Black Bottom

Charles Burke and Miles Davis poster for Black Bottom Jazz
Charles Burke and Miles Davis poster for Black Bottom Jazz

address

1350 Rue Saint-Antoine, Montreal, and 22 St Paul Street East, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

dates

Aug. 1957 – 1978

The original location of the Black Bottom opened in 1957 on St. Antoine Street. With a capacity for only 60 people, the original Black Bottom was a small, intimate venue. Quickly becoming known for soul food and legendary jazz groups like the Nelson Symonds Trio, the club gained popularity.

The Black Bottom moved, reopening in 1968 on St. Paul St. In Old Montreal, cementing its place as a jazz mecca with owner Charles Burke’s old friend Miles Davis playing in late 68 and Duke Ellington shortly after. Its soul kitchen continued to serve chicken and ribs.

Through the 1970s, the venue also occasionally hosted funk, soul, dance and even some rock bands along with the jazzmen until it closed at the start of the 1980s.

Click here to read the full transcript of the interview with Charles Burke.

Click here to listen to Nantali Indongo’s interview with Charles Burke on CBC’s “The Bridge.”

Charles Burke sitting in a rocking chair in from of Le Black Bottom in a colorized photo
Charles Burke sitting in a rocking chair in from of Le Black Bottom, revue Perspectives.
Charles Burke sitting in a rocking chair in from of Le Black Bottom, revue Perspectives.

Le Black Bottom restaurant "Menu Ancestral" featuring porc ribs and chicken
Le Black Bottom restaurant “Menu Ancestral” featuring porc ribs and chicken served with black-eyed peas, rice, corn bread, and special “Black Bottom Sauce”. French fries, tomato juice, “Fresh Sassy Salad”, and a wine list.

5 thoughts on “Black Bottom”

  1. Hi – I am out of town but please extend my regards to Charles. I was the owner of Au Jardin des Glaces, an ice cream parlour that also had local jazz performers (I remember, in particular, a young Jane Fair), directly, across from the Black Bottom. This was in 1972-74. Next to us was l’Amorce which featured le Jazz Libre du Québec. This was an exciting time. We spent many a wonderful evening at his club.

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  2. Yes the Black Bottom was the place for Jazz, Nelson Symonds a Jazz Guitarist super incredible talented played there, because of him many musicians came to sit in and play along side of him of course after one set, mAny who came never returned, instead they went to their respective music teachers
    And practiced so they could keep up

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  3. Hi Charles Burke here original owner of B B Jazz, thank you so very much for your worldly. Positive comments plus recommendations. Yes it was a great to present a World Black (Afro art form, Jazz) to
    to the Canadian public Canada Montréal where I resided tho Americans did visit
    Most of the great musicians where American
    Tho we had our Oscar Peterson (Pianist) originally from Montréal became world famous for his playing plus Guitar player Nelson Symonds Manard Furgason( Trumpet player

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  4. We used to practice and jam in the studios next door and go to the Black Bottom basement venue to watch Nelson and Charlie Biddles play for hours till closing. If we wanted to see International performers we’d go upstairs to catch Miles or AWB. What a place,and Montreal ‘s never been the same without it.And what a name.

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