The Jam Session last week – got it wrong again…

As I was saying only last Friday, “And next week? Probably no one will turn up. Unless you do.. ” How wrong can you be! At least 33 musicians must have heeded the call, two of them, possibly, as a direct result of reading the newsletter and realising that attending a jam was marginally less painful. To put it in perspective, this is now the second busiest Jam session we have recorded since 2008 (the busiest was 35 musos for the Captain’s birthday bash).

The early warning signs were there (4 saxophones with -ists attached by 4.30) and by about 5.30 we were out of control… But what a great afternoon it turned out to be. The standard of music was kept comfortably low, the eight reeds players tried and failed to dominate proceedings, the five drummers (Michael, Bill, Michelle, Spike and the unmentionable Mr Hirsh) were all good, the four bass players (Chris, Peter, Carlton and Ivan) did their thing, the five pianists (Gentleman JC, meself, Tony, Don and Richard) had a ball, the five vocalists (Katerina, Annie the Smith, Johanna and Shannon on latin harmonies, and Ol’ Smooth Tonsils Kev all sang up a storm, and the four guitarists (Chico, Johnny, Fermin and Peter Ryan) kept themselves nice. Well, you get the picture, and that is without mentioning the trumpeter Zizhi, the flautist Dave, and a happy little audience.


Tony blowing so hard he’s gone blurry, and the ever improving Ponytail Pete

Props to Will for turning up early and picking a coupla toons, to Ponytail Pete for putting the drum kit together and then playing some swinging bass lines, to Laurie for being the only (and therefore best) Bari in the room, to Tony for easily being the loudest saxophone, and to Evan for playing some sweet clarinet lines. Newcomers included Yu (saxophone) and Zizhi (trumpet). Alan West hit the mellow tones, and the Calamatta put in some smooth licks. The Captain was so overwhelmed he almost forgot to call fours.

Chaos smoothly rang the changes so we could listen to, and pick out, a couple more jammers for the Friday sessions – Michelle (drums) and Yu (saxophone) are booked in for 28th October – and hopefully everyone got a decent chance to join in.

The Highlights: Either six reeds playing at once, or the two newcomers Johanna and Shannon singing harmonies and giggling at the same time.

We are unlikely to sustain this many musos every week – and it is slightly alarming to see how much the list varies from one week to the next. What do we do if they all turn up? The suggested solutions are

(1) Advertise a much better Jam, at the same time, paid, in a CBD venue with free parking, and A and R in attendance …and see how many are fooled by that one
(2) Play Epistrophy in F#minor on high rotation until the fuss dies down
(3) Send all the good musos to Halls Gap and let the B Team take over.

Actually, we are trying option (3) this week – feel free to drop in (it is about 343km closer than Halls Gap to where you live) and have a dip.

We shall be disporting ourselves with elegance but probably not competence. Should be fun…


What’s On: Friday Night Live at the Royal Standard

Annie Smith was so good that the Captain Chaos Quartet attracted another standing room only crowd – ably supported by Michael (drums), Ivan (bass), the Captain and meself. At the end of the night a lot of peeps came up to say how much they enjoyed it all (alcohol is a wonderful thing) followed by the landlord Frank cutting short the four week trial period.

Which means that the Jammers get paid this week – with Katerina, Omar (bass), the Captain (sax), meself on keys, and Steve Bray on drums. This should be a neat little line up and we will hope for another good audience – which could include you – parking is right outside and free, the atmosphere fair sizzles, and a fun night is in prospect.

Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet, Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, North Melbourne – from 7.30 – 9.30pm. Friday 21st October


Chanteuse du jour – singing latin, blues and swing toons ’til you fall off ya seat…

What’s On: Saturday at some ungodly hour of the morning

Ungodly hour indeed. Actually, God may well be there, as we are backing up from Friday night for a 10.00am start at the Annual St Peter’s Anglican Church Fete, with the Captain Chaos Quartet supporting Joys Njambi in her first jazz gig. God knows what the locals will make of that, as he tends to know everything, does he not? He probably knows the set list too, which is more than I do…Anyhoo, it is a fund raiser, this is our fourth year at it, and it has always been fun and munchies. Joys is a seriously classy singer (more soul and beats) who has wanted to try jazz for a while.


Joys Njambi

Col Garrett Saxophone
Steve Bray Drums
Kip Dale Bass
Ted Woollan Keys

10.00am – 12 noon or later, October 22nd
St Peters Anglican Church
1038 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill – it is next door to Box Hill Town Hall

From Stan

Hi jazz fans

Halfway through October and I still haven’t told you about my gigs for this month! Been so busy. The “Breakout” monthly gig at Farouk’s Olive (711 High St Thornbury) will be on October 22 at the usual time of 5 to 7pm. Only $5 to get in and fine drinks at the bar. Great modern jazz too.

Hope to see you there.
Stan van Hooft
0437 232 506

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We are looking for a Marketing and Development Manager to join our team. This is a great opportunity to be involved in the delivery of a major international jazz festival while working in a dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic team atmosphere. Full details are on our website  – applications close Thursday 3 November.

RAB Zimmerman Awarded MVP in Scandi Grand Final

Rock on! Legendary singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday, October 13.

Dylan, 75, won “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” the Swedish Academy, which chooses the recipient, said in a press release. A short list of nominees was not revealed.

The 12-time Grammy winner is the first American to win the prize in over two decades. Novelist Toni Morrison was recognized for her work in 1993.

Jam Session goes off at the Colliwobble Chop House and Basement di Bossa

It is always best not to think, but if you did, you might wonder why we can never assume that many people, some of them musicians, some delusional, most both, and the rest in search of social lubricant and light but essentially malicious gossip, will turn up on any given Sunday.

The Vicar’s sermon must have run to a few extra pages at Matins, because we started with very few in the Gossip Shop, and it stayed that way for quite a while. Then, as can happen, they started pouring through the door, all deserving of extra playing time and getting it – until we could, as is now habitual, entice Glen (Il Duce to those in the know) from behind the bar to tell us to turn it down. In anglo saxon.

So . . . Continue reading

The Captain Chaos Quartet Session at The Royal Standard

Given the short notice, we keenly anticipated a near empty room for the CCQ with Katerina Myskova last week. Got that wrong, pretty much full all night and an appreciative audience enjoyed a lively set.

This Friday, 14th October, Annie Smith is fronting the CCQ at the Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, North Melbourne – from 7.30 – 9.30pm.

This week’s line-up features the Captain (sax) TW (keys) Michael on drums and Ivan Sultanoff (double bass). Annie will go for a jaunt through her idiosyncratic song book – always entertaining – whilst the rest of us try to keep up. If you fancy a listen , grab a seat early. Parking is free, the food is good for the peckish, and the rest of you can amuse yourself with a cheeky little chardonnay at the bar. Sweet!


The Divine Miss Smiff – er, Annie, the microphone is over here . . .

Ballad Mangling 1.01: blow by blow account of Jam Session debacle

I still haven’t got over this one. Midway through last Sunday’s jam session, The Divine Miss Smiff pulls out a chart for a song called Dreamer or something – simple enough, latin (we can cock that up, no problem), ABC form with an intro and a coda – should be easy, let’s roll!

So… we started, as you do, with the Intro. 16 bars, but the Divine Miss S decides to sing the A section over the second eight, on the grounds that she never does the intro but forgot to mention it. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t work too well, but as it is a Jam Session, no-one really minds. Except Peter Da Bass, who is actually reading the chart and is therefore, a priori, lost forthwith. Continue reading

The Captain Chaos Quartet Sessions are starting again!

After a hiatus of some months, the Friday night sessions are back. For the next four weeks, we will be putting together different line-ups for a Friday evening of cheap beer, and dodgy jazz toons at the newly done-up Royal Standard Hotel. The purpose of the CCQ sessions is to give jammers an opportunity to play longer gigs. Venues have been known to pay the bands on occasion (and not always to play somewhere else…)

If you would like to get a spot, contact the Captain at the Jam sessions – we won’t promise, but will try and slot you in. Continue reading

Right Place, Right Time… Right now

One off Jammer Nadira breezed in from Hobart a few weeks ago, sang up a storm and breezed out again. Triffic. She subsequently got in touch and asked for some contacts in Melbourne, as a result of which she will be singing with the Roger Clarke Quartet this Friday 7th October at the “new” Dizzy’s.

Seems she spoke to RC just as the scheduled singer was cancelling…

Where: Dizzys Jazz Club, 368 Bridge Road, Richmond

When: 8.00pm kick off, Friday 7th October

What: Nadira Farid with the Roger Clark Quartet