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TAIWAN FUN MAGAZINE, November, 2005.

Blue Note

171, Roosevelt Road, Sec. 3, 4F
Tel: (02) 2362-2333
Hours: 7 pm-12:30 am
Minimum Charge: Tues.-Thurs. NT$300 (exchangable for drinks); Fri./Sat. NT$350 entry fee (with one drink); Credit cards not accepted.


--By Timothy Liang Translated by Cara Steenstra

This story starts with owner Cai Ba, whose passion for jazz inspired him to name his pub after the famed jazz label, Blue Note. His fourth-floor music mecca emphasises pure jazz and does not allow pop music to get mixed in. Their neon sign, which often doesn't work, reflects 30 years of accumulated self-confidence since their establishment in 1974.

Blue Note is not very big, but is well-adorned with posters of musicians. Cai Ba says that the decorations at Blue Note are aimed at giving customers a "total jazz feeling", with a wall covered entirely with jazz CDs and a mural of jazz bands next to it. Cai Ba's jazz collection is very extensive. Whether it's an early vinyl record or a modern CD from America or anywhere in the world, it is quite possibly part of Cai Ba's proud collection.

There are regular live jazz band performances Tuesday to Saturday evenings from 9:30 p.m. onwards. Bands include the Uno Quartet, the New Decision Quartet and the Metamorphosis Jazz Band. On Saturday evenings, the Uno Quartet perform with the Jive Stakes.
The menu at Blue Note has a jazz theme, too. Many cocktails are named after classic jazz numbers such as John Coltrane's "Blue Train" (NT$290), which is a mix of Blue Curacao and lime juice. Another cocktail, a mix of lychee liqueur and orange juice, was named after the bluesy love song that has been around since 1923, "Let's Fall in Love" (NT$290).

Blue Note does not hesitate to let newcomers perform and, over the last 30 years, many musicians have been cultivated here, contributing to the growth and development of Taiwan's jazz scene. Although Cai Ba frets about the future of Taiwan's jazz music development, you can tell from the way he talks that his enthusiasm and determination have not diminished at all. Whether you feel like enjoying a spot of pure jazz or just personally experience a slice of Taiwanese jazz history and development, Blue Note will always be there.

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