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.

CD sales for  my  two  new CD.s are not exceeding  expectations  . In
fact , Only  my  cat and my  cousin   have shown   much interest  so

If anyone wants  a copy  just  contact  me  and  I will send  a  mail
order  copy  to you. If  anybody  wants to  form  a  jazz  based  band
with  me   to play  5  originals and  5  standards  , in  doing  so
promoting  my   jazz  CD  then  please get  in touch  with  me  too.

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.


Castlemaine Jazz Festival Update

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival June 5th – June 7th 2015

Spoke to someone from NSW this week. They were having difficulty booking accommodation in Castlemaine from the 5th June to 7th June. Already. Good Grief!

The Captain and the Haircut amused themselves at the Grampians Jazz Festival by handing out registration forms for bands, and the applications continue to roll in. Headaches for Hannah the Venues Maestro – we are talking about putting on extra venues…

For the latest goss…

Aah, Time for the B Team…and the Jam session gets slightly bent, but not broken

The Ludicrous Arms Hotel, watering hole of the Colliwobble cognoscenti, was in somnolent mood when I got there… Il Duce setting up the drums, Herr Matthews sucking on a reed, John the Voice at the bar, and not a lot going on. Ah, well, wonder how the Halls Gap mob are coping with the heat.

So… might as well get started – a lively jaunt through I Remember Clifford, Noel on sax and Glen at the drums, in walks Taariq, Andy Moon, Lee the Trumpet, John Calamatta on sax, Kevin on tonsils, and away we went, with John in fine voice and a tyro on Killing Me Softly.

By the time we had started indulging Colonel T with some bebop, a fine afternoon had evolved. Well You Needn’t and Cantaloupe Island kept the lads amused.

And by the time Kevin and Andy Moon started Route 66 as a v and b duo, things were really looking good. Quite a revelation to hear restraint at a Jam – all class for sure, and even the saxaphones managed not to join in.

And then, too soon perhaps, it was time to pack up and leave. Which leaves us with time to do it all again next week. There will be Chaos…

The Sunday Arvo Jam Session

It was just one of those days, really … rolled up well early for once, to be rewarded with the opportunity of plugging in the piano fiddly wirey bits, before retiring to the bar for a refreshing draught, which a fellow needs as he sits back to watch the Captain pull out all the wirey fiddly bits and put them back in their proper holes..

Further amusement was on hand with the total lack of a bass player requiring the pianists (meself and Sam Izzo at that stage) to play bass lines. Luckily, this can be done with the left hand alone, which means we still had the right hand available for interfering with the melodic line…

Which included Ben the banker on his electrified guitar, Ray the original lounge lizard Hood in fine form, and later on, the Captain, the Keef and a few others too humerous to mention. I seem to remember someone playing a green plastic trombone. Young John, who combines a remarkable voice with almost zero knowledge of songs, tried out Summertime, the A Train and a coupla others, before The Debster sailed through songs old and new, Bob played some nice half stride, and a good time was had by all.

By the time I left, the Divine Miss Smith, having shown as delicate a touch as any on the drums, had resorted to singing – not that she needed the practice. I assume the jam descended into its usual shambles, but wouldn’t really know as I had a tram to catch…

Actually enjoyed this one. – but there is nothing new in that.

An Extraordinary Jam Session – or much the same as usual?

Madge, scourge of Altona West and substitute Lollipop Lady when it suits her, is, as the several readers of this august organ would know, quite the philosopher: and can turn quite reflective after polishing off seven snags, two matelots and a packet of Winnie Blues for breakfast. This habitual start to her day, generally partaken around 4 pm, leaves her in a reflective mood until such time as the sun sets and the roads around Refinery Terrace grow strangely quiet.

It was in such a mood that she remarked only the other day how a Jam Session can, on occasion, reach extraordinary heights of musicality and creativity: taking jazz to another level. She may have been quoting Nietszhe again, but it could have been a head cold.

Extraordinary? The Sunday Arvo Jam could not have been so described: when the usual suspects turned up, tuned up and took to mangling innocent toons with a languid degree of gusto. It went on for, as Hortense might have said had she been there, hours. No heights were scaled.

The guilty parties included The Captain, meself, a tireless Colonel T, Hirsh, Constable, Peter on trumpet, Noel on sax, Marion on recorder (good to see ya!) Ben the Banker, Monsieur Sebastian, Ali, the Debster, Kay De Darwin, Mrs Constable, and quite possibly Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Punishments will be awarded later.

Extraordinary? Probably not, but sometimes it is good to celebrate the ordinary, quaff some social lubricant and just have a good time. So we did. And at the end of it, all the bits got put back in the box and nobody left with a burning desire to get to Monday early, so I daresay we will do it again.


No News is Good News? The Jam Sessions start this Sunday

Avid readers of the Jammers News will have noticed that there has been no news since the 16th December. Avid readers of the Saturday Age will have noticed something similar, but for $3.50 more…

So… it is back to the Leinster Arms, favoured watering hole of the Colliwobble cognoscenti, this Sunday 19th January, for the first Jam Session of 2015. The punters (Front Bar Eight Ball Division) will no doubt be aghast, birds will fall, lifeless but relieved, from the tree out the front, the windows, cheap stained glass renditions of Irish motifs though they be, will rattle and roll, Hortense may be hovering in the background, dreaming of years gone by and opportunities missed, and, if Madge has her way, which she often does, this will be the longest sentence of the year, unless Rotten Ronnie Junior joins forces with the Datsun 120B Boys of Moonee Ponds once more for a night of debauchery followed by a deep and meaningful conversation with a tone deaf Magistrate in the Bairnsdale Working Mens Club and Combination Sessional Assizes.

Which, by the way, was the scene of Madge’s last performance, before the stage collapsed.

Or you could just turn up and blow the tits off your favourite toon.

Captain Chaos has promised to appear. Jazz may be played, but only as an aberration.

4.00pm start.

Captain Chaos Fridays at the Laika Bar: The Divine Miss Smith… it had to happen

The Divine Miss Smith

The Divine Miss Smith

Yup, the last CCQ event of the year will feature the Divine Miss Smith, and about time too!

After last Friday’s busy little sesh with the immaculate Mme Sonia Davoine, things are going to turn decidedly quirky: always assuming the Divine Miss Smith doesn’t lose her car keys, turns up only marginally late, and hits a few of those numbers we love.. ably supported by the Captain (sax), meself (piano) and Doug “haircut” Kuhn, with Peter Cole as special guest on sax.

The Laika Bar is turning out to be a bit of a gem – there is a constantly passing parade of Fitzroy Street fashionista, gangsters, wannabes, confused tourists, poseurs and maybe even your good self. Drop in for a wine or even a fabulously expensive cocktail – and say g’day to the Diva

The Divine Miss Smith, Laika Bar, 6 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, from 7.32pm, Friday 19th December.

The Last Jam Session of the year: Pre Christmas bash at the Lunatic Soup Lounge

The Annual Jammers pre Christmas bash kicks off in the Gold Street Gossip Shop Atrium at 1.00pm this Sunday December 14th for those jammers desirous of a light luncheon, with what we laughably refer to as music starting shortly thereafter. Piss elegance may not be the order of the day, but you should at least start with good intentions.

You may expect an afternoon of ballad bashing, bossa bungling, standards mangling, interspersed with malicious gossip, slander, outrageous lies and innuendo. There will be a separate room for innuendo. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that a little jazz will be thrown into the mix. In this case, try and keep a straight face, and do not call the Fire Brigade, as it will generally self extinguish in no time at all.

You are encouraged to bring wives, husbands, partners, children and grandparents, but they are not to be eaten before 4.00pm. The whole shebang is expected to descend into a shambles some time after 6.00pm, so there will be plenty of time for those wishing to play.

Feel free to enjoy yourselves, but preferably in private.

Enthusiasm essential, charts a bonus, performance anxiety optional and competence to be well concealed as a kindness to others.

The last Jam of the year – see ya there?