Stompin’ “At the Old Lady’s”
July 11, 2012 Rozanne Woodward 0 Comments
In fact, U Stare Pani (“At the Old Lady’s”), may just be the most attractive jazz venue Prague has ever had.
“We wanted to create something special, a place people want to come and stay,” explained Jan Abt who, with his companion Martina Henzlova, designed every aspect of the club.
Located in the basement of a lavishly renovated building in the heart of Old Town, which also contains a three-star hotel and restaurant of the same name, U stare pani has the refined atmosphere of an elegant supper club. Individual tables preserve the club’s intimacy and protect you from the hazard of sitting cheek-by-jowl with a bunch of musical day-trippers more interested in giddily rehashing their adventures on Charles Bridge than in the music.
There’s food also, real food. Not the customary snack-bar fare common in other clubs. Until 11 PM you can order the same well-prepared, inexpensive dishes on offer in the restaurant upstairs. Whether you dig the tasty cheese and mushroom omelette, groove on the baked chicken breasts with peaches and cheese or cross over to one of the delicious pasta dishes, you won’t hit a wrong note. Pivo aficionados are also well served here: Budvar is on tap.
According to bassist Jaromir Honzak, “The best thing about this place is that the staff all love the music. They don’t chase you out after the last note. That means a lot to musicians.”
For jazz lovers it means that the music doesn’t necessarily end when the show does. U stare pani is open until 4 AM, and on occasion other musicians drop in after the last set to jam until early in the morning.
Because life is not as perfect as a Sonny Rollins solo, however, there’s a catch. Admission to the club is rather steep. But this is mitigated by what you are offered. The higher fees mean musicians are better paid than in the city’s other jazz clubs, and that’s why the better musicians are eager to play here. There is no Dixieland and no half-hearted swing. Just the best modern jazz to be heard in the city, played cool and hot, in a setting that respects and supports the music. In short, U Stare Pani is a jazz club that both audiences and musicians can love. Bird lives!
— (Originally published in Velvet Magazine) Jazz club U Stare pani Michalská 9 Prague 1, Old Town Concerts from 9:00 p.m. RESERVATIONS [email protected] +420 605 285 211, www.jazzstarapani.cz