Half Note Club

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The Half Note was a jazz club located at 289 Hudson Street in New York City. It opened in 1957.

The club, owned by Mike Canterino and his family, was known for showcasing up-and-coming jazz musicians in the 1950s and 1960s, defraying its costs with live radio broadcasts on Friday nights, hosted by Alan Grant.

The Half Note was one of a handful of legendary Manhattan nightclubs, including the Village Vanguard, the Village Gate, the Five Spot, and Slug's Saloon,[1] that featured world class jazz on a regular basis. Forgoing sets with standard set times, musicians were allowed to play onstage for as long as they wanted to.

The club moved to 149 54th Street in 1972.

The Half Note closed in 1974, and the location is now occupied by a deli.

Bookings included Budd Johnson and Buddy Tate, beboppers Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, avant-gardists John Coltrane and Charles Mingus and Wes Montgomery, Herbie Mann and Cannonball Adderley. Singers Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday and, one evening, Judy Garland also made appearances.

Live recordings[edit]

  • Donald Byrd - At the Half Note Cafe (Blue Note, 1960)
  • Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry (Verve, 1973); OCLC 78273501
  • John Coltrane - Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up (Impulse!, 1965 [2005])
  • Art Farmer Quartet featuring Jim Hall - Live at the Half-Note (Atlantic, 1963)
  • Clifford Jordan - Half Note (SteepleChase, 1974 [1985])
  • Richard "Groove" Holmes- Onsaya Joy (Flying Dutchman, 1975)
  • Lee Konitz - Live at the Half Note (Verve, 1959 [1994])
  • Wes Montgomery with the Wynton Kelly Trio - Smokin' at the Half Note (Verve, 1965)
  • Zoot Sims, Al Cohn & Phil Woods - Jazz Alive! A Night at the Half Note (United Artists, 1959)
  • Lew Anderson Big Band Live
    Recorded live (radio broadcast)
    March 8, 1974
    Half Note Club, West 54th Street
    New York City
    Lew Anderson (leader), Bob Millikan (nl), Dean Pratt, Chuck Winfield (es) (trumpets), Eddie Bert, Sonny Costanza (trombone), Lew Anderson, Frank Strozier (alto saxes), Neil Slater (piano), Joe Cocuzzo (de) (drums), others unknown
    Radio broadcast on WLTW, under its former call letters, WRVR: "Jazz Adventures," two sets of the Lew Anderson Orchestra; Jack TaFoya (born 1932) was the announcer

Other live radio recordings have been released, including those by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley.

The Lennie Tristano quintet was filmed at the Half Note in June 1964 for the CBS television show "Look up and Live," which was narrated by Dr. William Hamilton.


Coordinates: 40°43′32.5″N 74°0′28″W / 40.725694°N 74.00778°W / 40.725694; -74.00778