from The Seattle Times:

When Duke Ellington instructed Billy Strayhorn to “take the A train” to find him in Harlem, the band leader had no idea Billy would immortalize the phrase in a swing-era hit.

Of course, that was back in the late 1930s, when Harlem was the hub of the jazz world.

If Duke were giving Billy directions today, he might still tell him to take the A train — but to get off in Brooklyn.

Over the past 10 years, a robust, homegrown jazz scene has developed in the humble borough across the East River from Manhattan. If you’re a jazz-lover or simply curious about the cultural cutting edge, check out the clubs there next time you visit the Big Apple. They’re a heck of a lot cheaper than Manhattan spots such as the Blue Note or Birdland, which can set you back $50-$60, and the music is often the most innovative in the city.

Brooklyn clubs Barbès, the Tea Lounge, Zebulon and Sycamore also are located in three of the hippest neighborhoods in New York — in Park Slope, Williamsburg and Ditmas Park — areas colonized by artists and young professionals driven out of Manhattan by high rents. The clubs are all easy to get to by subway and there’s a homey, unpretentious, community feel to them, since many have sprung up in neighborhoods where musicians live.

Continue reading at The Seattle Times:

Seattle Jazz