Last week’s Jam: Up and Down Sort of a Sesh…

Another warmish day, coldish beer, drunks on the balcony and the Jazz too ran hot and cold all day. Not a bad turn out as it happens, with upwards of thirty peeps there at some stage or other, and quite a few more wandering in later. The food looks increasingly enticing as Murilo the Brazilian Chef settles in, and the beer is always good…

After giving the sound system a big wrap last week (as good as it has ever been), the Captain sensibly (is that a first?) decided to set it up exactly the same. Needless to say, it was nowhere near as good, even after we had got the Behringer foldback to work, if that is the right word for a Behringer, which it probably isn’t…

What did work was a sweet set by Susie towards the close: her singing continues to improve. Apparently “practice” has something to do with it. Susie is sending me a copy of the video her friend took so we can put it in the Jammers Newsletter

Aren’t you, Susie??

Why does a tune go off one week, and then go off in the opposite direction the next week? Probably because we gave Laurie a bit of a plug for Memories of Tomorrow last week. Didn’t work as well – suspects include the tempo, and the Baritone, which is a monster to play at the best of times. Ten points for trying, plus another 9 for Birks Works, which again had tempo problems but was a hell of a lot of fun.

Just to make sure he was a total disaster, I commented to Dave the Bass that his playing was getting better and better. This cunning plan didn’t work, as his playing was better and better again.. That’s four betters in two weeks. Good Grief!

After Russell, Sala, and Michael Findlay back after a long spell in the paddock, John Perri played beautifully (as John Perri can..) Got a little bit excited towards the end, but great to see him back.

Singers included Jane and the Debster, Kevin smooth and I am not sure who else. All hampered a little by the sound, but all good. Jane has a Featured SInger set coming up soon. Watch this space.

I haven’t much mentioned Huich (violin), back after a break, Neil, Fermin and Gene from New Jersey on guitars, Pete and Dan on bass. And I won’t – they all leave me lost for words. Good rhythm section…

So… next week rolls around: are ya comin’ or what?

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 17th March, starting at 4.00pm

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.



Hi everyone. Hope all’s well with you.

2019 is well underway with some great festival gigs under the belt!

  2 gigs coming up next week.

Jasper’s Jazz Club

14 Goldie Place Melbourne

8:30 – 11:00pm  Thursday March 21st.

Two Way Traffic with Annie Smith

$10 entry

Two Way Traffic includes a bunch of very talented musos

David Lole (piano), Ron Anderson (many things but this time reeds),

Hermann Schwaiger (double bass), Allan Smith (drums)

A smallish affair gets even smaller … and classier

It is too damn hot! By the time I got to the Junk, the car was overheating, and predicatbly, almost no one turned up…

Which was strange, because the musos that did all had a great day. Read on

Captain Chaos, fresh from wrangling a jam for about 6 hours the night before, set off at a rate of knots – you could tell straight away he was in good form. Easy Living

Jeff turned up. Been having lessons in saxophonology, embouchure, flooting and quite possibly deportment. You can never be too careful. Result? Played the best I have ever heard him.

Laurie Savage eschewed his usual run of blues based beobp tunes, instead hauling out Now and Forever, which was a highlight of the day.

Pete Micevski, he of the pony tail, got there early. Played all day, hard to believe he ever sounded like a beginner – classiest of the lot, all day.

Russell Stringer set up the drums, played 4/4, 6/8. 12/8 and grooved along. Occasionally apologised for not nailing the beat at the outset of a tune he probably hadn’t heard before anyway. Actually took no [prisoners, hit things masterfully and departed exhausted… Bill Swannie took over! And played for at least two hours without a break. Got better and better, even though he was pretty damn good to start with.

A rhythm section that good made piano playing a breeze, which it probably needed to be to cool things down – it was still too damn hot.

Julian swung his flute hard and fast. He gets better and better, and brought with him a bevy of audience to boot.

Exhaustion set in around 6.00pm, when young Malcolm took over the keys, and Vlad, first guitarist all afternoon, played up a storm.

Guest singers Ashley de Wangaratta and Nicola sang, I think, Embraceable Ewe and Stormy Weather, but it could have been Route 66, and Sumnmertime. Whatever. Entertaining sets and lifted the mood. It was still too damn hot…

Cooling down: Annie Smiiff, the Divine, Late, Frazzled or None of the above sang too. She is always good.

Chuffing: The Captain announced himself well chuffed – it had been a classy afternoon and not a trainwreck in sight. We ‘ll fix that later…

What ever next!

A Smallish Affair

Sunday broke warm and smooth – not much prospect of many peeps fronting for the Jam – but when we got there, young Roger the Clark was propping up the wall, the Captain was leaping from his chariot and the cleaner was, sensibly, refusing to let the ruffians in…

In no time at all, Dodgy Dave turned up and the usual crew set to. Kickoff was marginally delayed whilst the ump found a coin, and then it was on for young and old, but only if you count anyone under the age of 60 as young…

The Captain, fearing an outbreak of normality, decided the equipment layout should be reversed. Much to everyone’s astonishment, this seemed to work rather well – certainly the sound was much clearer, and unless everyone was playing better than usual, which you would have to doubt, this could become a regular thing.

Jazz anyone? Yes, we did play a bit – mainly of this but with a lick of that thrown in for good measure. Malcolm turned up early, and announced he had to leave soon, so we got him on, asap, Laurie, the Captain, Calamatta and the aforementioned somewhat sprightly Roger the C contributed the saxophological twiddly bits, whilst Russell, Alan and Salah hit things in the background, to good effect. Neil played, beautifully, all afternoon; Pete and Dan alternating on bass. Singers Jane, Kevin and Carol leavened the bread.

Highlights of the day included a somewhat nervous Judy getting up to sing for the first time. Didn’t see any nerves once she hit the mic. All seemed pretty good to the rest of us – Summertime , recorded by E. Fitzgerald in 1956; and At Last. (Etta James, released 1960) Hope she comes again.

Trainwreck of the day! I have been building up to this one for a long time, and now officially receive the accolades of an adoring public, or maybe just a tone deaf parrot with tinnitus , for comprehensively cocking up Nicas Dream, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – (1956) aided and abetted by Calamatta (the Captain claimed he was playing in another key), aged tyro Dan MacLachlan (bass), and young Alan Richards on the drums. A complete disaster from start to finish, according to Captain Chaos, and he should know…

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 3rd March, starting at 4.00pm

It is going to be huge or quite small, we really don’t have a handle on this one. You will have to turn up to find out….toodlepip!

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

International Women’s Day

On March 8th 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day, there will be a concert of female Australian performers performing the works of Australian females – From Her We Hear.


The group includes five musicians and a visual artist who will bring the little cinema at the back of Long Play to life. All trained classically these performers have extensive experience with orchestras and ensembles in Australia and abroad and are equally comfortable with genre bending music. Pieces range from improvisation explorations and music that illustrates the meditative qualities of sound, to more traditional songs with voice and piano. 

We will explore and present the often forgotten music of women composers from Australia past and present. Come join us for an intimate night of sound, light, and celebration. Spaces limited bookings essential

Long Play is at

318 St George’s Road , North Fitzroy, Victoria 3168

Friday 8th March

Two shows, 6:30 & 8pm. Seating limited, bookings essential.

Tickets $25/20.

From Her We Hear


Kay Cai – Piano
Playing a piano solo piece by Melbourne composer Nat Bartsch

Teresa Duddy – Soprano
Singing songs by Peggy Glanville Hicks and Margaret Sutherland.

Brigid Burke – Clarinet
Performing a piece for clarinet and electronics by Melbourne performer and composer Nat Grant

Isabel Hede – Violin
Performing her own composition, a piece for violin and electronics

Gemma Horbury – Visuals
Tying it all together with visual mastery on the big screen.

Alexandra Mathew – Mezzo Soprano, singing songs by Margaret Sutherland.

Sweet Ade,Saturday, Mar 16, 9pm

Marion Lustig’s band Sweet Ade will be playing on Saturday, March 16, 9-11 pm, at The Moldy Fig bar and restaurant in East Brunswick.

The band is a lively, upbeat 6 person jazz band featuring recorders, clarinet, saxophones, piano, sousaphone,  washboard, drums, ukuleles, piano accordion and vocals.  We play an entertaining, interesting and eclectic repertoire with creative arrangements of music ranging from the late 1800’s to the present day. We like to balance well-known tunes with little heard gems including early Australian jazz. 

The musicians are Marion Lustig (recorders),Janet Arndt (vocals), Peter Mason (reeds, ukelele, vocals, harmonica), Lisette Payet (piano, ukelele, accordion, vocals and left hand substituting on this occasion for the sousa!),  Richard Opat (washboard, drums).

The Moldy Fig is a restaurant and bar serving authentic New Orleans food and featuring live music. 120-122 Lygon St., East BrunswickThe kitchen is open from 5-11 pm. Bookings 90427613. Free entry.

So You missed it….

In case you turned up, or in case you didn’t, the Junktion Hotel was closed on Sunday 10th, sadly for the staff to attend a funeral. Dodgy Dave clearly had the week from hell, but is bouncing back…Apologies if you didn’t get a phone call or an e-mail – the Captain was at Port Fairy Jazz Festival and I was somewhere around Bandar Seri Begawan, the most exciting airport in the free world.

Rose (sing next time please) and the Debster (sing anytime please)

All of which meant that we put some effort into getting a decent turn out for last week’s session (Sunday 17th Feb if you are as confused as I am). If you are not confused, read on and we will do our best..

Back in the Groove

Last Sunday’s session ripped. The Port Fairy heroes, or most of them, returned – generally playing better than ever as a result, and by the end of the arvo, we had 26 musos get up and boogie – including a cameo from the elderly Mr Clark (sax), no less than 8 drummers, ranging from Russell the Hustle through the smooth Swannie, via Alan in a loud mood, Sala as good as ever, Mr Hirsh (also sang Sunny Side of the Street) Ponta, Tom (?) and David with a closing cameo from Andre.

Which pretty much set the tone for the afternoon. Entertaining sets from singers Jane, Carol, Debbie, Ann Hayres, Kevin (smooth as) and Rose H, back in the groove… all drowned out on occasion by saxophones with the Captain, Laurie and Jeff redeeming themselves with the highlight of the day –

Highlight of the day: Killer Joe, featuring bassist Dave NNY playing the best we have heard him ably supported/guided by Neil.

If I haven’t mentioned Julian, Marion Lustig, Ponytail Pete or a healthy audience it is because they were all good too. Lisbeth promised to sing The Old Country (Nat Adderley, ) …. probably by 2028 or earlier. Can’t wait.

A fun , if exhausting afternoon, plenty of variety and more musos than usual.

Next week Come along! We will be planning the next featured singer series, trying to catch up on the planning for the upcoming Q Festival now slated for 2nd and 3rd of November 2019. Keen afficionados of something or other may recognise this as the date vacated by Wangaratta, and just before the Melbourne Cup.

Next Jam at the Junktion Hotel: Sunday 24th February, 4.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

It has been a busy week in jazz. See ya Sunday?

The Missing Jam session review and the Madge Memoirs

It is with some concern that I realise that the newsletter won’t write itself. And silence from the erstwhile reliable Captain Chaos who was, as I understand it, a super star of the Port Fairy Jazz Festival, (last weekend) or a burnt out supernova or something in between.

Captain C has not therefore supplied any guidance as to the goings on or off at the Junk in his absence.


Madge, as it turned out, had offered to supply a suitable memoire in lieu. But ran out of paper and didn’t own a pen. Miss Hortense, as is often the case, was of no help either. If one or two of those upstanding denizens of West Altona don’t get crumpet for tea or sailors for supper there may be hell to pay.

Il Duce
Whatever happened to what’s his face?

Perhaps the readers of this august organ, (and you both know who you are), may care to make up a suitable jam session review for yourselves. Or perhaps if we take snippets of the usual drivel from the past 350 or so newsletters and paste them randomly together, we may concoct an account only marginally less coherent than usual.

Whatever. I shall be at the next jam session, at 4.00pm on Sunday 17th February, with jet lag. I look forward to seeing all six of the regulars/desperates there and hearing all your adventures.



51.3489° N, 1.9948° W until tomorrow

Wangaratta cancelled for 2019

The 2019 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues has been cancelled. This follows the resignation of co-artistic director Adam Simmons and before that the departure of long term festival managers, Nolan Media. Doubtless the $100,000 bail out of last year’s festival by the local council, though not disclosed at the time, was an indication of what was to come.

read more here . . .

IN RECESS: The Wangaratta Jazz Festival won't be held in 2019 after a ratepayer contribution of $100,000 saved the event last year.