romantically and have Ravi Coltrane physically playing the background.
Don't worry, you can still have a similar experience with just as famous musicians. Coming up on the 21st of September is Kurt Elling’s quintet, or right after, Kamasi Washington on September 22nd and 23rd. Check out Blue Notes' website for their other events.
23 Qianmen East Street
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