May 10, 2010 was a good night indeed at Club 347, named because of its address at 347 North Calvert Street. Monday evenings at this cool, intimate spot are known for its array of local jazz artists sharing their musical chops with a hungry jazz audience. Judging by the plates of food and music being played, hungry had a dual meaning on this chilly spring night.
Even though I arrived after 10:30PM on this jazzy night, there was a sizeable crowd in the venue, eager to hear jazz music by an assortment of artists. With my laptop bag in tow, I took my place in the standing room-only crowd, vibing to the mellifluous sounds coming from the 347 house band. I was definitely enjoying the musical stylings, along with the vast majority of the 150 or so in the house. Of course there were individuals either networking or catching up with friends on this evening, but they couldn’t deny the jazz music being played. Baltimore has a rich history when speaking about jazz music, ranging from Eubie Blake, Ethel Ennis, to Ruby Glover, and it can be said that the jazz community in this blue collar city is sometimes lacking in choices. On this night, however, the music spoke for itself, and the Club 347 patrons listened attentively.
There was an assortment of jazz musicians in the spot, looking to bless the 347 crowd with music and vocals. There were a few artists that stood out, such as Charmaine Harris, a female trumpet player. She showed her musical chops during the impromptu jam session, allowing the onlookers to marvel at her trumpet solo. There were also a few vocalists that exercised nice range from a singing perspective. The version of “Bloody Valentine” being sung by one of the female vocalists in the house was a definite pleasure to my ears, and from the way the crowd was jamming, you could tell most agreed.
I stayed at the venue until close to midnight; even though I was there for a short period of time, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. From the Club 347 House Band to the energetic crowd, all in all it was a good experience. Monday evening at 347 would make for an enjoyable night, either solo or as a cool dating spot. I strongly recommend this jazz gem, and I hope the jazz scene in Charm City continues to flourish and grow.
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