American Legion Post 398 New York

Image by Geoffrey Dunbar

American Legion Post 398 – Hot Harlem night

I have coupled many a Sunday night at the American Legion Post with a Sunday afternoon 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 environment 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 about $10, served on plastic plates with plastic ‘cutlery’. Vegetables include potato salad, collard greens, and rice; entrĂ©es 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 and a coffee can is passed around to accept them.

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 at 88 years of age. His death is a saddening loss to the Harlem Jazz scene. I attended his memorial concert, a reminder of this.

Rest in peace.

The club presses onward.

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Details about this spot

Categories

Address

248 West 132, New York

Opening Times

Sun 18:00 - 00:00

Price

Free

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Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)