Some More Jam Session Terms Explained

Part of an ongoing series of one.

Soloist: Can only play one instrument at a time, often quite loudly or badly. If talking to a soloist, make sure that you speak clearly, as they are often not good listeners, due to lack of practice. On no account should you mention the presence of a rhythm section, as this might startle them.

Saxophonist: a sub set of soloist. They cannot all put five beats to the bar in a 4/4 tune, but most of them are pretty good at it.

Trumpeter: They can play louder than a saxophonist. They could also play quieter, but no trumpeter has ever tried this in living memory.

Guitarist: A gifted player without whom the entire band would fall to pieces. It wouldn’t matter if they did, because no-one can hear anyone else anyway.. Needs to be attached by some electrical wiring to a large box. Or to a rafter, in some cases.

Bass player: Intelligent, talented, young, good looking, delusional.

Vocalist: someone who is always right. Often sings with a five piece band , all of whom are in the wrong key.

Pianist: someone adept at playing entirely different notes to the vocalist. This is referred to as a “melody”. Often plays the wrong notes, but prefers to call these “altered chords”.

Rhythms section: note the plural. A mildly deranged collection of drummers, guitarists, pianists and bass players who can play different rhythms, and sadly often do. All at once.

Arrangement: A device used by vocalists to confuse everybody. Including the vocalist.

Charts: an indication of what you should have been playing.

Fours: often called by the Captain as a warning that there will be five bars.

Vibrato: Hortense, put that down, it is not what you think . . .

Something Cool

Composer Billy Barnes (1927-2012) wrote Something Cool released by June Christie in 1953.
As Alan Kurtz has said it is a remarkable four minute drama.
Listen to June Christie here on You Tube.
What  is the song about?
Kurtz takes the meaning to be along the lines of Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire, a role recently reprised by Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s latest movie.

Are the words a dream or a memory. I’ll leave you to work it out.


The Gold Street Gossip Shop : Well, that was weird…

An entire session without a bass player … leading to some mighty fine adjustments from the usual suspects, if not from a coupla unusual suspects as well.

After last week’s shenanigans, it was almost a relief to quieten down a bit, although I suspect the Captain gets more fun from creating chaos on a grander scale. An opportunity to trot through the entire canon of songswhatcolknows and a few gems amongst thetrainwrecks were to be savoured.

Notwithstanding the lack of basso profundo, some dextrous playing by Lisette (looking rather spiffin’ as she had a gig to go to after), a fair innings from the debonair JC, and Chelly going the tonk later in the arvo. All rather pleasant and even, on occasion, restrained.

It could have been the cold weather, but personally I think society is to blame.

Nobody received a knighthood, so that was nice..


What’s On, What’s Not

Rubys Music Room: The Captain Chaos Sessions: Not Now Hortense…

Risa duly packed ‘em in last week, for a cracker of a session as promised.. So if you missed it, you will almost certainly be heading down to Ruby’s Music Room this Friday to see Sevil Sabah do her sultry little thing. Don’t – RMR will be closed for a private function for Friday night (at which the Sevil Sabah Trio will be playing) …. for a Lithuanian wedding reception.

Next week, Amy Jaulin hits the stage Friday 21st March, followed by Ange Strickland on 28th March. Should be some gems between them. More anon…

Ruby’s Music Room, Bennett\’s Lane, Friday March, CLOSED.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival June 7th and 8th 2014:

The rush of band applications continues – Captain Chaos and moi will be struggling with the mighty spreadsheet whilst the rest of the Committee do the real work… Band applications will be closing on April 15th, so get yours in now. Then go out and sell your grandma some tickets…

Kojo Brown: Group du Jour

Richmond’s finest lamb shanks continue to appeal. Kojo Brown provides Saturday night spots for the Jammers – Buddy has been singing there for years, Anne Hayres is a regular, and in more recent times, Ruby Rogers, Amy and Sevil have all had a number of nights without scaring the locals.

Whoever is there (and this week it might be Chelly Parisi) the shanks will be fabulous.

Kojo Brown, Church Street, Richmond, Saturday 7.00 – 10.00pm

The Gold Street Gossip ShopSunday Arvo Session (episode 192)

If you worked all Sunday and got there late, you will have missed as much as me….fortunately, I got there just in time to catch Peter Bennett (bass) Don (guitar) and Gentleman John Curtis (piano) ripping through some jazzy little toons – sounded like real music for a while before the Captain (sax) and I (drumsfergawdssake) managed to restore normal service.

Despite my worst efforts, it took quite a while to persuade Glen (Il Duce) to take over the slap bash and rattle department, and the afternoon took off. After last week’s seven singers, the tonsil artistes were a bit thin number-wise, but Christine Manetta and Bruce (d) managed to reduce us to chaos on a coupla songs, the Debster and Bob Vinard had a fine old time, and Spike (playing RMR with Ange on March 28th) set up a magic little groove or three before a late breaking Sebastien cooled it all down.

The guitars had the best of it – Bennett switching to six strings and making them sound like eight, – Ian stretching it out with a few fine solos later on, whilst I sat outside in the late afternoon sun discussing the dubious fortunes of Barcelona FC and listening to some smooth -as jazz.

Ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids.

The Leinster Arms: QLD

The Gold Street Gossip Shop has been going off, of late. This one took a while to get going, and was decidedly off on occasion – a quieter session than usual but some roses amongst the thorns as ever. Hortense, who has of late, been barely visible, if at all, was barely visible. But I am unreliably informed that she might have been there, and as I couldn’t see that she wasn’t, must assume that to be the case.

She and Madge have taken to hanging about the combination Altona West bus shelter and Revivalist Meeting Hall of an evening. Hortense is beginning to think that Rotten Ronnie Junior will never show up, Madge the meanwhile remaining firmly seated, with a satisfied grin on her face.

If he ever gets found out, Rotten Ronnie will flatly deny everything.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, the jam session… nice little interlude from Logan, fresh from the Land of the Long White Cloud (drummer). Restrained elegant session from Monsieur Sebastien. The Divine Miss Smith turned up late. Noel dropped in. Bishop Bennett, possibly awaiting the red cap now the monstrous Pell has gone to Rome to count shekels or something, played guitar and bass, Mr T alternated, Chelly turned up and didn’t sing. Kay turned up and did.

And we all played the usual rubbish, followed by the unusual rubbish, followed probably by more of the usual rubbish. Time to lean on the bar and have a Quiet Little Drink. “Twas all fun, but.

See ya this week?


The Gold Street Gossip Shop – where too much music is…, probably too much

In a break from tradition, last week’s Jam Session was held on a Sunday Afternoon for a change. This is in total contrast to the mid Eighteenth Century, when, by tradition, the jam session wasn’t held at all because it hadn’t been invented yet, and anyway, we were all too busy dreaming up unlikely outcomes from the Balkan Wars, of which more anon, or not, if I forget.
But I digress.
Other than Sir Roger de Coverley playing swing, this session had a bit of everything – the Clark gang in fine style, Ali producing a beautiful solo on And I Love Him, Chelly Parisi, singing up a storm, and elegant with it; Captain Chaos on top of it all afternoon, and Bob in particularly good form on piano. Bishop Bennet, Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Division, Ian Andrews, Sebastien and a coupla others providing the rhythm section, and the rest of us jost bopping about having a good time. Coda by Ann Schmith. Not a great session, or a particularly large one, but the sort that can often be the most fun for players and audience alike. Nobody Died, and we’ll all do it again next week – other than the Halls Gaps Desperates who feel the need to rush off to the middle of nowhere and  indulge in real jazz – don’t be fooled into thinking that they haven’t rehearsed, it just sounds that way from time to time. So,  come to think of it, next week, there will be no-one at the Lunatic Soup Lounge:  don’t turn up, definitely don’t bring charts, and about three of us will have a really good time…
Bliss . . . Catchya round the trapsss.

Some reflections on John Donne, English Poet and Satirist . . .

Nothing if not classy in the gossip column… I think it was JD who said I am unable, yonder beggar cries, To stand, or move; if he say true, he lies. Only one cannot be sure as the tape recorder had not yet been invented. Anyway, you may be wondering (God Knows,  I am) what this has to do with the Gold Street Gossip Shop and Tearooms and its weekly gathering of musos, and I use the term in its loosest sense.

Well, it was Austraya Day (1), which, like the tape recorder was uninvented at the time., so JD had nothing to do with that. I suspect most people were, sensibly, ingesting carbonised snags washed down with that curiously chemical mixture known as VB. Even the purveyors have the nerve to suggest that you wouldn’t drink unless you had a hard earned thirst…

Anyway, back to the Jam Session – a smaller turnout thn usual, but props to Bishop Bennett from staying way past Compline and providing the very best bass accompaniment, to Sebastian the Bash and Ali The Thwack for drum duties, to Ron the Fingers for some great piano, and, late in the day to Ian Andrews for some nifty guitar work. And to Sonya for pulling out some obscure charts and bringing the bebop to life, Chelly for a great take on SugarCeleste for making sense of Hey Big Spender, and La Smiff for putting it all to bed. John Donne? Well I am unable could refer to anyone or everyone, yonder beggar cries is a clear reference to the poor mongrels in the front bar who have been reduced to tears on occasion, To stand , or move is when Glen gets all agitato about the doorway, and if he say true, he lies could possibly be a description of the Captain’s calling of fours.  See ya next week.


(1) yes it did see below!


20 April 2010


research and text by PHILIP WHITE … click on flag for its history

AUSTRALIA comes from the Greek αυδτηος, through the Latin austerus, which means severe, and gave itself to the Middle English auster, or austere, meaning the south wind and its source. By 1541, austere was also used to mean sour, or bitter and astringent, and harsh to the taste. This gradually came to cover anything that was harsh to the feelings generally; stern; rigorous; judicially severe; grim in warfare; severe in self-discipline; strict and abstinent. In 1597 it meant severely simple; without any luxury. By 1667 austere also meant grave and sober. The Latin austeritas became the Old French austerite, which, by 1590, as the English austerity, meant severe self-discipline, abstinence and asceticism. In 1634 austerity also meant harsh to the taste, or astringent sourness. This soon also covered general harshness to the feelings; judicial severity, or stern or severe treatment or demeanour. By 1713 it meant rugged sternness, and by 1875 austerity also meant severe simplicity or lack of luxury. The Latin australis became austral by the time of Middle English, and was used to indicate something that was belonging to the south. Or was southern. It also came not only to mean influenced by the south wind, but also warm and moist. This Latin australis gave its name to the great continent rumoured to lie in the south, Terra Australis. The French were the first to use Australien, meaning of Terra Australis. By 1693, the English language included the word Australian, also meaning of Terra Australis. The Terra was leaving Australis by 1814, in which time the English-speaking world had begun to use Captain Matthew Flinders’ suggested name for this huge southern beach-fringed slab of sand, dust, and stone, Australia. Now. About those original inhabitants …

Salman Rushdie writes about  his visit to Writers’ Week in Adelaide in the Tatler,  London, October 1984:‘Don’t you  find,’ Angela Carter said one evening, ‘that there’s something a little  exhausted about the place names around here?  I mean, Mount Lofty.   Windy Point.’  On another occasion, Bruce Chatwin said something  similar: ‘It’s a tired country, not young at all.  It tires its  inhabitants.  It’s too ancient, too old.’

I don’t like it Carruthers, its too quiet…

Friday 13th saw the last Hurrah at the Grand Hotel. The room was sparsely populated, with a sad, untuned, unloved piano set aside. The guests who had ventured in ate more or less speechless. It was a quiet and dismal place…

Meanwhile, out the back, we was having a Ball! Great set by Ruby Rogers, in front of a standing room only crowd, followed by cameo appearances from The Debster, Miss Hayres, Celeste, Emma Sidney (interloper, but we didn’t mind), Buddy and I forget who else. Doug and Dean were there, Gentleman John Curtis was there, Sam Izzo was there, Ben Stewart was there, Julian was there, the Captain was there, and a whole bunch of others too talented young and good looking to name.

As Miss Rogers rightly pointed out, it really wouldn’t matter if we got too loud, (we did) but as it turned out, the hotel guests loved it, including the diners who sat in the cocktail bar and listened in..

A rare night indeed. Carruthers would have loved it.

Meanwhile, Gold Street Gossips On

Turned up rather later than usual, so had missed a few of the early cock-ups. Fortunately a lively turn-out of musos managed to repeat most of them for my benefit, so I didn’t miss much. Saxaphones the order of the day, although we seemed to have quite a few good bass players as well.

One of the joys of a jam is to sit back, blithely ignore the music and listen to the jammers instead. So, in between the cricket on the telly, and before the jam had spluttered to not so much a conclusion as a break in hostilities, in its usual manner, the world was put to rights over a glass of Carlton Daft and a bowl of Glens Fat Chips .. there can be no better to way to completely waste a Sunday afternoon . . .

Is Solar Worse than a Zombie? Zombies may be all the rage with today’s yoof; but they have never had to sit through a rendition of Solar, as poor Sam Izzo (piano) did. And just like Zombies who never quite die even though you think they should, this unutterably boring dirge keeps coming back. If you are not familiar with it (lucky you) it has about two chords, and even though it is quite slow, you cannot get away from it. No-one knows what possessed the Captain to call it, certainly not Sam who otherwise played some great stuff.

And dat, as they say in the talkies, is the news from Sleepy Hollow.

See ya next week