December 1945. A young jazz musician was traveling with a band that had a gig in Ogden, Utah. Shortly thereafter, the band broke up, but the young man decided to stick around. Now at ninety-six years old, I was thrilled to finally get my chance to hear Utah’s original Jazz man play live, the legendary Joe McQueen.
The first Thursday of every month, you can see the Joe McQueen Quartet play at the The Garage on Beck in Salt Lake City. I’ve never been to this bar before, as it always scared me, but I shouldn’t judge it’s location. It has a friendly atmosphere, killer food, and the back open air patio is a perfect venue for small shows to play.
As I try and find a seat, I look around and see some friends that I know. I crash their couples date and have a front row seat for Joe. I order a tasty stein and some fresh kale and chicken, all the while watching the stoic Joe play before us.
After the first set, the guys decide to buy his latest album, and his first recording in ten years. They have vinyl for sale, which is thrilling for me since I’ve recently started up a collection. A guy in front of us rips the cellophane off his CD, and walks right up to Joe to have him sign it. What the hell, we follow suit, and I now have a signed vinyl record from the legend!
The night was so perfect that the following are cuts from the actual performance. Enjoy. https://player.vimeo.com/video/130090003