Like I said, I only made it out to Hamburg music one night, Thurs 10/9. I did find some options for each night, but they weren’t compelling enough to get me there since I was on an earlier schedule and hanging with friends more. I would have been at The Spencer Davis Group at Downtown Blues Club on Sun night if I didn’t have to get up so early to fly. That I really wanted to do, but I knew it wasn’t a good idea.
I did some research before I left as I found this good listing of jazz clubs:
I checked many of the website links for the days I would be there so I had a pretty good idea of what was going on before I left NYC.
I found one good publication that I bought and 1 good free publication, but there wasn’t really anything beyond what I’d already researched.
For Thurs night, I went with a friend to Birdland for the Tues night jazz jam. It’s a nice place. It’s set up more like a NYC jazz club with communal seating. It’s not fancy or anything, which I like. There is no cover on Tues nights. There are also many seats behind the stage.
The first to play is the Benedikt Jahnel Trio. They were in town promoting their new cd and said they were playing the next night somewhere else. My friend bought the cd, and I realized I had planned to go see them the next night at Stellwork. I chose it solely based on the cd name, “Modular Concepts”. I thought it might be avant-garde. It turned out to be more straight ahead, but very good.
After that there was a setbreak and then the jam began. For a lot of the early part, a trombone guy was “leading” it, but it was very collaborative regarding what they were playing and very congenial regarding who was playing. A guitar, the trombone, drums and bass came up. The trombone guy spoke English and asked for a pianist. A guy came up with a big book of music. The trombone guy was at first put off that the guy had to read, but later when it was clear he could play, would occasionally pick up the book to show the bass player what they were about to play. The drummer played a few and then an older man came up and got on the kit and was very good. A trumpet had joined at some point, so we had 2 horns. There were other times when there was an alto and a trombone. I thought the guitar was very good.
Overall it was pretty good and I stayed for 2-3 hours. It was no where near the level of the A-Trane jam on Sat night in Berlin, but it was good and fun. The place was very crowded early on and thinned out later. They were still playing when we left.