Sunday, August 26, 2007

'Small's Paradise' , in Harlem...

…was (and maybe still is I haven’t been there in 35 years) the penultimate Black Blues & Jazz club, the ultimate being The Apollo, also in Harlem, but Small’s Paradise is also world-renowned, being the hip and hip-swinging joint it has been since the start where such pre-eminent musicians as Jimmy Smith, Art Blakey, Jimmy McGriff, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Holliday, B.B. King, Cannonball Adderley and so many many others either began or continued or in some cases wound up their careers at Small’s Paradise, a legend in its own time owned by a legend in his own time because sometime in the early 60s I think, a guy named Wilt Chamberlain bought up Small’s and ever after it was known as Big Wilt’s Small’s Paradise, and of course there was only one Big Wilt, to whom, morning though it may be, I heartily if sadly drink a stout in his memory: Long Live the Late, Great Wilt Chamberlain, first of the 7 footers (7’2” at his peak), first in so many basketball records – no one has ever scored a 100 points in one game except Wilt, and actually because of the rules built in since that 1962 record was set, no one ever will again…one year he averaged 50 points per game…so long Big Fellow! You were one of a kind and wonderful on and off court!

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