It should be obvious that the Village Vanguard is, simply said, one of the world's leading jazz venues —but, alas, you never know what kinds of expectations some folks bring to the scene. Those folks would be the reviewers who give the place anything less than an excellent review.
I visited solo for the first set of a Steve Wilson Quartet performance on a Thursday night in early August, arriving a little over a half hour before the music began to assure myself a good seat —and, on the advice of the staff, I think I got the best seat in the house, acoustically speaking and otherwise, on a stool at the end of the bar, at a level just slightly above that of the mass of tables, thus with clear sight lines to the stage.
I couldn't have had a better time.
Thus my advice in this review is arrive early, maybe 45 minutes early on a weekend —and either have already dined or prepare for a later dinner, for the Vanguard doesn't serve food. It's strictly a place to listen to the music and have a drink, as a jazz club ought to be.
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