Vocalist and chekere player Eladio “Don Pancho” Terry, one of the most revered figures of AfroCuban folkoric and traditional music, and the patriarch of the Terry family, will be reunited in concert with his sons, jazz saxophonist YOSVANY TERRY and bassist YUNIOR TERRY. Together they create a journey through Cuba’s musical history — from AfroCuban folklore to the charanga music of Cuba’s “golden age” of the 1940s to cutting-edge Latin jazz.
The newly refurbished, historical Minton’s Playhouse is hosting the JC Hopkins Biggish Band featuringQueen Esther for a residency of Wednesday gigs starting on May 7th. Grammy nominated JC Hopkins and his ensemble of pedigreed jazz musicians swing hard and passionately through original material penned by Hopkins but also feature Bop tunes initially crafted at Minton’s back in the day by Thelonious Monk, Bird and Diz, expanded for a semi-big jazz conglomeration.
Queen Esther, with sass and finesse fronts the band, with her evocative voice and massive range, interpreting new material as well as covering lesser-known songs from Billie Holiday’s canon. Each night is expected to be a real happening.
Doors open at 6:00pm.
Performances from 7pm-11pm.
Music charge: $10 at the bar, $20 at a table.
Dinner reservations are recommended.
Tuesdays & Wednesdays at Minton’sFood and Beverage: Bar Seating is $10 per person, table seating is $20 per person.
It’s been awhile since our last podcast but we are happy to say that Blue Skies (Vol. 1) is now ready for FREE DOWNLOAD on iTunes for your listening pleasure. On this mix you can expect to hear a few modern day remixers from trap to club mixed together with old jazz classics. Including a spoken word intro from “Lady Sings The Blues” soundtrack, the Billie Holiday story. Also a spoken word jazz remix of Ursula Rucker and a beautiful track by Meshell Ndegeocello – Four Women (Pour use ame souveraine) – a dedication to Nina Simone.
See the full playlist below. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, a martini or glass of wine and enjoy some classic jazz with new remixes that will get your party started right.
1. Intro – Billie Sneaks Into Dean & Dean’s / Swingin’ Uptown
2. Ain’t Nobody’s Business – Billie Holiday
3. God Bless The Child (Remix Edit) – Billie Holiday
4. Corcovado (TOKiMONSTA Remix) Getz & Gilberto
5. Supa Sista (Society Nu’mericana Jazz Mix) – Ursula Rucker
6. Georgia On My Mind (Brown Stone Mix) – Ray Charles
7. I Love…Dub (Edit) – Funky DL
8. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (DJ Carnage & Victor Niglio Mix) – Dinah Washington
9. Bei mir bist du schon (Dub) – Waldeck
10. Avenue du Gare (Martini Dub Mix) – Tape Five
11. Four Women (Dedication to Nina Simone) – Meshell Ndegeocello
12. Blue Skies (Maya Jane Coles Mix) – Ella Fitzgerald
13. My Man – Billie Holiday
14. My Man (Toro Y Moi Dub Mix) – Billie Holiday
15. So Nice (Summer Samba) (Azari & Ill Mix) – Astrud Gilberto
16. Haunted Town (Remix Edit) – Lena Horne
17. Bodysnatchin’ (On the Isle) – Rubberoom
18. Right Here – DJ Mitsu
19. Fly Me To The Moon (Kaskade Remix) – Astrud Gilberto
20. Tequila (Pistel Remix) – The Champs
21. Mama Guela (STUHR Remix) – Tito Rodriguez
22. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (Zeds Dead Remix) – Nina Simone
23. Feeling Good (Bassnectar Dub Edit) – Nina Simone
24. All Night – Billa Quase
25. Just Move (Remix Edit) – Uneeq
Minton’s Harlem is the rebirth of legendary jazz club Minton’s Playhouse, frequented by the likes of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian and Dizzy Gillespie, in the 1940s and ’50s. Owner Richard Parsons (former chairman of Citigroup and the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner) has teamed up with Executive Chef Alexander Smalls and Chef de Cuisine Banks White to create a destination offering an exceptional experience that bridges Harlem’s past, present and future. Mr. Parsons is also the owner of The Cecil, which is adjacent to Minton’s, and which we previously reviewed (click here for the review).
As we approached the restaurant on one of Harlem’s restaurant rows, the first thing we noticed was the glowing plaque indicating that Minton’s is in The National Register of Historic Places. That set the tone for the experience that followed.
Upon entering the restaurant we were greeted warmly by the Director of Operations Beatrice Stein, just as she had when she greeted us at The Cecil, where she holds the same title.
The restaurant is a wide and long though not cavernous rectangle with spacious ceilings. It is well lit and beautifully designed with rich warm colors everywhere. There is a nice bar to the right, and a banquet of tables lining a cloth paneled wall to your left. You walk through this lounge-like space into the main dining room. There you find tables lining the walls to your left and right. Some of the walls are mirrored. Pictures of Jazz Legends including Dizzie and Billie line the walls. Off in the distance is a stage with a wonderful mural. The stage features a beautiful black grand piano. The tables are a combination of two and four tops draped in crisp white linens. The chairs are comfortable and the tables nicely sized. The staff is omni-present, attentive and knowledgeable.
We were seated at the first table to your right as you enter the main dining area. From there you can take in everything while enjoying some privacy.
There are two dining options, both prix-fixe, one two course, the other a four course. We opted for the five course.
We started off with cocktails which were generously poured. The Lady Bird was exceptional. We also enjoyed a variety of red and white wines throughout the evening, which are available by the glass or the bottle.
While we waited for our meal the musicians assembled and started their first of several sets. These are top-notch Jazz musicians with years of experience. They did not disappoint – their performances were the highlight of (and throughout) the evening.
The first course was an appetizer sampler called the Low Country Experience. We each received a plate containing nine sections, each with a different appetizer. The variety was fabulous. It felt as though the chef’s had traveled the world and selected their best fare for our tasting. Our table could have ordered several bowls of the Fried Okra wrapped in Surryano Country Ham. Other favorites included Deviled Egg Toast with Smoked Trout and Pickled Shallot, Creminis stuffed with creamed collard greens, and Beau Soleil Oysters, Champagne Mignonette Ossetra Caviar.
The second course consisted of Sherry She Crab Soup with Crisp Yam and Skillet Bread, Winter Apple Salad with Candied Black Walnuts, Butter Lettuce and Smoked Crabapple Vinaigrette, and Roasted Parsnip and Kabocha Squash Soup with Benne Seed Crunch and Brown Butter Creme Fraiche.
The third course consisted of Smothered Lobster & Shrimp Caserole with Creole Crawfish Gravy an Nora Mills Pimento Cheese Grits, Wagyu Ribeye with Bone Marrow Butter, Chanterella Mushrooms, Sweet Potato Pave and Blacktruffle Glace Deviande, and Pan Seared Venison with Carmelized russel Sprouts, Dumpling Squash and Huckleberry Gastrique.
The fourth course included Minton’s rendition of Banana Cream Pie with Sable Breton, Sour Cremem Mousse and Banana Sorghum Ice Cream. And blackberry Cobbler with Brown Sugar Bisquit and Cornbread Ice Cream (and I asked for the requisite cool glass of milk). We ended the evening with a round of smooth and soothing Cognac.
During and after our meal Beatrice Stein, Alexander Smalls and Banks White were kind enough to stop by. We of course let them know how much we enjoyed our time, and assured them that we would be back.
MINTON’S HARLEM Jazz Supper Club
206 W 118th Street (St. Nicholas & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd)
New York, NY 10026
Monday – Thursday: 5-11PM
Friday – Saturday – 5-Midnight www.MintonsHarlem.com
Abbey Lincoln, was an American Jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. Abbey Lincoln (Anna Marie Wooldridge) was born on August 6, 1930 and passed along on August 14, 2010. One of the many singers influenced by Billie Holiday where she often visited the Blue Note jazz club in New York City. Lincoln’s lyrics were often connected to the civil rights movement in America.
During the 1990s and until her death, Abbey fulfilled a 10-album contract with Verve Records. These recordings are highly regarded in the jazz world and represent a crowning achievement in Lincoln’s career.
Here is a wonderful live performance (below) of Abbey Lincoln singing “Midnight Sun” with the incredibly talented Lionel Hampton. The second video is a beautiful recording of “Throw It Away”, written and performed by Abbey Lincoln. Some may know this to by Esperanza Spalding’s recent cover of Abbey’s “Throw It Away.”
Abbey Lincoln Quartet (Live) – Lionel Hampton/Midnight Sun