When we study jazz history, there is talk of legendary venues: The Cotton Club, The Palomar Ballroom, Minton's Playhouse, The Five Spot, The Plugged Nickel, etc...Of course, one of those places that still thrives today is the Village Vanguard. Located on 7th Avenue South right in the heart of Greenwich Village, this famous club has been a hot ticket since the mid 30's. I've only performed here a handful of times over the years, but I've seen a lot of great music there. I must say, in some ways, the Vanguard, like many famous places, can underwhelm at first glance: it's pretty small, the dressing room is the remnants of a working kitchen, and the proprietor (Lorraine Gordon, widow of Max Gordon, the founder) can be quite gruff to the customers. And yet, the sound of the room is great, and it carries a lot of cache to get a booking there. Furthermore, it's one of the few clubs where you can still book an entire week, which means it's possible to develop the music over six nights, which is what the masters did back when there were a plethora of performing opportunities.
I was actually quite impressed with the penultimate tune of the evening, which featured beautiful singing in Spanish by Klein. This first set ended with Klein's orchestration of the first movement of an Albert Ginastera Piano Sonata, which finally showcased off Kliein's pianistic ability, as well as his arranging skills. Urcola told me that they had recorded all the new music during the week, so I urge you to keep an eye out for the next recording from Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos.