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Best Jazz Club Houston 2009 - Red Cat Jazz Café

Red Cat Jazz Café

Red Cat Jazz Café

711 Franklin St.

Houston, TX 77002


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Even if you don't know Miles Davis from Buddy Miles or John Coltrane from John Legend (or jazz fusion from fusion cooking, for that matter), there's something about being in a jazz club that automatically makes you feel more, well, sophisticated. The Red Cat Jazz Café, though, offers uptown sophistication with a down-home Southern twist and spacious brick-wall acoustics that ensure you never miss a (blue) note. Several of the Red Cat's resident artists — elder-statesman vocalist Ardis Turner and New Orleans native/Patti LaBelle duet partner Mary Griffin — play jazz that, like Houston itself, has been heavily infiltrated by blues, R&B and soul. And don't forget to eat — the Red Cat's Louisiana-flavored menu (pricey, but worth it) and full bar will fill your belly as satisfyingly as the music fills your ears.

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My girlfriend and I had heard of the place and wanted to go there and check it out. Entering the door we were greeted by a $20 charge to get in. As soon as we sat down we were greeted by a rude server who assumed we knew anything about what they had to drink and even to eat. The drinks were flat and the food only passable. To top off the worst experience we ever had, the bathrooms were doused with pure undiluted clorox all over the floor. You had to breathe through your mouth because it was so strong. It stung our eyes. The bathrooms weren't even clean, just made to appear that way. The only thing that was good there was the live music.