I recently wrote and illustrated a feature for Cincinnati’s alternative newspaper, CityBeat, about a jazz club in Cincinnati called Schwartz’s Point. You can see the piece here. Below is an excerpt and additional photos of the club which didn’t run with the story. If you’re in Cincinnati, or get a chance to visit- be sure to visit. Schwartz’s Point is an old school jazz club of the first order. The kind of place you might find in the back alley’s of Paris- and the jazz is always first rate.
The Curious Case of Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club
A complete and accurate catalog of the contents lying about, under and atop the bandstand at Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club are a mystery known only to Ed Moss and Jesus.
A very partial list includes several small boxes full of unopened cd’s; an old chrome free standing ashtray holding several maracas of various colors; a three legged stool- upon which is perched a small amp. The amp is itself is covered by an old tapestry upon which is stacked by any number of musical scores, assorted drum sticks, and an old cassette copy of the Society Jazz Orchestra live at Mozart’s (more on the SJO and Mozart’s to follow) as well as several old photographs. Beneath the grand piano is a small stereo, more drum sticks, a tambourine and small briefcase stuffed with aging charts and scores. In the corner-the province of the bassist- is another small amp, assorted musical paraphernalia and a shop vac. An soprano sax lies casually across the strings of the opened piano.
The mystery of the bandstand is altogether apropos given that Schwartz’s Point itself is a mystery to most Cincinnatians. This despite the fact that many drive by the club on a regular basis.
To be exact, Schwartz’s Point Jazz Club occupies the lower half of that faux stone and plaster not quite flatiron building sitting on the north end of the five way intersection at Vine and W. McMicken- just north of Findlay Market. The club’s anonymity is a crying shame as Schwartz’s Point is everything a jazz club should be: intimate (the club sits only 30 or so people), warm (the walls and floors alike are covered with an assortment of carpets and wall hangings) and very comfortable. In fact, much like its bandstand, the entire club is a unique personal project with a deep rich and layered history. Schwartz’s Point- which is journeyman jazz pianists Ed Moss’ personal labor of love- harkens back to a time when clubs were intimate and music was everything. Moss has, casual decorating scheme aside, gone to great lengths to create a club which showcases the music played within.