Artists have always inhabited the fringes of New York. In the 60's, it was SoHo; in the 80's, Williamsburg and DUMBO. Now, the locus for young artists - especially musicians - seems to be Crown Heights: a decidedly ungentrified neighborhood between Prospect Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant. The kind of place where you're more likely to find a Knight's Fried Chicken than a Starbucks.
Reed player Jeremy Viner, who shares a first-floor flat on Bergen Street near Nostrand Ave, recently decided to convert his basement into a performance space, complete with makeshift stage and a lone, naked lightbulb. Last night's inaugural show featured two of his outfits- the jazz orchestra known as the Myk Freedman Suit and David Moore's Bing and Ruth - and was as tight and mesmerizing as anything you'll hear at proper haunts like Barbes, where I've caught both these groups before. But, there's something about this gig which felt more, I don't know...authentic? Might have something to do with tapping in at the source.