For the serious listener, there's much to like about Jazz at the Bistro: top-quality touring talent, respectfully presented in a nice-looking room, plus house rules that prohibit idle conversation while the music's playing. Set up as a not-for-profit organization, JATB also involves visiting musicians in educational programs at local schools and offers discounted tickets to students. While other local nightspots present jazz as background music, a lifestyle accessory for upscale urban consumers, Jazz at the Bistro asserts it as a serious American art form worthy of an audience's full attention. Of course, as good as the Bistro is, with music scheduled weekly for a nine-month season, the room is often dark. And the Bistro's avowed policy of booking only "mainstream" jazz (hard bop, vocalists, Latin jazz) is a bit timid. Yes, we love Jazz at the Bistro very much -- but we'd love it all the more if there were more of it to love.