Bertha Hope – Morris High School – October 26, 2014
Here’s someone who was totally not on my radar screen at all; Hope was married to a minor NYC player, Elmo Hope, also a pianist. For a while they shared an apartment with Thelonius Monk! I wonder how they decided who got to use the piano at home. Well, Bertha is still keepin’ on, leading/mentoring a small combo of mostly younger players. And she’s a Bronx treasure which is a plus for me. I’ve gotta comment on the venue, where I’d never been before. Morris High School is the first high school built in the Bronx, and its auditorium is a designated NYC landmark. I’m unfamiliar with the ‘hood so it took some (time-consuming) navigating to get in and out. The school has gone the way of many, being subdivided into three separate entities, but I don’t care, I’m calling it by it’s original name.