I have coupled a night at the American Legion Post with an earlier visit to Marjorie Eliot’s Parlour Jazz recital. I walk from her place to this one — it’s about a mile and a half, mostly downhill and mostly beneath old shade trees lining the embankment that edges Edgecombe Avenue.
At the American Post I get to hear jazz played the old fashioned way, Harlem in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s. In a row of brownstones on 132nd Street, down a few steps to the ground floor, is where musicians and jazz lovers from Harlem and tourists from all over the world gather.
Dinner is available. All dishes are around $10, served on plastic plates with plastic ‘cutlery’. Vegetables include potato salad, collared greens, and rice; entrées are fried chicken, pork or whiting (fish).
The house band is the Harlem Groove Band featuring Seleno Clarke on the Hammond B3.
I try to arrive around 6, so that I can sit at the bar to eat my dinner. Sometimes I get to eat and chat with Seleno Clarke, because he does the same thing.
You must sign in (because it is an American Legion Post) but admission is free. Donations accepted.
The nearest train station is 135 Street on the A or C Train (Blue).