Vegas vacation

Andy Jones, the dapper dad of Buffalo jazz pianist Mike Jones, works as a rep for Buffalo’s Great Arrow Graphics, and the world is his oyster. Recently, Andy went to Las Vegas to catch his son’s gig performing at the Penn and Teller show. He stopped for a snack at the famous Drago Sisters Bakery, on Rainbow Boulevard, and as long as he was there, he persuaded them to start carrying Great Arrow cards. “But Andy,” Great Arrow said when he called. “We thought you were on vacation.” “I am,” he said. And how! One day, he had lunch with Penn Gillette. And watching the show, he was seated next to a young woman he later learned was Paris Hilton. “I didn’t know who the hell she was,” Andy shrugged. But he added: “She was kind of cute.”

Buffalo blues

Cabaret singer Ann Hampton Callaway is one droll diva. Saturday at Kleinhans Music Hall, when she couldn’t recall something, she laughed, “I’ve got Jazzheimers!” Hilariously, she improvised a blues to the crowd’s suggestions. She needed a job for the gal. “Zamboni driver,” someone yelled. As for the guy? She heard “Chef” and “Chef’s.” When she sang her blues, some things sounded funny. “This ain’t no baloney, I’m a driver at Zamboni,” she began. And later: “Now I can’t go back to the Chef’s, because that man don’t love me no more!” Ha, ha! Buffalo babies’ first words usually include “Chef’s” and “Zamboni.” Well, Callaway will pick up our lingo. It’s just one more reason to invite her back.

Lexington seeks concord

It is so calming, the tempest in a teapot at the Lexington Co-op, on the store’s suggestion board. “Is it possible to order Yogi Green Tea with Kombucha in Decaf? Pretty please?” ran one suggestion the other day. Another note, in a panicked scrawl: “Tea Tree Oil Toothpicks with Cinnamon – Can’t Find Them!” But we saved the best for last. “Wednesday should be ‘Men’s Day,’ ” wrote Steve. “All men, shopping alone, should get 10 percent off.” The reply was in the same handwriting. “Great idea, Steve,” it ran. “Men rule and deserve more special treatment.”

Pianist above par

French virtuoso Philippe Bianconi, touring Florida last week with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, not only carried off the Rachmaninoff Third, he scored a gig at the World Golf Village, where the musicians stayed while in the St. Augustine area. The rooms tower over an atrium where sits a baby grand with a Lucite lid and a tip jar. It was at this piano that Bianconi practiced. “Imagine this elegant, world-renowned pianist pounding out the Rach 3 for hours on end with the chords resonating to the floors above,” marveled board member Cindy Letro. The big question: How much did Bianconi make in tips? Alas, though a few BPO musicians told him to put out the tip jar, he demurred. Next time he’ll know better.

The buzz

The Metro Rail is on the right track with those cosmopolitan new recordings. “Please stand clear of the doors,” a man’s voice says. “The train is ready to move.” Nice! Next let’s put it in a British accent and add, “Mind the gap.”


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