Finally, a serious jazz bar worth getting excited about.
The buzz: The closure of Thonglor's sultry cocktail den Bronx Liquid Parlour has a silver lining: the second coming of this live jazz bar. It's been five years since Black last appeared on the scene on Sukhumvit Soi 33, but New York-hailing trumpeter-singer-owner Idris Dawud is back promising an uncompromising alternative to play-it-safe hotel lounge jazz.
The decor: The industrial, steel-rimmed glass doors and rich velvet curtain confirm not a great deal has changed since the venue's last incarnation. The main difference is a small stage set-up next to the entrance, which also means some more colorful lighting. The bar, with its bottles stretching up to the ceiling, remains as impressive as ever.
The music: No breezy popsanova background music here. Dawud's from an accomplished jazz family. His father, Talib, played trumpet with Art Blakey and Thelonious Monk in The Jazz Messengers, while his stepmom is jazz singer Dakota Staton, best known for her 1957 hit "The Late, Late Show." A solo pianist keeps you company from Tue to Thu, while come the weekend Dawud leads jazz quartets in everything from hard bop to improv. There's a B400 cover charge on Fri and Sat nights, which includes a drink.
The drinks: Standard spirits and beers with a slight Japanese focus. Prices range from B200 for a bottle of Kirin beer to B600 for a glass of Yoichi single malt whiskey. There's also wine by the bottle starting at B1,200 for Viu Manent Chardonnay 2015 to B6,000 for Veuve Cliquot. Do note, there's no food.
The crowd: Professionals and jazz aficionados of a slightly older vintage trading stories about Miles Davis and John Coltrane. They're joined by younger musicians, including many local jazz undergraduates, looking to make a name for themselves.
Why you should care: An after-work glass of Hibiki 12 Year Old or three just tastes so much better in the company of a serious jazz soundtrack.