Oh, the joy of sax. And piano, trumpet, licorice stick and pretty much any other instrument that can get you all jazzed for, well, jazz. But you don't have to go to some Greenwich Village hideaway or fly to the Big Easy for a hefty helping of cool blues and bebop. Here are some cool LI spots with plenty of jazzmatazz.
Jazz and blues are a staple at Chesterfield's Thursday through Sunday nights, along with rock and dance tunes. The real high note for budding bluesmen and jazzy types happens Thursdays, which is "band audition night." There also are guest band showcases.
Piano man Paul Eccardt jams with singer and piano and bass player John Pellegrino and drummer-pianist Christine Solimeno Wednesday nights from 8 to 11:30. "We do almost anything - jazz standards, Sinatra, Billy Joel," Eccardt says. "We also have guests come in who play the sax and different instruments, and we have some great singers." If you want your appetite whetted a little more, there's food, too.
GRASSO'S: 134 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor, 631-367-6060, grassosrestaurant.com
Grasso's has been spicing up its menu with some well-seasoned jazz since 1997, ever since Sonny's Place, a favorite hangout of owner Gail Grasso's, closed. "Jazz is a passion of mine, and I wanted to keep it alive," she said. And she's done that with a lineup of jazz musicians and vocalists who perform during dinner Wednesday through Saturday nights, usually starting at 7:30. And French toast tastes even sweeter with live jazz in the background during brunch Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.
PICCOLO RESTAURANT: 215 Wall St., Huntington, 631-424-5592, piccolorestaurant.net
What better way to beat the Monday blues than with some Monday night jazz from 7 to 10. Despite the restaurant's name, no one plays the piccolo, but the trio of Uncle Don and the Nephews get hep on keyboard, guitar and drums, whether you're having dinner or enjoying a drink at the bar.
Piccolo's live piano music Tuesday through Thursday nights is also usually good for a few jazz tunes.
Even the Grinch would love the jazz at Whoville, where the 16-piece Leon Petruzzi Jazz Orchestra swings to the tunes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Buddy Rich and other jazz greats the first and third Thursdays each month, starting at 8 p.m.
Easy jazz meets the Big Easy at this hot spot each Thursday when Vince Scuderi and Au Privave take the floor. The group also has guest musicians jam with them for some N'awlins-style jazz for your musical pleasure. For your dining pleasure, there are plenty of Creole and Cajun dishes, including seafood gumbo, chicken jambalaya, chicken etouffe, and red beans and rice.