Jazz has been in a state of quiet crisis ever since first-wave boomers started rejecting the '60s and '70s tendency toward innovation in favor of fare they could easily talk over. Hence the problem at some metro jazz clubs: No matter how storied or formidable the talent at the area's most esteemed institutions, too many patrons are likely to treat the music as a backdrop for conversation. But the Turf Club's Monday night Jazz Implosion, hosted for over half a decade by local/international luminaries Adam Linz, J.T. Bates, and Michael Lewis (a.k.a. Fat Kid Wednesdays), couldn't be more different. Secure in the knowledge that every cent of the $5 cover goes to performers, the youngish crowd socializes only between songs and sets. If somebody's playing, everybody listens—not just out of respect, but because that's what they're there for. No matter how quiet Fat Kid or their handpicked guest artists get, every note comes through, unsullied by chatter. Plus, the room itself stands in defiance of the middlebrow, middle-class aesthetic that's dominated jazz for the past 30 years. The Clown Lounge isn't just scruffy, with its worn wood paneling and hyper-Minnesotan décor, it's downright weird in a way not even David Lynch could dream up.

Location Details

1601 University Ave. W.
St. Paul MN 55104


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