So sayeth noted jazz trumpeter and Downtown resident Bob Montgomery about the late Jerry Krantz, owner of El Chapultepec.
“Jerry loved jazz. I played there a lot between 1982 and 1995. Every great jazz act that came through Denver played at the “Pec”. And, on many nights, after closing, Jerry would lock the doors and all the musicians would stay and jam until dawn!”, Bob said.
Montgomery has a lot of fond memories of Jerry and El Chapultepec from those days, “before Coors Field opened and the crowd changed. Not for the better.” When that happened, according to Bob, the people coming in were not interested in listening to the jazz, so Jerry stopped hiring the musicians. But, he maintained his place at the bar…and his no-nonsense character.
“Jerry always had a big roll of $100 bills in his left pocket. And, a .38 Special in his right one. One night someone made the mistake of trying to steal one of the musician’s keyboards. Jerry jumped over the bar, chased the thief for a block or two and started firing. The surprised thief stopped. Quickly.”
(For another, and entirely different, Denver by the Slice perspective of El Chapultepec, see this article from last March.)
Bob Montgomery has a lot of stories from his long and international jazz career. Some of the best involve the Pec and Jerry Krantz.