I walked in as The Bridge Trio announced their next tune, “125th and Broadway,” where I had just come from, a bit flustered that the trains weren’t running on schedule yet again.  Though I was on the fence about attending, I was sold once I learned that ZirZamin served breakfast tacos all night.

The place must be self-service at the bar, because nobody came to take my order at the table.  I didn’t feel hungry enough to get up to order the breakfast tacos so it ended up being an eggless Easter, but an enjoyable one nonetheless.  The entertaining trio bantered, took requests and made the audience feel at ease.  They played tunes with both curious and obvious titles, which bassist Max Moran and keyboardist Conun Pappas took turns introducing.

Joe Dyson, who had been placidly providing rock solid beats behind the kit, ran up to the mic in the blink of an eye and went on a tirade about how he would introduce the tunes too, if only he had a microphone.  I was in pleasant disbelief—it was like seeing a formerly fat person rip through the life-size poster of the before photo.  And if hearing the drummer talk wasn’t surprise enough, Joe even sang a song about salty dogs to close the set.

ZirZamin Left Side RestroomZirZamin Right Side Restroom

Hailing from the same high school in New Orleans, the members of The Bridge Trio have played together as one unit and together as sidemen with mentors from their hometown.  It’s great that they have the opportunity to be nurtured by mentors in a city with such legacy and tradition in an era where jazz is becoming increasingly institutionalized and mentorship on the bandstand, a rarity.

ZirZamin Left Side SinkZirZamin Left Side Toilet

To your left before you enter the back music room, you will see two unmarked narrow black doors to the unisex restrooms.  The smallest freestanding restrooms I’ve observed thus far, I got a core-strengthening workout twisting my body into unusual positions to take photos in the claustrophobic space.  Watch out for the steps when you go through the double curtains to the back; I tripped both times in the dim lighting.

Though the venue acknowledges that it can’t be all things to all people, it presents an unclear identity in seemingly trying, with a menu offering Austin-inspired fare, the tagline “subterranean music parlour” using British spelling, and the name ZirZamin meaning underground in Farsi.  Samira from Iran tells us how to say, “Excuse me, where is the restroom?” in Farsi –

Bebakhshid dastshoui kojast?