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The stage is draped in a deep, blue light. In a darkened room, the audience squeezes around low tables laden with whiskey and wine. A husky, female voice croons that she doesn't know about her dreams any more, while a quartet lays down a cool rhythm. The Hot Club is the archetypal jazz bar, one of the oldest in Europe and rated by DownBeat magazine among the world's best. It dates back to the 1940s when, the story goes, founder Luiz Villas-Boas would entice musicians off cruise liners or Paris-to-New York planes making refueling stops to play in his smokey basement in the Praça da Alegria ("plaza of joy"). Over the years, the likes of Count Basie, Dexter Gordon, and Pat Metheny have made the joint jump. There aren't always such big names, but there are live sets every night from guest players or the 20-strong house band. A 2009 fire destroyed the original basement bar, but the Hot Club was recreated a couple of doors down in 2011. It retains much of the original intimate ambience, although smoking is now banned.