Jazz at Green Door in Hollywood

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The beautiful and the jammed: Improv jazz makes a comeback among Hollywood’s after-dark set

Angeleno, February 2008

Suddenly Tuesday nights at the Green Door have usurped Sundays at Guy’s as the scenester jazz site du jour. L.A. nightlife has, in fact, been in the midst of a turf war ever since Guy’s closed for renovations in September, leaving Danny Masterson’s three-year-old Kids Cotton Club without a home. Masterson’s nexus of precocious Young Hollywood sophistication, which in the past has drawn the likes of Leo DiCaprio and Taryn Manning, moved on to a follow-up stand in the old Sunset Room space last fall. But the crowd, at least on one night, was woefully thin, and the engagement lasted only a month. The Green Door, by contrast, has so far found far more success with its new series, which began a week after the launch of the ill-fated Cotton Club 2.0. Green Door promoter Jason Scoppa draws a sizable contingent of Masterson’s old regulars with headlining pianist Deron Johnson, a Miles Davis protégé Scoppa discovered during a mid-summer night’s set at Kid Rock’s Malibu manse. Other highlights include appearances by Beck’s 23-year-old trumpeter, Stewart Cole, and covers of hits like Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” Masterson’s camp now claims that the Cotton Club will soon be resurrected for a trial run at Teddy’s, while Guy’s manager Warren “Mighty Joe” Tepper hopes the series will return to his club when its rehab is complete in the summer. Meantime, word’s out that Steve Adelman’s new subterranean lounge, 86, is considering its own tight-listed jazz programming (fittingly, rumor has it that the basement was Rudolph Valentino’s onetime speakeasy), while late-‘90s burlesque progenitor Ivan Kane—of Forty Deuce fame—apparently might cash in on yet another nostalgia trip via some bebop business of his own at his upcoming Café Was on Vine. –Alexis Johnson

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