So, there we were, two o’clock and no bass player, idly riffing through some completely obscure tunes, much to the amusement of Jack who thought the occasion sufficient excuse to play Christmas tunes. Christmas tunes? Bah, humbug1 as Madge would snort. It must be said, Madge doesn’t snort as much as she used to, there being a dearth of dodgy lawyers in the back streets of Altona West. So Madge has resorted to thrusting her not inconsiderable charms at innocent apprentices from the Altona Refineries Carpet Layers Union, in the hopes of some free shag pile for her bedroom.. The Vicar’s wife, although otherwise engaged, entirely disapproves of Madge in this respect. Hortense, who may or may not have been gliding darkly through the back bar of the Leinster on Sunday, wouldn’t mind a bit. But I digress….
So, there we were, all set to mangle and no bass player. Frankly, that is not good enough. One by one, a bunch of musos turned up, tuned in and cocked up almost every tune on principle. (so as not to embarrass the others, one would suppose.) In no time at all, the session was in full festive swing, and by the end of the day, at least 22 musos had given it a red hot go. Remembering that many names, and devising a suitable insult for Alan is no easy task, so I confess to having taken notes….
Started on piano, the Captain on sax, Al the Jazz on drums, then Noriyo took over, Taariq turned up for bass duties much to her relief, Kay sang, Jack played trombone and then developed an alarming paunch and a bright red suit, Anton and family turned up having travelled all the way from the Glasshouse Hotel (aka Todger Dodger Towers, where he last played jam session) via Indonesia to get here, and blew the rust off his bass lines. Then Peter (sax), Paul (trombone), John (guitar) played various tunes, sometimes at the same time and in the same key, but not in a boastful way. Scoop McCue fronted with his box brownie, John lent his (tiny) guitar to Jacin the unpronounceable, whose own instrument had been damaged in service as a paella paddle or something – it’s hard to tell with the Spanish. (Hortense read that last bit and has booked with Iberian Airlines already, by the way). The afternoon waxed ever louder, with Glen supplanted at his own drum set by Danino from Italy, Keef sauntered in a with a fat lip, t’other Frank found a few sax toons to his liking, and Ray “Lounge” Hood absolutely nailed some great solos. . Mark got through Lullaby of Birdland with some help from Kay, a fine first effort, Fred bongoed up and was grooving along nicely to every bossa in sight, Trevor scored a coupla bluesy numbers on mouth harp, and Peter (Germany) on guitar played some slick lines. Richard tried beating the crap out of the keyboard, but sounded great with it, and just as we were planning to pull the pin, the Divine Miss Smiff hobbled in on crutches to wrap up proceedings in fine , fine style. Hip and groovy has a new meaning, apparently.
All up, a great session – the standard noticeably higher than last year, but we are working on it. And as for a suitable insult for Al the Jazz? Not possible, he doesn’t own a suit.