Natalie's Jazz Lounge
A young John Coltrane played here. So did Hank Mobley, Shirley Scott, Philly Joe Jones and Grover Washington Jr. Stars radiate from picture frames -- a wasp-waisted Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan with girlish arms, a natty Nate King Cole.
Natalie's, at 40th and Market, has been going for 60 years making it the oldest running jazz club in Philadelphia. "it's about the music here," says music director Lucky Thompson. "Lots of other places, it’s about the patronage, buying dinner and how much money you spend. At Natalie's people come to play and listen to the music."
There's no food, no cover and the
drinks are cheap. The tiny bandstand cooks with a cast of characters that ranges, as organist Rich Budesa puts it, "from Yale to jail." As one visitor said, "You'll never see this place in the guidebooks."