The Tuesday jazz jam
I stopped by McGee's lastnight in University Plaza and caught Danny Hull's jazz jam. If you are in the neighborhood of UB's South Campus, that is a great thing to do on Tuesday nights.
Last night Hull, on drums as usual, was joined by a trio of Eastman students led by Christopher Ziemba, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing for The Buffalo News a couple of months ago when he appeared on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz radio show. Ziemba and his buddies, led by a talented trumpet player, played great throughout their two sets, which included standards like "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Alone Together."
I believe "Alone Together" was a song Ziemba mentioned he played on the McPartland show.
The audience lastnight included such prominent local musicians as pianist and vibes ace Wally Jedermann and pianist George Caldwell. Caldwell came to town a few years ago to play at Studio Arena in the show about Alberta Hunter, "Cooking at the Cookery." He married Connie McEwen, who was then the publicist for Studio Arena. So now -- ta da -- though George tours a lot and plays often in New York City, Buffalo is his home base.
That is a picture of George Caldwell at left. He sat down at the bar next to my mom and we were all talking and having fun and I was thinking how lucky we are, having a hang like McGee's. That is how Danny Hull always puts it, a hang. It is great to have a place where you know there will be jazz every Tuesday and the performers vary from week to week and musicians show up just to relax.
Wally Jedermann was wishing he had brought his vibes, which he does from time to time when we are lucky. He was thinking he would bring them next week. I am planning on showing up again in hopes that he does. He is a monster on those vibes.
There is a kind of cover charge at McGee's, but it is just $5 and includes a drink.
The jazz jam begins every Tuesday at 8 p.m.
-- Mary Kunz Goldman