NileGuide Expert Says:
A venerable establishment that's hosted many jazz greats over the years. Things have got a little more mainstream of late: there's a lot of groove and the gentler edges of hip hop to be found nowadays. Still a great place to sink an expensive beer, and catch some kids from the conservatorium, playing in their quite-good band.
7 Macquarie Place
2000 Sydney, Australia
tel: 61 2 9251 2797
fax: +61 2 9252 3007
Dinner from 7.30pm
Mentioning jazz and Sydney in the one sentence usually means The Basement. This esteemed institution has been around for decades, and still packs them in six or seven nights a week with an eclectic mix of acts, both local and international. Consider this gig list from yesteryear: Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Art Pepper, and more recently, Prince, Keith Urban and Tim Finn.
This CBD venue has undergone a few changes over time, and its latest incarnation still retains those moody jazz hues. Blue Note album covers and signed posters of notable crooners still adorn the walls.
Most shows offer a 2-course cabaret-style dinner in advance; handy when seats and tickets are a premium. The food is not special - salads or pate starters, steak, pasta or chicken mains. If a formal seated dinner is not your thing, the quick and easy bistro offers stand up bar bites, like nachos, burgers, antipasti plates or crumbed seafood. But you're not exactly here for the culinary experience.
On matters liquid, lubricate with quirky cocktails like the Parker Up Charlie, Billie's Holiday and Round Midnight, or one of the many boutique beers available.
Whether it's blues, folk or funk you're after, the venerable Basement continues to put on an impressive live show.
Photo courtesy The Basement