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The Magnetic Ear

Since Katrina and the passing of longtime proprietor O'Neil Broyard, the Saturn Bar has quietly been getting its groove back. Broyard's nephew, Eric, refreshed the famous tavern-cum-curio cabinet with the lightest of touches; tidying the place enough to bring it right over the line from grungy back to eccentric, but maintaining the overall quirky charm wrought by O'Neil's decades of collected oddities. A semi-regular live music calendar of downtown favorites is also proving the Ninth Ward corner to be one of the most genuinely New Orleans places to hear a band, whether in one of the mismatched booths or from the balcony that rings the rear of the bar, with a backdrop of eclectic local art. Local experimental jazz saxophonist Martin Krusche has been doing his part to liven up the joint. During a residency that spans the month of July, he's bringing homemade vegetarian curry, pappadams and chutney to feed the fans of his combo. In recent months, his trio has grown into a five-piece band. Justin Peake and the Panorama Jazz Band's Jon Gross lay down the syncopated New Orleans-style rhythms and brassy bleating, on drums and sousaphone (Matt Perrine will actually be subbing for this gig) respectively, through which Krusche on tenor, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and Diesel Combustion Orchestra's Daniel Oestreicher on baritone and Jeff Albert on trombone weave their sometimes funky, sometimes avant-garde melodies. Food starts at 8 p.m.; music at 9. No cover. -- Alison Fensterstock

9 p.m. to midnight Thu., July 12

Saturn Bar, 3067 St. Claude Ave., 949-7532


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