For those of you who either cannot sleep, play 3rd trombone in Rimsky Korsakov’s Piano Concerto in C#minor, or are remotely interested in the future of the music “business”, here is an extremely well researched article worth a read…thought provoking stuff on the changes in CD sales, streaming music services, concert revenues and the like.

. . . more info

Jam Session: A reflection on the state of play

A surprisingly louche little jam session this one. I say surprisingly because I have no idea what louche means.

It was good to catch up with Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse, back from the mountains of Spain, and to listen to the delicate strains of the Lunatic Soup Lounge Pit Orchestra and Choral Ensemble as they wafted their way through a variety of mid twentieth century disasters, rendered barely unrecognisable by the occasional foray into the sequence of notes that their composers had intended.

Captain Chaos marshalled the troops, sent them up several wrong turns and came out smiling. Grant (saxaphobe) rather wiped the floor. The Divine Miss Smith was in fine form (Grade 4, where she spent the best three years of her life). A succession of rock drummers, Il Duce, Bruce and Spike took turns in subverting the paradigm, Chrissy Manetta sang, the Keef was there, Sam Izzo, Gentleman John Curtis and Don played piano, Ben Stewart guitared I think, Doug Haircut Kuhn carried the bass a la stick for much of the arvo, and a whole bunch of others joined in from time to time.

All in front of an audience that was the most part, sensibly sticking to the chips, and alternately lightly bemused and lightly medicated.

See ya next week?

The Lunatic Soup Lounge Sessions roll on,

Last week, Doug, The Captain and meself swanned off to Castlemaine for a lively jam with Ade Ish, Chelsea Allen, Kirsten Boerema and the usual lunatics. Did anything happen at the Gold Street Gossip Shop? Did any one bring a chart, did anyone read it, did it all end in a magnificent shambles way past my bedtime, was Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) still stuck up a Spanish Mountain, were there any Merchant Bankers there?

The answers are as follows:

· Yes, something did happen at the Gold Street Gossip Shop. Society is to blame

· Possibly, someone did bring a chart. It was probably unrecognisable by half the musos there, unreadable by another half of the musos there. And the other half can’t count so it didn’t matter anyway.

· Yes someone did read the chart. Toothless Ernie of the polished pate in the front bar. He spotted 12/8 on the first line, considered these to be reasonable odds, at least where the Doomben Donkey Trots are concerned, and can now afford to drink somewhere else. Thank you.

· Yes, of course it all ended in a magnificent shambles. It probably started out that way, and why would you want to change anything.

· Yes Colonel T etc.etc. was stuck up a mountain. Regularly. But I understand he has since come back down, clutching seventeen new instruments all of which he can now play with his customary facility. Welcome back Mr T, we missed you!

· Yes, there was a Merchant Banker there, and we are deeply indebted for his record of the event (see below). This factual account may seem rather dry to you, but JC assures me it most Merchant Bankers would find it hysterical

None of which tells you what happened. Gentleman JC to the rescue, advises as follows:

Good roll-up at the Leinster on Sunday – vocalists (Kaitlyn Fearne, Louise Love, Christina Manetta), guitarists (Chico, Ray Hood, Taariq), bassists (Ivan Sultanoff, Anthony Pell, Sam Heeley, Anton Tobim, Chico’s mate/brother), trumpeter (he comes in sporadically and likes Miles Davis), saxophonists (Tony Wharton, Keith Hughes, John Calamatta), drummers (Chris, Glenn, Taariq, Bruce) and pianists (Taariq and I). Taariq obviously was quite versatile. And Marg came along to listen. I’m sure I missed a few.

Sounds good, wish I had been there!

The Leinster gets a little crowded…

July already! You can never tell, and in Hortense’s case probably wouldn’t, but every now and then the Jam session goes through a quiet sea change – for the last couple of weeks, new faces having been popping up all over the place, mainly singers, bass players and saxophonists. Which is always a bit of a risk, because they tend to come attached to the idea that we might be playing music, possibly of the jazz persuasion, and assuming that someone is in charge, when in truth we are just counting up to four and a half and then following the Captain through his unique variations on whatever obscure tune has taken his fancy.

Chaos has been at the wallpaper all week, or the floorboards or something, doing a bit of renovating – inspired, quite possibly, by watching a surfeit of Masterchef and realising that home renovation is a more feasible career change than stuffing the left nostril of an Albanian quail with a variety of spices, herbs and mince before flambe-ing the whole thing in burdock juice, or whatever they have to do to stay famous these days.

So..new faces. Yes, well there were a couple of interesting singers turned up: Caitlin and Elise, very different but both entertaining, a drummer from RSA called Francois and an enthusiastic bass player, Gary, who probably played for about three hours without a break. Until relieved by Sam(?) on finest double bass. Along with the usual suspects of course, this all made for a fine afternoon’s entertainment, although the lack of piano players was a bit limiting. Props to Bob for taking over when he could, and to Keef for doing the e-mail thing on my behalf. Some, or all will turn up again.

This week sees the duds all going up to Castlemaine, so the jam will be either dismal or magnificent. Either way, next week’s review may be a load of fictional poppycock in the finest traditions of the Newsletter. At least this week’s isn’t fictional.

Stick to the black notes, chaps, they are economically superior.

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 (ausband.com.au) 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.