50 years of jazz you can touch
No-one knows how long the legendary Linn from Scotland has been spinning vinyl in the windowless jazz cellar, playing LPs from the bar’s vast record collection. The Metronom has existed since 1968. No digital music reproduction has ever been played here, and it is unlikely that the premises have ever been renovated. The patina that results is irresistible: 50 years of analogue jazz sounds, nicotine, Guinness and Irish whiskey, the endless conversations about jazz, people playing dice at the bar, the yellowing newspaper cuttings and posters of jazz artists and jazz festivals, and framed illustrations from jazz books all create an unmistakeable atmosphere. When a jazz combo is playing in the entrance area, guests have to enter the bar via the back entrance through the kitchen. The audience ranges from music students from the famous Cologne University for Music and Dance to housewives from next door to weather-beaten old Americans. Jazz fans are impossible to pigeonhole. At any rate, the bar is full, cramped and loud; after all, jazz is still wild and strictly non-commercial music.
The Metronome opened in 1968 at Zülpicher Platz 11 and moved to its current location in Weyerstrasse in May 1981. Instagram or Facebook don't play a role here, endlessly spinning the old LPs from the collection behind the counter. Founded in 1968 by the forefather Friedel Doetsch, Chris Bishop took over the store in 1992 and handed it over to Mike Menger in 2010. And over the years, the record collection grew and grew. Glasses were stowed away elsewhere to make room for the vinyl.
In the Metronom, there are no digital songs, no playlists, and no shuffles. Here, the classic jazz albums, that are never simply pleasant background music, are played on the record player without a break.
Weyerstraße 59, 50676 Cologne
A cinematic essay by Daniel Debray:
A book about Metronom: