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Paul's Mall/Workshop Closes; Fifteen Years of Jazz End

By Scott A. Kripke

Milt Jackson bent and swayed over the vibes Saturday night at the Jazz Workshop, sweating and smiling briefly at the audience every time he finished a solo break. And with every note Milt sounded, the Workshop was one note closer to the end of its 15-year-long stint as Boston's prime center for live entertainment.

Distant Jazz

The Paul's Mall/Jazz Workshop complex closed its doors last night and left Boston with no place for club-style top-name jazz, save Sandy's Jazz Revival, which is 45 minutes north in Beverly.

Owner Fred Taylor has said that the Boston clubs can no longer afford to stay open. Great jazz performers are just too expensive for a club-sized room, which can fit only 150 to 200 people. Taylor is looking for a bigger room, but has not yet found one in the Copley Square area, in the midst of Boston's music schools.

Berklee School of Music students have always made up a large part of the crowd at the workshop and the mall, which are around the corner from the school. Jazz aficianados from other surrounding schools frequent the clubs also, but now they have no place to go.

"Without the workshop, the number of jazz concerts I see will be severely reduced," Mark Wenneker '80 said Saturday. "Nowhere else could one get a first row seat to see someone like Joe Passee play for less than five dollars," he added.

Bill Cento, a Berklee student, expressed unquotable disbelief when he found out that the clubs were going to close. Then he fell silent.

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