An iconic jazz haven is born again. It's a name I don't think I've heard spoken of in many years. And so when I learned that after many years, Minton's Playhouse" was re-opening at its original address at West 118th Street in Harlem on the ground floor of the old Cecil Hotel, I was really delighted. Delighted that the unassuming little nightclub where Bird and Diz' and Monk and the rest of the greats and near-greats all went to jam was back in business after a fire in 1974 had shut it down. Although I grew ...read more
Reservoir Music has quietly and effectively been building an impressive body of works by New York City pianists over the years, including Kenny Barron, Steve Kuhn, Rob Schneiderman and John Hicks. Now Reservoir has graciously given Bertha Hope, widow of deceased and under-recognized jazz pianist Elmo Hope, the opportunity to be counted in her own gentle way among some of her generation’s noteworthy pianists. “Nothin’ But Love” is her first recording on an American label.After Elmo Hope’s passing in 1967, Bertha remained a favorite of New York musicians as she performed occasionally when child-raising responsibilities permitted. But the ...read more
Pianist Betha Hope has certainly been a late bloomer. Long story short, this imaginative pianist was married to the equally inventive piano man Elmo Hope. Her talents, however, would largely remain dormant for most of the '60s and '70s, apart from the few duets with her husband that were heard on a mid-'60s Riverside date. It wouldn't be until after Elmo had prematurely passed on and she was done raising the kids that Bertha would return to the performing arena. Hooking up with the Danish SteepleChase label, Hope's first recording would be 1990's In Search of Hope, followed the next ...read more
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