Concert Reviews

French Cafe La Cour Is a Surprising (and Fitting) Home for Experimental Music

The chill winter night seemed almost too perfect a climate for going to see experimental music at La Cour. The bar/restaurant, with its Parisian flair, had a modern take on Japanese classical art hanging on the inside walls. Outside, there was a glass-walled fire in the center of a stone table on the patio. And if you arrived before 10 p.m., the sounds of the Stephen Brooks Trio could be heard inside and out. Had you not been upstairs, where the trio was playing you'd think it was an especially good live jazz record from decades ago. Following that set came "James Jewkes' Soirée à La Cour!" featuring Bios+a+ic, Anna Smith and Of Earth and Sun. While not jazz, it all seemed to make sense at a place that clearly favors a combination of classic sophistication and an openness to new ideas and people.

See also: The Ten Best Unexpected Places to See Live Music in Denver

As the first of many similarly-themed events to come featuring mostly experimental and avant-garde artists, Jewkes brought in some friends that would perhaps challenge some sensibilities but not completely alienate anyone coming by for a drink. Some may know Jewkes from his current involvement with the Kappa Cell and various improv groups, but also from his old, experimental funk band Good Grime Sound System. During the show, the affable and gregarious Jewkes also collaborated with Wesley Davis, the founder of the monthly ambient music series Textures at Mutiny Information Café, in Bios+a+ic and on one song with Anna Smith of Ancient Elk and The Circus House.

The event took place on the second floor of the restaurant, where two main rooms were appointed as an old style café, giving a similar feel to the one at Weathervane Café. The menu featured some real French cuisine, including escargot. The atmosphere was simple but varied and tasteful.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

Latest Stories