There's a certain timelessness to jazz music. It's one of the oldest forms of musical expression and yet it is still completely relevant decades later. When you come to a place like Nocturne it is likely because you hold an admiration and longing for the bygone era when jazz clubs reigned supreme and the people, places, and menu all centered around the music. The owners of Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, Nicole and Scott Mattson surely connected with this sentiment while creating Nocturne. It's apparent in every aspect from the décor, the music and the specially crafted menu to their involvement in the community’s musical education and funding.
Our evening at Nocturne Jazz was simply beautiful. The decor and the ambiance were both inviting and reminiscent of a simpler time. With cushioned booths and sideways sweeping stairways the entire venue transports you to a smoky jazz club circa 1915. Nicole and Scott are very passionate about their project and were more than happy to come chat with us about their new jazz club, “We’re having a real kick with it,” Scott says. Nocturne has started to gain popularity with weekends nearly at capacity throughout the night and musicians eager to play a ten to twelve week residency. “A residency allows the musicians to get comfortable in our space and really develop their craft. On the other hand, it also gives them an opportunity to experiment with different styles and test out new music on the audience,” our waitress Rachel explains. This means every show is different at Nocturne, even if you come and see the same band perform.
The food and beverages at Nocturne take a residency as well. In addition to a set of “Standards” on the menu, there is a rotating selection called “Renditions” that are directly inspired by iconic and historical jazz albums. We attended their Renditions Menu Launch event last Thursday night where they debuted their newest Renditions menu. During these evenings a live band plays an iconic album from which the menu is inspired and their Chef Dustin Beckner explains how he and his team came up with each dish and drink pairing to match each song on the album.
“Quiet Kenny” by renown horn player Kenny Dorham was the album selected for this menu Residency, with The Tom Gershwin Quartet performing their first show of their ten to twelve week Residency at Nocturne. Chef Beckner tells us there is tenderness to Dorham’s album and every dish he created for this has a subtle line of harmony and balance. Each of the five courses does indeed deliver a delicious combination of sweet and salty, warming and cooling, hearty and light, smoky and smooth, exotic and familiar. The drinks were equally enjoyable from refreshing yet complex cocktails to rare wines on heavy rotation. On any given night, the wait staff is happy to walk you through the menu and explain the inspiration and ingredients of each Rendition’s dish and drink. As owner Scott Mattson explained, “Great music and great food run through the core of our hearts and the pit of our bellies.”
There is a timelessness to Nocturne that we hope will carry them through the current decades here in Denver to become a classic standard in of itself. We're sure that 30-50 years from now Nocturne will be a historic and integral staple to Denver's culture.
Learn more about Nocturne Jazz & Supper club and their upcoming events here.