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, — the sound of 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 jazzers 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, collard greens, and rice; entrées are fried chicken, pork or whiting (fish).
I try to arrive around 6, so that I can sit at the bar, maybe have a piece of chicken.
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).
The house band — the Harlem Groove Band — was created by Seleno Clarke, a legend on the Hammond B3.
He died just after Christmas 2017. He was 88 years old. His death is a saddening loss to the music world, and especially the Harlem Jazz scene.
Rest in peace.
The club presses onward.