Well worth visiting for top-quality jazz and an enthusiastic and friendly owner Morikawa-san, Birdland is a top choice for authentic live jazz. While Birdland no longer features live jazz on a nightly basis, the shop has special live shows on occasion, typically once a week. The interior space is cozy with a nice bar which may seasonally sport a large green plant rising from the bar and spreading branches and leaves up towards the ceiling. Facing the bar is an upright piano, and snug in the corner is a drum set, in front of which an upright bass, with space for a horn player or two to just squeeze in, right up against the front bar and tables.

It’s great to be able to have closer-than-front row seats to the musicians. Keep in mind that bathroom breaks require access behind the band area and should be made before, after, or between sets to avoid having to weave a path through the musicians to reach the bathroom. While the band’s on break, the selection of LP jazz playing is also well worth hanging out and listening for.

Also worth appreciating is the nice selection of scotches, including a mini-cask of Bowmore on the counter which is a personal favorite, and which Morikawa-san maintains regularly with pride.

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Aug 13, 2022