Some time ago, I expressed skepticism about the “jazz” aspect of a new restaurant that was coming to Oakland. Boy, was I wrong.
Duende (468 19th St., Oakland) is giving the Nels Cline Singers a four-night residency starting January 23. Separately, co-owner Paul Canales has a blog entry where he mentions John Zorn as not only a friend but a source of inspiration for the restaurant — for the name, in particular.
I don’t expect Duende to become a full-time, all-out haven for the avant-garde. They’ve got rent to pay, and they’ve got ambitions as a restaurant. But it’s good to know the owners have sympathetic ears for good music. And the food and coffee — there’s a blog entry about the coffee! — sound intriguing too, albeit not cheap.
I love going to DIY music events in obscure corners. I fondly remember a trip to NYC where I stared in envy at show fliers for loft shows and experienced an invigorating Elliott Sharp concert in an upper-east-side apartment converted to a dance studio. But I think a plush setting is a nice treat occasionally, and I’d imagine many musicians agree.
So, let’s wish best of luck to Duende, and help them out by providing a good showing for Nels Cline.
Each show, Jan. 23 through 26, will feature one set of the Nels Cline Singers and a set of Nels plus a guest artist. More info here.