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January 18th, 2012 12:01 am CASEY JARMAN | Bar Reviews

Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant: Lush Life

clublist_ivories_3811IVORIES JAZZ LOUNGE AND RESTAURANT - IMAGE: rosnaps.com
Mark Simon’s head is shaped like a fishbowl. But then, I’m looking at the Portland pianist, between bites of my creamy Pacific Coast Seafood Pasta ($16.50), through the distorting lens of an oversized and underfunded tip jar on his baby grand. There are less than a dozen people scattered throughout Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant (1435 NW Flanders St., 241-6514) on this Thursday night, but Simon’s version of “Moonlight in Vermont” still bounces with an understated sort of pep. The stage looks like something you’d find at an outdoor wedding, but everything else about Ivories—the sleek black decor, the rolling garage doors, the food, the tap list, the attractive and exclusively female staff, the whipped-cream-topped spiced cinnamon cider ($7)—is so cozy that I barely notice. From my seat in the front, I can hear Simon’s trumpet player taking sharp breaths between his runs. Now that’s intimacy. Ivories hosts lively jams on Tuesdays, and there are some impressive national jazz bookings on the horizon. All it needs now is a packed house.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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