The KitanoPosted: March 12, 2013
The wide, ample rear of the dog statue greets you as walk down the stairs from the restrooms back to the jazz lounge inside the hotel. Once you re-enter the room on the other side of the glass wall, you may notice the Jazz at Kitano sign. I thought the logo looked like a treble clef choking the letter J but Jon Rag, one of the saxophonists that night, thought it was suggestive of something else. For a venue uninterested in our review, The Kitano has made some interesting design choices. A large abstract painting also hung over the bar—I don’t even want to know what that’s about.
A couple weeks ago, I caught the final night of pianist Angelo Di Loreto’s month-long Tuesday residency at The Kitano. He played duo with three saxophonists, executing virtuosic lines and rhythmic harmonies with his signature heavy-handed touch reflective of his solid, grounded character.
Likewise, saxophonist Pat Carroll’s alto revealed his introspective and soft-spoken nature in its transparent and ephemeral tone. Jonathan Ragonese’s tenor was as robust and commanding as his outspoken personality and flavorful cooking. I don’t know the third saxophonist Dan Wilkins as well but I imagine that his personality mirrors the rich tenor with just the right amount of bite to the sound.
Isn’t it amazing that three people playing the same instrument can sound so different? The individuality of each was even more apparent paired with the same pianist back to back in the same room.
And it’s a nice room with a high ceiling that lets the music and conversations rise and fill the space. The verticality compensates for the cramped floor space in which the waiter will tell you to push in your chair each time he walks by. The lighting is pleasant and the company is sharply suited, many of them likely businessmen staying at the hotel.
The restrooms marked ladies and gentlemen are of typical hotel standards, with the thick quality paper towels. The ladies space consists of a sitting room and a bathroom with two stalls.
If you want to know more about Angelo’s residency, you can read an article by our own men’s room correspondent KMac in the February issue of Hot House, the ubiquitous and self-proclaimed “New York’s Jazz BIBLE For 30 Years!” And now, Nurgul from Kazakhstan tells us how to say, “Where’s the restroom?” in Kazakh –