The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

WoWasis Bangkok jazz review: the Sunday jam session at CheckInn99 off Sukhumvit

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 18•14

CheckInn99JamSession1dQuite a few jazz musicians live in Bangkok, both Thai and expat. Without a doubt, Bangkok’s best jazz bargain is when many of them jam together every Sunday afternoon from 2-6 at Bangkok’s notable speakeasy, CheckInn99. You need three things to have a great jazz venue: good musicians, earthy ambiance, and inexpensive drinks. CheckInn99 has all of that, and there’s no cover charge, either.

The session is led by veteran LA-Fresno altoist William Wait (jazz in Fresno?!), who’s got chops reminiscent at times of Sonny Criss. Wait weaves in various musicians as they arrive. Young vocalist Gabriel Lynch and Clifford Brown-inspired trumpeter Warren Fryar were just two of the stellar musicians we encountered.

The original CheckInn99 bar itself was legendary, dating back to the Vietnam war era, with a history wall that was a notable part of the club. Read it, and you felt like you were entering a time zone. Proprietor Chris Catto-Smith essentially saved this exceptional venue from the wrecking ball, and aimed to keep the ambient veneer that blankets every square foot of the club. Alas, things changed, and the club has now moved a couple of times, and is now at 1/1  Sukhumvit Soi 33, next to the Lotus Hotel.

The Sunday afternoon jam session at CheckInn99 is one of Bangkok’s best kept secrets, but probably won’t be for long. We here at WoWasis encourage you to come on down while you can still easily get a seat. Author Kevin Cummings, incidentally, has written Bangkok Beat, an outstanding book that details the history of the club as well as profiling several of Bangkok’s most notable characters.

1/1 Sukhumvit Road Soi 33, next to the Lotus Hotel. Soi 33 is between the Asok and Phrom Phong BTS stations.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks! great article and just to let you know apart from the great Sunday afternoon weekly jazz jam session we have a blues jam every Saturday afternoon from 4pm till 8pm in the new and great location of Checkinn 99 in Sukhumvit Soi 11 above Zaks Wine bar. !! Cheers !!The new kitchen is great 🙂
    Im looking forward to a good jazz jam session this afternoon at Checkinn 99 ! 2.30pm till 6pm here is the fb links

  2. […] and writing scene. He’s at the sound board every Sunday afternoon for the jazz jam session at CheckInn 99 on Sukhumvit between Sois 5 and 7 (blink and you’ll miss it, and you’ll be sorry you did). He […]

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