April 26th, 2014 by harlemhouse

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Daniel Asbury Mixon from Harlem, New York City is an American jazz Pianist.
Currently you can hear him at the newly revised and highly sought upon Jazz Supper Club Minton’s in Harlem.
A prolific piano virtuoso who has performed in the U. S. and Internationally, Daniel Asbury Mixon was born on August 19, 1949 in Harlem and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up in a musical household he was influenced by his mother and grandparents beginning his early artistic expression at the age of 3. He studied and performed as a tap dancer at the Ruth Williams Dance Studio and even then was known as “The Show Stopper.” Danny attended the High School of Performing Arts with dance as his major.

During an afternoon outing at the Apollo Theatre with his grandfather Danny was inspired by the jazz musicians he heard. It was then that he decided that he would like to be a pianist and he never once looked back.

In May of 2004 Danny was one of the first musicians to be honored by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem in a series entitled “Harlem Speaks,” which resulted in an invitation to the White House for Black Music Month on June 22nd.

Danny’s greatest joy is performing, composing, and arranging for his own group “The Danny Mixon Trio or Quartet,” Danny is currently the Musical Director at Minton’s.

This kind of talent doesn’t grow on trees.  Danny Mixon and all of the jazz musicians at Minton’s are what makes Harlem so great.  If you have not yet visited Minton’s Supper Club in Harlem, and you are a lover of good food and REAL JAZZ, we highly recommend it.   See our previous write up on Minton’s Supper Club, Harlem’s Opening Night at Minton’s

DannyMixon.com

Minton’s Harlem

The Danny Mixon Trio Live at Showman’s Jazz Organ Club

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December 14th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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King of the stride, Fats Waller was a colorful comedic personality and jazz legend in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s.  Waller was an influential pianist, composer, singer and comedic entertainer, whose innovations to the Harlem stride style laid the groundwork for modern jazz piano.  His best-known compositions, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Honeysuckle Rose were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1984 and 1999.

Fats Waller (Thomas Wright Waller), was born in New York City in 1904.  He started playing piano when he was six and by the age of fourteen he was playing the organ at Harlem’s Lincoln Theater.  Within twelve months he had written his first rag (ragtime) song.

By the age of fifteen he became a professional pianist, overcoming opposition from his clergyman father, working in cabarets and theaters.  Waller went on to become one of the most popular performers of his era, finding critical and commercial success in his homeland and in Europe.  He was also a prolific songwriter and many songs he wrote or co-wrote are still popular, such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Squeeze Me”.

He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s.  He appeared in one of the first BBC television broadcasts.  While in Britain, Waller also recorded a number of songs for EMI.  He appeared in several feature films and short subject films, most notably Stormy Weather  which you can view a video clip of below.  It was released in 1943 just months before his death.

Multi-talented Waller performed Bach organ pieces for small groups on occasion.  Waller influenced many pre-bop jazz pianists; Count Basie and Erroll Garner have both reanimated his hit songs (notably, “Ain’t Misbehavin'”).  In addition to his playing, Waller was known for his many quips during his performances.

Between 1926 and the end of 1927, Waller recorded a series of pipe organ solo records.  These represent the first time syncopated jazz compositions were ever performed on a full-sized church organ.

His final recording session was with an interracial group in Detroit, Michigan in 1943, that included trumpeter Don Hirleman.  Waller was returning to New York City from Los Angeles, after the smash success of Stormy Weather, and after a successful engagement at the Zanzibar Room, during which he had fallen ill.  He contracted pneumonia on a cross-country train trip near Kansas City, Missouri, where he died on December 15, 1943.  Coincidentally, as the train with the body of Waller stopped in Kansas City, so stopped a train with his dear friend Louis Armstrong on board.  Coincidence or providential?

More than 4,000 people attended his funeral in Harlem at the Abyssinian Baptist Church.  Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., delivered the eulogy, and said that Fats Waller “always played to a packed house.”

I highly recommend FATS WALLER “compilation” on iTunes.
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See below 2 Videos by Fats Waller.

Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Stormy Weather (1943) – FATS WALLER

I’m gonna sit right down and write myself a letter (1935) – FATS WALLER

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October 27th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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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.

Listen to Abbey Lincoln on ITUNES.

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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

Abbey Lincoln – Throw It Away

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October 20th, 2013 by harlemhouse

Lalah Hathaway at Variety Playhouse

The apple does not fall far from the tree.  A few weeks ago we featured the legendary Donny Hathaway on our Sunday Jazz Corner and in it we briefly mentioned his daughter Lalah.  This week it is all about Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the jazz and R&B great Donny Hathaway.  Though she may be under the radar to some, if you do not already know about Lalah, you will know about her soon as she continues to rise at a rapid pace amongst her peers.

Born as Eulaulah Donyll Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway is referred to as the First Daughter of Soul.  She is considered a contemporary R&B and jazz singer.  In a sea of high pitched soprano female pop culture singers, it is so refreshing to hear Lalah Hathaway in the mix.  There is something about her texture and tone in the same context as Sade or Sarah Vaughan and other infectious swooners that just makes you feel good inside.  When you think of pop culture singers these days, you emmediatialy think Beyonce, Rihanna, pop, Hip Hop, soul etc.  But with the Esmaralda Spalding’s and Janelle Monae’s and other newbies quietly making themselves heard, please take note of Lalah Hathaway and check out her music on iTunes.

The first video you will listen to below is  “Something” by Snarky Puppy featuring Lalah Hathaway.  I was referred to it by a friend and watched blindly, and unprepared.  I started off listening, watching calmly, inquisitively, maybe slightly judgmental, sitting in my chair… watching, waiting… and as it continued I started getting this feeling, this emotion inside of me.  I sat up straight in my chair and tuned everything else out around me.  Now, in one hundred percent concentration mode listening and watching this video in front of me, completely committed with Lalah and her performance I begin talking to my computer screen… next, I am standing, now I’m yelling at my computer, clapping, cheering!!  Alone in my apartment, goose bumps running all through my body up and down my spine I sit back down.  Of course because I’m a man, I did not cry.  Maybe just one tiny tear but I fixed that real quick and like I said, I was alone and nobody was there to see a thing.

I think jazz, gospel, good soul, rock whatever, is supposed to make you, make us feel this way, right?  Sometimes rarely, music can take you there to this place and so when you do feel it and are a part of the art and why music exists in the first place, it is such a great experience.  So ya, that’s kind of what my experience with Lalah was like.  And just remember, nobody cried here!

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Here are two videos below one Live in Harlem with Robert Glasper at Marcus Garvey Park, and  the first one is by Snarky Puppy “Something” featuring a live recording of Lalah Hathaway.  I could have posted 20 more like this but I kept it down to two.  While writing this piece and listening to this music all I could think of was all of the music that we still can look forward to with future recordings of Lalah Hathaway.

P.S. At the 6:12 minute mark of this song does she sing a chord?  I think she sang a chord!!  And I love the drummers reaction, he literally got out of his seat as if to say, what just happened.

Singing with Robert Glasper in Harlem, Live at Marcus Garvey Park in August 2012, a classic Nirvana rock song “Smells Like Teen Spirit ” with a jazz twist. Brilliant.

To see more Sunday Jazz Corner Archives (Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Sarah Vayghan, Cag Calloway and more…)

Posted in Art and Culture, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Dance, East Harlem, Entertainment, Faith/Religion, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, North Harlem, South Harlem (SOHA), Sunday Jazz Corner, West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 18th, 2013 by harlemcondolife
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Photo: Melissa Hom

A return to elegance in the historic village of Harlem.  The day has come for Minton’s to open officially to the public Monday, October 21st.  The Cecil next door and jointly owned just opened last month with a bang and hasn’t stopped since.  Already considered in a league of it’s own in this area.  See our previous write up on The Cecil Restaurant in Harlem (Review).

We look forward to celebrating the reopening of Minton’s with such a past history of Harlem’s jazz greats when it was once called Minton’s Playhouse.  This venue will require that men wear jackets.  The attire (dress code) is formal and it will be nice to see women and men fill the room with a diversity of styles while enjoying live jazz music.  A very timely decision to open (reopen) this historic jazz club with Harlem on the pulse now more than ever in the New York scene.

Looking forward to experiencing Minton’s next week.  Dress to impress and come out to enjoy good jazz and what looks like to be great food.  Take a peek at the menu below.

Here are a couple photos of entrees you can expect from the menu.  Looking forward to trying the Rib-Eye steak.  Minton’s MENU.

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Photo: Melissa Hom – Wagyu Rib-eye with bone

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Photo: Melissa Hom – Crisp Skate Wing with Manila Clams

Minton’s Supper Club
206 West 118th Street
New York, New York 10026
(212) 243-2222
www.mintonsharlem.com

*Photos from Grub Street and Minton’s Facebook Page.

Posted in Architecture, business, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Cooking, Culture, Design Decorating, Drink, Entertainment, Food, Harlem, History, Menu Harlem Hot Spots, Menu Harlem Restaurant Row, Music, New York City, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants, The Cecil Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

October 13th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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Let’s go back in time to a different era and take a look at old Harlem with the sounds of Jazz vocalist Cab Calloway.  Born on December 25, 1907, in Rochester, New York, after a short period in Chicago he moved back to New York and landed a gig performing regularly at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club during the swing era.  In 1931 his song “Minnie the Moocher” became a hit and was considered to be one of the first recordings to ever feature scat singing.

Besides Calloway’s musical act, he also appeared on stage and in films.  During the 1930s and 1940s, he worked in such films as The Big Broadcast (1932), The Singing Kid (1936), and Stormy Weather(1943).  Calloway spent two years in the cast of a revival of the musical Porgy and Bess, beginning in 1952.  He also performed in other stage productions over the years and made more film appearances, most notably in the 1979 movie The Blues Brothers.  During the film, Calloway put on his trademark white tie and tails and performed “Minnie the Moocher”.  Cab Calloway died on November 18, 1994.

He took pride in his part of the Harlem Renaissance and also mentions Sriver’s Row in his songs “Hard Times (Topsy Turvy)” and “The Ghost of Smokey Joe.”
Click on the photo below for a link to iTunes to hear all of his music.

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Below is a video of Cab Calloway performing his hit “Minnie the Moocher” Live at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Also, a video clip from the movie “Stormy Weather” (1943) featuring Cab Calloway and his orchestra performing “Jumpin Jive” which ends with the Nicholas Brothers dancing and struttin’ their stuff.

Posted in Apollo Theater, Celebrity, Central Harlem, Community, Culture, Dance, East Harlem, Education, Entertainment, Harlem, History, Music, New York City, North Harlem, South Harlem (SOHA), Sunday Jazz Corner, TV & Video, West Harlem Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

September 1st, 2013 by harlemhouse

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Ella Fitzgerald was known as the “Queen of Jazz“.   An American jazz vocalist with impeccable diction, phrasing and a vocal range spanning three octaves.  She would create and change the notes spontaneously with an effortless improvisational style in perfect pitch while we all watch and listen in awe.  There was no auto tuning here.  There were no simple three note melodies.  This was the real deal.  Ella set the bar high for everyone to follow.  Whether you are a lover of jazz or not, it would be difficult not to recognize her God-given talent.

Listen and witness a master at work giving off a joyous smile as she makes it all look so simple.  Especially with her style of scat singing.  I wonder who can sing like her today out of all our new singers?  I hope that there is someone, or that a young talent will grow and meet her expertise someday.

She really had something special and gave us everything, every time with every recording and live performance.  Take a minute to read a bit of history on this musical genius Ella Fitzgerald.

Here she is performing a live 7:00 minute uptempo version of “The Man I love.”

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June 2nd, 2013 by harlemhouse

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Bringing us his true talent singing a flawless live version of On My Way To Harlem in Paris on June 2, 2012.  This original song from his latest album “Be Good” (available on iTunes) takes on  a whole new life when you see it performed live.  The whole album is a jam.  Jazz at it’s best.  If you haven’t yet heard him perform live, do yourself a favor and catch him next time through.  He performs often at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club in NYC as well as several other venues.

Be Good


New From: $10.60 USD In Stock
Release date February 6, 2017.

Posted in Harlem, Music, New York City, South Harlem (SOHA) Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 26th, 2013 by harlemhouse

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This week we feature Chaka Khan in our Sunday Jazz Corner video.  Chaka is the one and only champion of voice.  Though many have tried to come close to her God given talent, she remains untouchable.  Here is a video of Chaka Khan singing “The End Of A Love Affair” (LIVE) February 9, 2009.  There is no other living singer quite like her whether it be, funk, jazz, soul, blues, dance, pop or rock she surpasses anyone in her path.  Hope you enjoy this flawless version of the Billie Holiday classic “The End Of A Love Affair.”

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