Special Engagement:

Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison Trio
Thursday, July 2, 7pm

Steve Cardenas

Steve Cardenas

It’s a tremendous pleasure to welcome Kansas City native guitarist Steve Cardenas back to Take Five, and we’re delighted that he’s bringing with him superlative bassist Ben Allison for this show. Steve has risen in the jazz world to claim a spot as one of the most influential guitarists working today, through a career of recordings and performances with some of our all-time favorites – Paul Motian, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Steve Swallow, John Patitucci and, of course, Ben Allison’s bands. Ben has been blazing a trail of his own, including being named the Rising Star Composer in Downbeat’s famed Critics Poll. His performance and recording credits cover an astonishing range including oudist Ara Dinkjian, kora player Mamadou Diabate, saxophonists Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano, performance artist Joey Arias, tap dancers Jimmy Slide and Gregory Hines and U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. With just Steve and Ben backed by the creative energy of drummer Brian Steever, this will be a night to remember. $10 cover.

For some background on what to expect, check out the Jazz Town column by The Kansas City Star’s jazz reporter Joe Klopus:

The Kansas City Star

Jazz Town: Steve Cardenas and Ben Allison bring musical telepathy to KC

“Expect nothing short of collective brilliance when the Cardenas-Allison trio takes the stage this week. Expect free-flowing, intuitive jazz invention – masters who breathe together.”


Take Five Coffee + Bar

At the start of the day, at the end of the day, or somewhere in the middle, you need a break. Take Five.

You make tough decisions all day long, one after another. Your life is complicated enough. Your coffee needn’t be. Let us handle it. It’s good – you can depend on it – in fact, it’s several kinds of good, and not just the coffee. The food is fresh, just the kind of fuel you need, and it’s served in a setting where you can recharge and reconnect. A carefully selected lineup of good beers, wines, and coffee cocktails can help you unwind and find that sweet spot in your day.

On weekend evenings, Take Five transforms itself into one of the finest venues anywhere for experiencing live jazz. Our backbone is Kansas City’s jazz musician community, and we bring in the best from elsewhere too.

In our new, more spacious space at Corbin Park, 6601 W 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223, we have sought to take the things that have made Take Five special and make them better. The feeling you get here, of taking a moment to breathe, is the same.

Do you have a friend you really want to talk to? Got a deal you want to close on the best possible terms? Bring them here. Or drop by when you just want some time alone to think, surf the Web, listen to some great music, warm your feet by the fire, and sip a cup of incredible coffee. Take Five.

Kind Words

We’ve been fortunate to get some attention from local jazz and culture writers. Here’s the latest:


Concert Review: Avishai Cohen’s Triveni at Take Five Coffee + Bar

Photo by Bill Brownlee

Photo by Bill Brownlee

“Cohen, bassist Tal Mashiach and drummer Nasheet Waits seduced them with the boiling frog technique.”

Tal Mashiach, Avishai Cohen and Nasheet Waits at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by Andy Schwartz.

Tal Mashiach, Avishai Cohen and Nasheet Waits at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by Andy Schwartz.


Concert Review: The Chris Burnett/Dino Massa Group at Take Five Coffee + Bar

Few things on Kansas City’s jazz scene make me happier than seeing Doug and Lori Chandler break out extra chairs to accommodate unexpectedly large audiences at Take Five Coffee + Bar. […]

Photo from PlasticSax


Concert Review: Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar

If the musicians in attendance at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Sunday felt the same way I did, the Kansas City jazz scene may never be the same. […]

Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar, April 12, 2015: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson. Photo by James Martin

Trio M at Take Five Coffee + Bar, April 12, 2015: Myra Melford, Mark Dresser and Matt Wilson. Photo by James Martin


Clint Ashlock’s Jazz Messengers Tribute Sextet With Bobby Watson

[…] Jazz just doesn’t get much better than this. The evening ended with a standing ovation.

Think about that. Jazz with Bobby Watson, a standing ovation, in a coffee shop in Overland Park, Kansas, for five dollars.

If you missed it, kick yourself.

Clint Ashlock, Michael Shults, Bobby Watson, Ben Leifer, Brett Jackson at Take Five. Photo by KCJazzLark

Clint Ashlock, Michael Shults, Bobby Watson, Ben Leifer, Brett Jackson and Matt Leifer at Take Five. Photo by KCJazzLark

…and here’s a video of the last song of the evening, Bobby Timmons’ classic, Moanin’ (video courtesy of Zach Shemon and the UMKC Saxophone Studio), wherein the master schools the students and the students, masters in their own right, respond with everything they’ve got:


Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at Take Five

About a half hour into the first set, I counted at least 25 fans standing and swaying, chairs long since filled. So what do you do when listening to the Boogaloo 7 and there’s no place to sit? You dance, of course. And that wood floor right in front of the Take Five stage is the perfect place. […]

Chris Hazelton's Boogaloo 7 at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by KCJazzLark

Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at Take Five Coffee + Bar. Photo by KCJazzLark

Plastic Sax

Concert Review: The James Isaac Quintet at Take Five Coffee + Bar

The first set of the debut performance of the James Isaac Quintet bridged the divide between the sounds heard in European concert halls and at the Village Vanguard.  A receptive audience of about three dozen attended the recital at Take Five Coffee + Bar. []

Plastic Sax

Concert Review: Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle at Take Five Coffee + Bar

A man in the full house at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Saturday wore makeshift earplugs.  The music performed by Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle merited the high volume. […]


Kansas City Art Community’s 15 Wishes For 2015

By CJ Janovy

Here’s our contribution to an article CJ Janovy did for KCUR’s website as part of their New Year’s coverage, our hopes, wishes and dreams for the Kansas City arts community in 2015. (CJ edited it for brevity and made it better, but we put the rough original below) …

Go to the story for answers to the same question from many more worthy contributors – you’ll see there’s a lot of enthusiasm about the city’s arts scene …

The arts require a two way conversation – artists to produce, patrons to consume – in order to thrive.  So our wishes for 2015 look at it from both perspectives:

In 2015, we wish that every person in the city – literally every person – would participate at least once in the local arts community. Go to a show, go to a gallery, attend your child’s school play. Better yet, take a neighbor or a friend with you.  Tell people about it the next day, and the day after that.  Introduce yourself to the artist, dancer, musician – shake their hand and say “thank you”.  If everyone in the city did that, even just once – what a difference it would make.

For the jazz scene specifically, we hope the jazz artists can stop questioning the art form’s relevance and just keep pushing it.  2015 may bring an explosion of interest in jazz.  It seems far-fetched, we know, but we think we’re starting to see it happen.  A lot of people are beginning to learn that the kind of jazz being played today by the immensely deep talent pool in Kansas City is nothing like what they’ve come to think of as “jazz”.  It’s a visceral, immersive experience.  We hope that more of the city’s artists and performers will feel emboldened to take chances; try something new that seems a bit weird.  At the very least, collaborate with someone new on some part of their work.

Lastly, if you’re an artist, look for new outlets for your work – somewhere to play, somewhere to hang your paintings.  If you happen to own a business, open your doors to the arts.  You don’t have to own a gallery or a music venue – it could be a restaurant, a bookstore, a boutique, or even a coffee shop.  We sincerely hope to see the arts embraced in every corner of the city in 2015 (and beyond).


Here’s a video from Dave Rizer, ace videographer, jazz singer and bon vivant, keeper of the KC Jazz Lovers page. It’s bassist Dominique Sanders with his trio of Andrew Ouellette on piano and Ryan Lee on drums, caught in the act at Take Five, Friday night, December 12, 2014.

“Tonight I experienced some really incredible music. Totally world class from any angle. I’d go as far as to say a perfect storm for brilliant jazz music. First you’ve got Take Five’s astonishing new stage, piano, and overall sound….Plus Andrew Ouellette having a musical love affair with that 88 key beauty…..Dominique Sanders pulling some cosmic (yes I said cosmic) lines out of that bass he commands and Ryan Lee just doing what Ryan Lee does best..makin all the rest of us think “this guy can’t be human”.

Plastic Sax

Now’s the Time: Elliott Levin

Jazz bohemian Elliott Levin will appear at Take Five Coffee + Bar on Saturday, November 22, and at the RecordBar on Sunday, November 23.  A press release from the Johnson County venue suggests that “this will be some of the wildest, most intense music we’ve ever had at Take Five.”


A Tale of Two Jazz Clubs Last Saturday Night

The next time someone tritely proclaims “jazz is dead,” escort them to Take Five on a Friday or Saturday night. Then see if they can still honestly mouth those words.


The People’s Liberation Big Band at the New Take Five

Let’s say you’re one of the community’s most beloved jazz spots, but you’ve outgrown your space. Let’s say you move to a new location more than double the size. Let’s say you pick a night as your official grand re-opening. So what group do you choose to baptize the new space?

Wait, before you answer, two more caveats. Let’s say you’re located in Johnson County. And let’s say putting a 26 foot long stage in a coffee shop establishes you as unconventional.

Now who do you pick? […]


The Pitch

Take Five Coffee + Bar takes a giant step 

When I arrive to meet Take Five Coffee + Bar co-owner Lori Chandler at her venue’s brand-new space at Corbin Park, plush red-leather chairs have just been delivered. They’re sumptuous things, deeper than they look — once you’ve burrowed into one, you’re reluctant to rise from it. Chandler is delighted by them. She pushes the chairs to the front of the platform stage, arranging and rearranging them like a kid trying out a toy. […]

Plastic Sax

Take Two of Take Five

By Happy In Bag

An inconspicuous sign in an inviting cranny of the new location of Take Five Coffee + Bar provides welcome news for Kansas City’s jazz scene.  The government-mandated plaque reads “maximum occupancy 189.” […]