Another meeting at the Bide A Wee Home for Distressed Gentlefolk . . .

Occasionally, we receive an e-mail from some hopeful or other enquiring as to whether the Jam Session is “on this Sunday”. And have taken to replying as follows:

“Yes, the Jam Session will be on this Sunday from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. It has been every Sunday other than Mothers Day and the New Year break for 23 years. We think we can see a pattern emerging.”

This week, there were three people at the Jam session who would have attended the original Dizzy’s sessions 23 years ago. By way of an exception to one of the many rules (see Rule No 6) by which the Jam Sessions are conducted in an orderly and decorous manner, this one ran from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. And it was quite a tasty one, with a solid rhythm section, a coupla good saxes and a light sprinkling of new faces…

Stuart got up and sang, a lass played violin, her friend sang Fry Me A Liver, and John Curtis was moved to announce that he knew Mr Bojangles. Which was written in about 1947. I didn’t know he was that old. Mr Bojangles, I mean.

Quite where all the new musos come from is a bit of a mystery at times, with most finding us by googling “Melbourne Jam session”, quite a few coming from the ads we occasionally put in Melband ( and this week, three having found us on the Facebook site. Props to POCKOTL, who has been posting some ugly sights on Facebook, and improbably bad audio, possibly in the hope of scaring people off… it is not working…

Amongst the Guilty:

Captain Chaos, John Curtis, Sam Izzo, meself, Doug “Haircut” Kuhn, Ivan the Terrible, Mihoko (db) Elliott Joe (g and green trombone), the Divine Miss Smith, the aforementioned five newbies whose names mainly escape me, Mike Hirsh (d), Glen (d), and probably a few I have not mentioned.

The rules of the Jam Session

Rule No 1: Jam sessions shall be run in an orderly manner, no bars will be dropped, and the music shall be consistently harmonious.

Rule No 2: Anyone believing rule no 1 should seek urgent medical advice on the grounds that they have lost touch with reality.

Rule No 3: See Rule No 4

Rule No 4: See Rule No 3 (this was put in to keep musicians from Ireland amused for hours)

Rule No 5: There is no Rule No 5: on the grounds that Captain Chaos struggles to count to 4 on a good day, so this rule is surplus to requirements.

Rule No 6: Everything will happen as planned. Not

And don’t you forget it… See ya Sunday?

No Jam session at the Gold Street Gossip Shop and Tea rooms

All quiet on the western front…

…On account of we will all be going to Castlemaine Jazz Festival (Mark 2) this weekend.

Had a call from Glen (Il Duce to those in the know) this week. Apparently the Leinster Arms is not closing down, and he has to keep working until the fines are paid off. Which could take years, hopefully.


Some other things you may not have heard about Glen

He does not own shares in a hairbrush manufacturing company. We can’t imagine why.

Drummer extraordinary… Glen maintains he has played drums with some of the finest rock and roll groups in the country in his youth. Which we are inclined to doubt, as

(a) He doesn’t own a karaoke machine

(b) In his youth? Was rock and roll invented then?

Glen’s first session with the Jazz Jammers was on an electronic drum kit. He may have forgotten this, but we have not.

The Leinster Arms has won a lot of Awards, as one of Melbourne’s finest watering holes. But not since 2010

The Jammers started the Jam sessions at the Leinster Arms in 2010

If you do turn up at the Leinster Arms in a fit of absent mindedness (and let’s face it, that covers most of us), there may be live music this Sunday.

AND . . . The Lunatic Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood

Went off again, as it so often does. Other than that, I can barely remember what happened, the following will hopefully be of interest to 50% of our faithful readership, the other one having probably dozed off in an armchair by now..

So… Saxophonists: the disciples of the Belgian inventor played up as is their wont, ably led by Captain Chaos and his rattly bits.

The pianists were at least in part called Sam Izzo. Like all pianists he is of an intellectual disposition, unlike the guitarists, who can generally count up to their IQ without removing both shoes.

The Charts were magnificent, although POCKOTL did remark that one appeared to be upside down. She was quickly reassured that this made no difference to the music.

The Bass players generally had a spiffingly lugubrious time, and stuck to the task all arvo. Hortense once thought about playing double bass. To save money, she bought a violin but forgot to water it.

The Bar didn’t fall over, but several of us weren’t prepared to risk it and volunteered to prop it up all afternoon.

Ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids. And even if you were, slightly, you would still come down for next week’s jam, which is the last before the Castlemaine Jazz Festival.


The Gold Street Gossip Shop

By the time we had ambled in from Castlemaine, the session was, if not full swing, at least rocking gently from side to side. After indulging Colonel T’s penchant for all things bebopped, a full contingent of bass players (Ivan), twangers (Ben and Tom), twitchers (obscure reference to piano players including, Bob, the fabulous Payet, John, whatsisname and meself) boppers (Sam, Spike, Bruce etc.) warblers (Debbie, Kevin, Charles, Chris Manetta, and Oh Dear God, whatever her name was, please not again) all got to accompany the Captain, Sir Roger de Coverley’s third nephew fifteen times removed, and Peter Cole as they played about thirty three thousand four hundred and twenty six solos.


‘Twas all rather fun, and quite how the Captain still managed to create Chaos (he’s been calling fours again) after a long day on the Jazz Festival Committee is a mystery to me.

As are most things…

See ya this week?

And POCKOTL asks that you click on the Facebook page for more photos, videos

The Leinster Late Show

We started a little later than usual, on account of all the Colliwobble Mothers having lunch in the Atrium. Having cunningly avoided, thereby, the first three or four train wrecks, the venerable Captain Chaos proceeded to run a tight ship for the duration, ably assisted by a variety of noisemakers whose musical prowess was such that I can barely remember their names, or, in the case of Michael Hirsh esq., promised not to.

There, that’s done it, I’ve used a preposition to end a sentence with. Much like Rotten Ronnie Junior, only in his case it was a proposition and a much longer sentence, the Judge being inordinately fond of whippets, and not much impressed with the cut of Rotten Ronnie’s jib. But that is another story.

There must have been music played, I would suppose, and some memorable cock-ups. No cock was more roundly upped than the rendition of Four.

Apparently . . .

Apparently there was a Jam Session at the Gold Street Gossip Shop. It quite got in the way of POCKOTL’s social catch up, what with various peeps masquerading as musos and making noise whilst claiming it to be music . . .

Had the somewhat reclusive Hortense been there, and she may well have been, in a backgroundy sort of fade-to-black kind of way, lips of string could have been the order of the day. People enjoying themselves in the middle of the afternoon… whatever next? But… apparently the magnificently coiffed POCKOTL was taking notes in between furtive slurps of Cyprus Sherry or whatever.

“mmm, was only there a coupla hours, but there was Chrissy doing Fever and a couple more, and Bruce on drums, Annie S letting it rip, Bobbie, Peter on sax, who filled in as third lieutenant in getting players and singers up…

Taariq, the French guy on double bass who also sat in on drums..quite well I thought…the irrepressible Debbie..

the other Peter the Piano player…another double bass player….

and me and the lovely Grace sharing a drink or two just past the bar.

Sending you a clip of Chrissy singing so you may pick out some more rabble in the crowd…….

…sorry, I should have paid more attention to the music instead of yarning………..”

Apart from the reference to Debbie, who can be quite pressible when the mood takes her, that would seem to be an accurate description of the afternoon’s shenanigans. There is a reference to a Youtube clip, which has been despatched to the Jammers Facebook site, POCKOTL clearly lacking any desire to protect the guilty.

The Gold Street Gossip Shop puts on a good one . . .

Captain Chaos, who was playing a gig last Sunday, won’t believe it, but a goodly lot of jammers turned up and they all played nicely in his absence. As someone remarked, it was all a little less chaotic – if this is true, we must really try harder…

So, Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse was there, and played some blisteringly good guitar solos. Ben The Banker was there and played some sweet guitar, Sebastien was there and forgot to drum loudly or lose the the beat; Doug Haircut Kuhn held sway on his stick thin bass, Ivan turned up without his bass, and Dave Taylor turned up with his. Not many singers at first, but some fine trumpet from Sumire, plenty of solos from Peter Cole, who seemed to enjoy the space, and some ace piano from Bob and then Don Fraser later on. The Hirsh played some sublime percussion.

Chris (tonsils) and Bruce (drums) contributed a fine set, most probably in the key of J# minor, which seems to be one of her favourite keys.

Eventually, the sun set, the evening turned cold and I wandered out well satisfied, whilst the lads were still in full swing. It is afternoons like this which make you want to come back the next week

Which we no doubt will…


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If you thought you were at the Jam Session, and we have not mentioned you it is either because you are so young, talented, and good looking that words fail us; or we forgot. Your choice.

And the Lunatic Soup Lounge takes another turn . . .

Newsletter No 384, but who is counting’ Enough of the saxophone jokes, (*)

If there is a constant, it is that nothing stays the same for long in Colliwobble, mystic kingdom of the one eyed three toothed black and white Harridan that drives some many of the local lads to the sanctuary of the front bar.

From where, last Sunday, they could have heard some remarkable jazz. This last week or two has seen a resurgence in the tonsil department – first Katerina bounced in (of whom, more below), then last week Catherine McQuade, who runs a frock shop in her spare time, sang some cabaret style tunes. All class, although you might not have heard it under the cacophony of saxophones and guitars providing helpful accompaniment, but that is the essence of a jam session.

Probably helped along by bassists, Doug Haircut Kuhn, David no haircut at all Taylor and Ivan the Terrible back from the caucasian snow slopes. Class bass all afternoon makes for a very good jam session. Monsieur Sebastien was so moved by it all he produced his very best percussion for the day – and when he is good, he is very good.


Stop muckin about lads, this is serious: Ben, Ivan, Sam Izzo (drums!) the Curtis, Noel and the Captain get in the groove…

Dan from Canberra excelled on keys – his blues take on Angel Eyes a standout, and Gentleman John Curtis was a classy return, although he did fall for the Captain Chaos trick of playing a chart they neither of them knew…

And the Captain himself was in fine form, deftly handling the band changes all arvo whilst confusing anyone who looked like they knew what they were doing on the basis that the field need not be uniformly great but at least it should be level.

The Jams are looking up – catch one whilst they are hot!.

(*) If you don’t get the saxophone jokes it is because
(a) You are a saxophonist
(b) You can’t count
(c) You see nor reason why (b) should stop you from learning the saxophone
(d) There isn’t a saxophone joke here. Saxophones are no joking matter


While We were Away…

I thought the experiment with the invisible ink went rather well last week. For those of you who missed it, this was Ben the Banker’s report on the previous Jam Session.

Here’s some bullet points from jazz jam on Sunday. Headline: A good jam resulted after a very slow start.
I arrived at 4:15 and no one was there. Glen had already set everything up and had to head down to Hastings to visit his in laws.
4:30 Katerina, a singer from Czech, arrived with her partner.
4:45 Taariq arrived with his amp.
5:00 A piano player arrived. Name??? never seen him before.

Played a good set of music with that line up for 45 minutes. Lots of space, almost civilised (perhaps because there were no horn players or drummers ). I even considered asking Taariq to turn up during this bracket because the bass was so quiet. Katerina’s singing was fantastic.
Japanese girl arrived with trumpet and did a good job of playing some standards.
Deb and Bob arrived and played some tunes.
Melinda arrived and announces “are you running that jam Ben??? in disbelief (no respect). wow you’ve come so far (mocking). Thanks for the support Mel!!
Mel then played drums, in time, for 6 or so songs.
Good Sax player arrived. Name????
Mel sang some songs, Sebastian arrived and we all turned up.
Then a guy arrives with some congas… was well and truly a jam by this stage.

Not sure what happened from here on, perhaps Deb or Bob know……was still going at 8:00 when I had to leave!!!!!!!

Clearly the lad has grasped the essentials of reportage, as typified by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Newsletter

(a) Insult everyone equally
(b) Never let the facts intrude upon your story
(c) Be inconsistent, possibly untruthful, but above all, vague

Now, where was I . . . ah yes, the Lunatic Soup Lounge Jam De Jour, Sunday March 5th (ed: ?? perhaps April) edition. It all went off without a hitch, which is a good thing, as last time we had a hitch no-one knew what to do with it. Ably led by the Captain, and with Doug ”Haircut” Kuhn laying down a solid bass all arvo,we could hardly go wrong… hardly.

Highlights included Keef the Teef back from the dentist and playing the floot… rather well; Bob Vinard on keys, the Hirsh on drums, followed by M. Sebastian, a welcome return from Borthwick the Bass, Harry on bongoes, and a late cameo from the Divine Miss Smith, accompanied by Richard (keys) plus a whole bunch of others, all of whom were young, glamorous, talented and modest, and shall, therefore, remain anonymous.

Stick to the Black keys, they are on special . . .

Sunday Arvo: Kylie Minogue a no-show

Ho, hum, and rattle. A strange Jam session this one – a good rhythm section ably driven by Doug ”Haircut” Kuhn, a coupla good singers: The Debster, Anne Hayres, Eithne (see below) and The Divine Miss Smith, looking as Smith as ever, but quite divine as well for the time of day; POCKOTL in the house, and Noel, the Captain, Peter Cole and Keef on saxes, Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse on guitar, Chico in fine form, as inscrutable as ever, Lisette amazing on keys, Bruce and Christine doing their thing later in the day…

And yet, it never really hit the heights. Avid readers of this august journal will have discerned by now that the drummers have not been mentioned. They were, in the main, a noisy lot for much of the afternoon, so whether any jazz got played is highly debatable. We could all see fingers twitching on the rattly saxy bits, strings plinking away on the basso profundo de stick and geetars, lights glowing on the piano, andtonsils quivering; but quite what was being played, other than drums, remains in large part a mystery. Volume is a poor substitute for musicianship, but you have to run with what you’ve got.

Fun, nevertheless.

See ya this week?

Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse rides again.

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If anyone wants  a copy  just  contact  me  and  I will send  a  mail
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The Lunatic Soup Lounge: Report from the Captain

23 musicians attended the Leinster on Sunday. Music started with Sam Izzo on keys, Doug on bass, Glen on drums and a lone saxophonist. Lee arrived soon after from Bendigo with his smooth sounding trumpet,with Noel on flute and tenor and Taariq and young Matt on guitar. Michael took over on drums and in walked Elliot with his new trombone, Mihoko with a borrowed double bass and Anthony with his guitar to add to the cacophony.

Sam was replaced by John Curtis, then Bob, then Richard on Keys. Vocals were supplied by Kevin, Debbie, Anne and John. Later arrivals were Chico (guitar) Carson (bass) and Conrad (bass). Last to come through the door was John Calamatta to add some class to the front line.