Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Trumpeting some Arizona Music History

Found a bit of Arizona history on my doorstep, when I tripped over a box left by the mailman. Not an unusual occurrence since every once an a while my family ships random treasures looking for a new residence. Slicing through the tape I realized, it was a much bigger surprise. When, I saw Nadine Jansen staring back at me. She was famous for playing piano with the left hand and trumpet with right at the same time.  This tribute CD shows off her great voice. “The Very Best of Nadine Jansen” (Jantone) is a retrospective of her music selected from her five-decade career and recordings in various settings.  While listening, shocked to hear something recorded live from the Flame (where the US Bank tower now stands.) A restaurant that was in Downtown Phoenix famous for it’s jungle decor that included Yum Yum, a live monkey behind plate glass. Who had learned to pleasure himself in full view of families dinning and quickly he disappeared. Thank You! John Dixon for the treasures of Arizona Music.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mel's Diner!

Yeah, I am a sucker for a good sign. This Phoenix diner had me captivated with it’s large coffee cup pouring out on arrow pointing the way to yummy food. The word Mel’s written across it had my memory banks whirring. Could this be the one? Really.....A step inside and the question is answered. This place is a super star! The pictures on the wall and the script in the display case give the answer. Yes! this place was featured in the sitcom Alice running 1976-1985 . Staring Linda Lavin as a singer following her dreams of moving to LA, but her car broke down in Phoenix. Though, there is no Flo, screaming “Kiss my grits!” It is still filled with characters and regulars, greeted by name and asked if they want the usual. The staff dress in retro-esque black and pink waitress uniforms and keep your coffee cup filled and warm. The skillet arrived with biscuits and gravy and was satisfying. This is one of my favorites spots to bring folks because it’s celebrity status, but the good food at Mel’s Diner keeps me coming back for more. Open 7 days a week and that sign is always visible! Mel's Diner is located at 1747 N.W Grand Ave. in Phoenix.