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“Smokin’, Drinkin’, Never Thinkin’” is the motto at Jazz Spot Intro, a classic for many years in the underground Tokyo jazz scene. This is the quintessential jazz bar for jazz musicians of all stripes to gather to jam together, hone their craft, and just have a good time surrounded by jazz music and history. It sometimes seems that all Japanese jazz musicians have woodshedded here at some point, or at least know about and honor this club.
Intro specializes in the jazz jam: jazz musicians of all abilities congregate here to meet, rehearse, and play standard jazz tunes together. This is a great place for touring musicians as well, who are referred to Jazz Spot Intro upon asking the familiar question “Where can I go for a jazz jam in Tokyo, tonight?”
A formerly-secret bar that’s now so well-known and respected that Intro is generally recognized as a fundamental part of the living history of jazz in Japan. This is a must-visit for true jazz fans of all stripes who only have one or two nights free for jazz in Tokyo. Also welcome is the news that the room has been cleaned and refurbished in recent years, welcome news to those who may have heard old rumors of general dinginess, occasional bug bites, and thick tobacco smoke that lingers in your clothes for days.
One long-standing draw of Intro is the all-night, 12-hour jazz session every Saturday night from 5pm to 5am. Depending on the night, the atmosphere may get cramped and rambunctious when the hot jazz starts, but the bar is well-stocked with cold drinks to keep things balanced and friendly.