Just beyond the tourist enclave of Kao San Road, lies a small bar called ‘Jazz Happens’ little more in space than the size of a single decker bus. It reminded me of Sin’e, a tiny bar in New York I used to visit in the 1990’s where, taken by my New York girlfriend at the time, I first saw Jeff Buckley play. Artists received no payment, instead a beer glass was handed around.
In Jazz happens it is the same; a base player plays, happily and easily, a young man on a Roland keyboard, in dreamatic concentration, two saxophonists and a chap, so gently dextrous on drums, it is little more than a purr. The lead singer is a transgender girl ‘Sal,’ who, albeit with a deeper voice, sings with feminine superiority, touching upper notes like a feather, delicate, romantically precise, yet whimsical, the audience is transfixed.
Outside this theatre traffic passes, yellow cabs and buses, and beyond this the river and golden temples along its edge. And in this small place, Jazz does actually ‘happen.’ Jazz Happens is a recommended bar in Bangkok.