Marla’s Report: Minton’s and More

I’ve been working on a write-up about the Jazz Cruise, my own ship’s log of sorts, but I can’t seem to get it finished and in good enough shape to post for you. Soon, I promise. Meanwhile, I am noticing that my blogosphere buddies sometimes get a little help from their friends and post items sent in to them by others. My friend Marla sent me a mini-pictorial of her visit to Minton’s and gave me permission to post it. Marla’s pilgrimage to Minton’s was made just a week or so ago when she was in New York with Rebecca Parris who was appearing at Birdland.

One of the highlights of my trip to NY was going to Minton’s Playhouse. I’ve always wanted to go there and finally followed through this past Saturday. So, here’s Marla trying to imagine what Monk and Horace Silver saw when they were sitting at the piano:

Here’s a much better, full view of the mural:


A picture I took from the bandstand looking out into the audience (though the club was empty, as it was about 4 p.m.):


The bar was on the opposite wall prior to the 1974 closing.

Those of you who know Marla will nod in accordance when I say that having Marla for a friend is kinda like having your own personal year-round Santa Claus because whenever she sees something that she knows her friends will enjoy, she shares it with them. And that’s often, so the presents keep coming all year long. Another thing I love about Marla is that she never seems jaded – she knows lots of people, she’s been lots of places and had many experiences, but everything seems new and cool through her eyes.

By the way, Rebecca got a fabulous New York Times review (it’s about time the media powers that be gave her her due! thank you Stephen Holden) – so New Yorkers keep your eyes and ears open next year as it’s a good bet that she’ll be invited back. Marla also reported that Rebecca will soon be a guest on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and that Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater will be broadcasting Rebecca’s show recorded live at the Marblehead Jazz Fest this past summer. I love it when good things happen for good people!

If by chance you just arrived on planet jazz and are not familiar with Rebecca’s singing, check out this and this and this.

ADDENDUM — Marla just sent me two more pix :

Here’s a picture of the famous Hotel Cecil. You know that Minton’s is to the left of the main entrance to the Hotel Cecil, yes? Apparently, it was an actual dining room when the Cecil was still a hotel and Henry Minton started to use it as a jazz room. Now, the Cecil is a renovated single room occupancy residence. Both Minton’s Playhouse and the Hotel Cecil are official National Landmarks and will be there for a long time! I wanted to get the 118th and St. Nicholas sign in, too:


And one last pic of the bandstand/mural from the audience (I think I was standing close to or against the left wall):


One thought on “Marla’s Report: Minton’s and More”

  1. i loved seeing this article about Marla and Minton’s. she actually sent it to me as well since i’m one of the lucky recipients of her jazz goodies. she and i have been talking about Minton’s for years and i’m thrilled that she finally got there. i’m one of those fortunate folks who have many wonderful memories of evenings in the 1960s at that club, hearing legendary musicians, of course.

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