Last Weeks Jam Session… and an invitation to lunch

Last Sunday was a blast, but I barely attended, so what would I know… Sadly, it had to finish early, so Il Duce could spend the evening thanking his staff, and possibly bribing them to stay for another year… but I had time to catch a coupla lively toons by Julie (“I’ve never tried this one”) Enright, equipment failure for Katerina, some fine playing from an ageing roue descendant of the knight errant Sir Roger De Coverley, mainly famous in his day for his way with a saxophone and his tight fitting armour; and a cameo from Don, accompanying Rose. The Bus Conductor, I am told, played bass all afternoon – onya Mr T!

It’s Lunchtime!

On to less important matters: the Pre Christmas Jam Session Bash. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, apparently. Jammers in the know can escape the horror of all this, by spending a quiet afternoon at the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Annual Sorry Excuse for a pre-Christmas Bash.

This longstanding traditional get together will take place on Sunday 11th December.

We will be foregathering for a little light luncheon in the Atrium at 1.00pm, with music to start at 2.00pm. After that, you are on your own, but it is fairly safe to say that standards will slip alarmingly.

If you haven’t been to one of these before (and about 30% of the current crop of Jammers are in the first year of their musical downfall) then be advised that this is an outstandingly well organised event, up to about 2.03pm, after which, it will descend into a glorified Jam Session or light farce, whichever works best on the day.


Happy snap from the 2015 Bash: the lads got carried

away and played some decent music that arvo…

In the finest traditions of the jam, Captain Chaos and the lads will keep playing until they run out of notes – and everyone is encouraged to join in. If you can’t avoid the blame, at least share it as widely as possible…

Book for lunch by turning up this week and seeing Glen, or if you want to be all posh, contact the Hotel on:


Friday Nights Live at the Royal Standard: December all Class

Friday 2nd December, Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet

Class all the way with Katerina Myskova – the Czech chanteuse has been the most consistent of all the singers…

Friday, 9th December, Annie Smith with John Curtis

Annie does her second gig – this time with Gentleman John Curtis at the keys – and given he actually knows her material, this one should cook!

Friday 16th December, Joys Njambi with the Captain Chaos Quartet

Joys’ last gig here was a heap of fun – even if she did insist on calling songs we had never heard before (she claimed afterwards she had forgotten to send me the Youtube clip). Jazz from a fresh perspective, and a ton of entertainment.

Friday 23rd December, Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet

And the year gets rounded out by Katerina – the pub is likely to be packed for this one, but we will squeeze you in..
dsc_0107clip_image002_thumb.jpg                                katerina-at-castlemaine-jazz-festival

Joys, Annie, Katerina

Sarah’s Chunky

Home-made marmalade is nice, but a
community-made jazz jam is even nicer.

Join us for the final Castlemaine Jazz Jam of 2016
It all happens this Sunday 4 December at 3.30pm 
in the Cumberland Hotel, Barker Street
All welcome to sing, play or relax and listen in a friendly atmosphere
Performers please bring chord charts
And there could be a couple of spot prizes involving home-made marmalade!!

The more things change . . .

A pleasant little toot up the Hoddle Strasse, followed by the sounds of a Bavarian Brass Band playing Moanin’ as I wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Ladies Tea Roomes for yet another afternoon of indulgence.

Or so I imagined. Quite by mistake, I fronted first and had, instead, the fun of setting up the various bits of hardware, sackbutts, viols, contrabassoons, contrafagotti, cromornes, double bassoons, fifes, fipple flutes, flageolets, flugelhorns, funk band instruments, hautboys, heckelphones, hornpipes, and spittoons that are apparently the necessaries (see note 1) of a jam session.

Which started, as is more often the case these days, with a coupla dodgy charts from Corporal T‘s songbook, the distinguishing feature of which is that Corporal T (see note 2), appears unable to follow them. In which, it must be said, he was in good company.

Curtis was summonsed to the rescue, and having sensibly dispatched with guitarists, proceeded to show how it might be done. Strangely, Captain Chaos proceeded to play the correct form most tunefully, and got better as the afternoon wore one. Keen aficionados of Jam Session procedures manual will recognise this as a particularly underhand attempt at confusing the rest of us, by playing so unrecognisably. Which would have succeeded had we not been confused already.

By the time scones had been served, Chance (drums), Laurie (salt shaker), Peter Cole (belgian nose flute) Brian, Kevin (tonsils), Ivan (tea chest) Geoff , Peter (keys) had all had a dip, with Bill and Michael alternately hitting things in the background; before David Ruiz dragged a carol singer through the door (Angelique, she was rather good) , Omar, and even the Pellster turned up, and the afternoon descended into a happy muddle with all sorts of good things being played.

At which point Rose got up, sans charts, and sang a beautiful slow version of Route 66, with a hot sax solo from Tony thrown in for good measure – at the end of which we all felt much better…

Don, I think, tried to draw things to a sensible conclusion, but I had gone home for tea and toast by then…By the time I left, with the score at nil all, the good Captain had barely broken a sweat, and for all I would know, they danced well on into the night, as they often do. Old faces and new tunes, old tunes and new faces – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

See ya Sunday?

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain runs out of notes.

Note 1 There may be one or two readers who think I am making this up. There may be one or two readers. It is all true, as always.

Note 2 Once a conductor on a Corporation omnibus on the 437 Hounslow route, or some such, Corporal T may be a distant relative of Colonel T, but he can’t remember. Should you wish to visit Hounslow, start from Shepherds Bush, and keep going North west until you feel threatened.

Note 3 Note 3? So it is obviously not Little Sunflower. Even the Captain has admitted that this is a dreary two chord affair, although we did play it, and did manage to get one of the chords wrong. Or was it the other one?

Friday Night Live at the Royal Standard:

Katerina sang up a storm last week, and will be a hard act to follow…

Which is why we have Joys Njambi singing this Friday. Joys continues to develop her jazz repertoire, and is back at the Royal Standard Hotel – with Omar Cruz on bass, Michael Finlay on drums, TW on piano and Captain Chaos hisself on saxophone.


Miss Joys’ last session here was nuts, with the entire bar up and dancing by the end of it – so this Friday will probably be a bust… unless of course, a few jammers care to darken the door, disgrace themselves like nobody is watching, and generally have a good time.

Actually, I am rather looking forward to this one.

Joys Njambi with the Captain Chaos Quartet, Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, North Melbourne – from 7.00 – 9.30pm. Friday 25th November

As I recall:

20 musicians descended on the Leinster Arms on a wet stormy Sunday afternoon to keep the bar staff busy. John Curtis called the early tunes and challenged the early comers to play some seldom heard titles at the jam session. African Flower by Ellington and Jobim’s A Felicidade were examples of these. Continue reading

Friday Night Live at the Royal Standard: Czech, Czech . . .

Last week’s sesh started a little quiet, although it livened up as the night wore on – props to the impeccable Ange for stepping in at the last moment and singing a lively and impeccable set.

This week, Katerina Myskova is back, supported by Ivan (bass), TW (piano), Bill (drums) and David (sax, maybe flute). The Captain has said he will be there to crack knuckles if we misbehave.

La Myskova is working up a crowd pleasing set of new toons – latin, blues and jazz standards – and has sung a coupla really good gigs of late. Drop on by for a beer and a listen with the regulars.


Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet, Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, North Melbourne – from 7.00 – 9.30pm. Friday 18th November

Richard From Colliwobble Land

The Yarra Mens Shed and Collingwood Neighbourhood House would like to invite any Jazzers to look at Jam sessions through the week on site, with an aim to perform at Community events on the public housing estates with local residents and cultural groups.


The group would link with the already establish Harmonicas, Uke Group, Vocal Boogie, local Hip Hop and beat makers, Belly Slap, Community Choirs, Yarra Mens Blues band, Cross Cultural groups…. all established groups, just missing one….Jazz.


So if interested, proficiency is not required, elementary and enthusiasm is (it is community based), feel free to drop in Wednesday 10.30am or Thursdays 12.30pm school term and have a chat.

Collingwood Neighbourhood House Ground Floor 253 Hoddle St Collingwood or call 9417 4856. Rikardo


It was always a feature of the Oscar Beetroot Band’s performances in the 1930’s that there would be no soloist, such prominence being unwelcome at a time when loud-mouthed demagogues were apt to assist a performance by hurling carrots at the stage. Why carrots? Nobody knows…

Of course the only people who remember the Oscar Beetroot Band are those who are blissfully ignorant of its possible fictionality, or maybe just blissfully ignorant. And Hortense, of course, but she is apt to remember things when she wasn’t there anyway. Just ask the Vicar.

No carrots to the noggin last Sunday… as carefree a jam as we can remember (well, that accounts for the last three weeks or so) and some relaxed, fine music making that occasionally sounded like we either knew what we were doing, didn’t care, or had drifted into the dangerous waters know as “jazz”. As ever, we can, and will, fix it, but in the meantime, props to the 25 or so musos, and an audience that never flagged.

Highlights of the week, for me, anyway, were undoubtedly Herbert (see below) and Bettina. The latter chanteuse fronted with some distinctly vague charts, and gave all the appearances of someone who was going to introduce “her” band, fiddle with everything and then sing imperfectly at several semitones removed from the charts, the band and commonsense. I could not be more wrong (again!) this one had me totally fooled, and she showed some real class with the bluesy numbers she selected. Don had a ball on keys, and not surprising.

Captain Chaos ran things so smoothly that he flirted with the idea of creating a mild bit of chaos for the helluvit, but restrained himself. Another first. All afternoon, we only had one changeover hitch and pretty much everyone got a fair bit of playing time.

So who was there, I hear you ask? I wrote it all down on a bit of paper, wrote down where I had left the bit of paper on another bit of paper, bought shares in the paper company and am now none the wiser. Ange sang, Katerina sang, the Divine Miss Smith gave me no grief, and sang also, Daniel impressed on the drums, as did Bill and Michael, Herbert and Fermin equally smooth on guitar, Lisette and Andi tried a banjo/ukele number which was fun, and Gentleman John C, meself and the Don amused ourselves at the ivories. And through it all, Ivan swung hard on his electrified bass. Sweet!

Invaded by German tourists …

Ever taken your wife on holiday? You know the drill. Brief conversation overheard in Germany recently…

“Why do you need three hairdriers? Are 6 pairs of shoes really necessary for a holiday in Australia? You don’t need a deckchair and a blanket on an Australia beach. We have bought tickets on a plane, not the whole plane, maybe a little less luggage… what? You think so? Oh, that, I just thought I might take my guitar on the off chance that I would find somewhere to play it, equipped with charts, a guitar amplifier, a backing band and a singer. Well, you never know … Melbourne maybe, we’ll be there for two days, and will run out of other things to do…”

And thus did jazz guitarist Herbert drag his unsuspecting wife into the Leinster Arms, historic ancestral digs of the clan Glen. And played up a storm – we all loved having them there and hope the rest of the holiday goes well. It is cold and raining in München as we speak, and you would not be Glad to be Bach.