Located at 1330 27th Street, across the street from Meadowlark and diagonal from Cold Crush, Nocturne is the latest addition to Denver's proud jazz community. On Friday, the club celebrated its grand opening with the masterful sounds of the Jeff Hamilton Trio.
Jeff Hamilton is a drummer who has a lengthy, heavy, history in jazz, playing with such greats as Phil Upchurch and Ray Brown to Monty Alexander and Ella Fitzgerald. His trio consists of Tamir Hendleman (piano) and Christoph Luty (Bass), all three comparable in expertise. The trio played standards for most of the night, including one of my favorite songs — “Poinciana” by Ahmad Jamal. These three musicians make playing instruments seem as easy as cutting cake. Their timing is exquisite, their ideas are delightful and their chops are beyond today’s standards of musicianship. The Jeff Hamilton Trio provided the grand opening with a superb ambiance.
The layout and staff at Nocturne are quite pleasing. Upon entering, we were greeted by three staff members excited for us to take part in the experience. The entrance is curtained, adding a mysterious element for the attendee, who is unaware of what lurks on the other side.
As we entered, I felt a flush of nostalgia rush over me. The supper club is designed in a minimal, art-deco fashion, bringing to light the 1920s and 1930s jazz culture. There are high ceilings with a rustic wood finish accompanied by industrial windows, walls covered in black and silver wallpaper, comfortable light blue love seats, long industrial pendants hanging in the circular main dining area with a backing of black satin curtains all giving a sheer romantic atmosphere.
Before the Jeff Hamilton Trio took the stage I wondered about the integrity of the sound due to such high ceilings and the shape of the room, but I was mistaken. The sound encompassed the room like water in a glass.
The owners, Nicole and Scott Mattson (a certified sommelier), have created a unique venue for Denver, a place where jazz enthusiasts can listen to their favorites while enjoying the delectable plates by chef Dustin Beckner (former chef of Root Down). The Mattsons have partnered with non-profits around the Denver area to help provide music education and performance space for Denver youth. Instead of an entrance fee, patrons will be charged an artist and education fee on their check at the end of the evening. This goes to paying the artists as well as supporting the educational programs Nocturne supports.
If you’re looking to class up your night, take your sweetheart out for a romantic date, or hear some incredible music, Nocturne is your spot. Check out Nocturnes music schedule here.