Imagine all the luminaries of the Harlem Renaissance from the 40’s collecting for a evening cocktail and dinner.
Picture yourself listening to music onstage coming from any number of great artists in the world, such as Billy Holliday with her backup quartet with Lester “Prez” Young. Across from you in the audience is Langston Hughes, James Baldwin at one table and Edward “Duke” Ellington and William “Count” Basie at another. That’s a typical night at Lenox Lounge during the early years of the twentieth century.
In the late 1970’s Alvin Reed a retired NYPD/Postal employee bought Lenox Lounge from the previous owners. His vision was unique in that certain nights were “Theme Night” and Friday’s were the house band of local musicians and “open play” with them. You could sit in if you had some sort of “chops”.
Any number of music videos were shot from there and probably THE most famous movie of all “Shaft” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Vanessa Williams plus Busta Rymes featuring original leading man Richard Roundtree.
Also, I have sat in the same seat where famed Photographer/Director Gordon sat in a seat in the front window near the entry door.