McCue AWOL for a Month! The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum, Rogers Rocks The Grand

Bear with us on this one … The esteemed Editor has taken a month’s leave of absence – he might get out earlier for good behaviour, but there again, probably won’t. So the Newsletter is being updated by a technophobic recidivist Luddite – just when there is rather a lot of stuff going on..

Captain Chaos’ latest ridiculous idea: A Jazz Festival in 2014. The concept is so patently absurd that it could almost work … so far, we are looking at Maldon and will be meeting with the Local Council in early March. We will then be holding a aession at a restaurant in Maldon: the idea being to get the various Maldon people who have expressed an interest all in the one room at the one time, come up with some plausible excuses, and then listen to their ideas.

In outline, we are looking at a two day festival, with 35 – 40 bands, and providing opportunities for the hundreds of enthusiastic musos who may no longer be able to get a spot at the major festivals – and yes, we are thinking of having an extended Leinster Arms style jam session running. We will probably be seeking expressions of interest from Bands from July onwards.

If it happens, and you would like to be involved in the organisation of all this, drop an e-mail to

What’s On at The Grand Hotel, cnr Spencer Street and Flinders Street

Friday 1st March sees the return of Miss Ruby Rogers, singing up a storm probably, with a whole bunch of new material, and her old crew: Avi Ganesan (bass), Tom Doublier (drums), some ol fart on piano and newcomer Izumi on saxaphone. We are all going to have fun, feel free to turn up and join in… 5:30 – 8:30pm

Jazz on the Web

Three ways of getting free music discussed – Sky.FM and Jazzonthe Tube have been covered before, but Pandora is a relative new comer, and probably the pick of them.

This is a streaming service with a difference – you get to create your own “radio station” and then give each track the thumbs up or the thumbs down – the more you do it, the more refined will the selections of music become. I particularly like tracking down the potted bio’s with each artist. Just type Pandora into Google and you will find the site. Advertisement free.

Pro’s: Good selection of music, clever approach to fine tuning your selections. You can set up several different stations, then pick your music depending on your mood.

Con’s: theoretically, you could refine the selection of music to the point where you never hear anything new.

Sky.FM A wide range of preset channels – I tend to stick with Piano Jazz, and whilst every fourth track seems to be Erroll Garner, there is a lot of interesting stuff I have never heard before.

Pro’s Seems to use up less bandwidth than Pandora and will run in the background of most programmes
Con’s Annoying ads every so often asking you to upgrade to Premium This one sends a Youtube clip to your e-mail every day. So you get to delete the ones you don’t want, play the others mostly once, and store a few so that you can click on them again only to discover that they have been taken off Youtube…

Pros: Actually some really good material every now and then, and the video, whilst generally scratchy, is kinda fun.
Cons: Gunks up your mailbox a bit.

What’s On At The Grand Hotel, Spencer Street, Melbourne

Last Friday featured Amy Jaulin on vocals, Julian soloing and Bruce Constable (drums) and Rene Tessmer (double bass) providing a smooth rhythm unit, for an evening that saw a goodly crowd turn up and stay all night. Nice little cameo from Izumi, who plays sax in perfect English…

This week 15th February: THE DEBSTER!!! At long last, Miss Woodruffe will take to the microphone, accompanied by John Curtis, Rene T and Dean Constable. If you haven’t seen Debbie before, she has a unique ability to light up the room with a big smile and a bunch of toons, all faves. The smart money says she might even get the Curtis to crack a smile… 5.30 start; not to be missed!

The B Team Bash

Once a year, for reasons best known to themselves, or maybe not, some of the more serious jazz jammers drive out to Halls Gap, and spend the entire weekend furtively dashing from one marquee to another, in the hope that no-one will notice that they are actually playing in four different bands at the Grampians Jazz Festival. Presumably they do this in order to minimise the amount of time spent listening to anyone else: or in Captain Chaos’ case, as a substitute for sleeping, which is for weaklings and mere mortals apparently.  Hopefully, the editorial department, ensconced in Bendigo Towers, the World Headquarters of the Jazz Jammers Newsletter Publishing Group Inc., will elicit some suitably descriptive prose from the aforementioned Captain Chaos on the matter.

Whatever: a parallel tradition seems to have developed, whereby the B team of not so serious jammers foregathers in the Gold Street Gossip Shop; and gets to play whatever they damn well please.

The B Team Bash was in fine form this year. After some creative drum kit assembly from Ali (nice one !), the jam blossomed with Stan The Man, Avi and newcomer Jim all good on bass, Bruce Constable and young Dean turning up to relieve a by now desperate Ali on drums, Ben and newcomer Earl on guitars, singers Chelly, Rose (newcomer, and we hope she comes again), Melinda, Debbie and Susanna singing – the latter scoring brownie points for singing the Girl From Ipanema in Spanish, and Avi scoring double brownie points for pointing out that it should be in Portuguese.. and a front line consisting of Julian and Lee (tpt), Keef and Ali (sax). Highlight of the day was Melinda’s version of A Good Man is Hard to Find – sung with searing conviction, we all thought…

The standard varied from go to woeful, with some good stuff thrown into the mix. I sense that the jams are going though one of those periodic upheavals, with a lot of new faces through the door in the last few weeks -it all bodes well for the future.

Which starts next Sunday, if you are interested…


From Marion – GIG Sun Feb 24

Sweet Ade, led by jammer Marion Lustig on recorders, will be playing at the Rosstown Hotel in Carnegie on Sunday afternoon, February 24 from 1.30 – 4 pm as part of their regular Sunday afternoon jazz program.

The band is a jazz/ragtime ensemble and the program will include ragtime, jazz and an eclectic collection of both material and instruments, mostly light-hearted and fun. Sweet Ade is inspired by the recorder playing of the late multi-instrumentalist jazz musician Ade Monsbrough. The group’s repertoire includes many of his compositions and “signature” tunes, as well as jazz standards.

The band members are:
Marion Lustig – recorders
Peter Mason– clarinet, saxophones, recorder, vocals, ukelele
Lisette Payet – piano, vocals, piano accordion, ukelele
Andrew Stephens – banjo
Joe Kenyon – sousaphone
Janet Arndt – vocals
Richard Opat – washboard and drums.

Entry is free and bistro lunch is available from 12 noon onwards. Lunch bookings are recommended – phone 9571 1033.

Cheers and thanks,


From Gustavo – Great GIG Tonight

Hello guys !!
I hope the beginning of the year is been good to you !
I’m excited to announce our 1st gig in a new Latin place in Fitzroy.  After our greatly missed Cruzao Arepa bar closed, we didn’t have a “cool” place to go and see the the Latin bands and hang out; but now, there’s a new restaurant & music lounge where some bands have been playing recently. It’s called LATIN PASSION. 406 Brunswick st. Fitzroy.
It’s going to be our first gig there and we would really love to see you  this time, giving us your support and enjoy the great energy of “SIN FRONTERA BAND” music, plus you’ll be able to enjoy the food & drinks.
Support the local, live music scene in Melbourne and it will grow for us to enjoy for years! It would be very appreciated.
All the best,
Gustavo !
Here’s the link in case you want to know more about the event for tonight with “SIN FRONTERA BAND”.

John Montesante at Dizzy’s

John Montesante Quintet, featuring Andrew Swann (on vocals!)

The JMQ is a versatile, stylish, horn-led combo, founded by John Montesante in 1991, with a penchant for bebop and standards. With its stellar musical line-up, the band has worked with, and backed, some of the finest jazz artists in Australia. Tonight is no exception. ANDREW SWANN is a master of vocals, piano, guitar & harmonica and is arguably the best swing/blues drummer in Australia! Over the past 20+ years Andy has performed his eclectic mix of blues and jazz in the USA, Australia, Japan, China, the UK and at many of Europe’s music festivals including Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Tonight we are dragging Andy out from behind the kit, to be your charming and entertaining front man and singer with The JMQ– and you’re in for a rare and wonderful musical evening. Don’t miss it!

Start Time: 9:00 PM

Entry Fee: $20.00/$16.00

Last Chance to Hear J & J

Hi Jammers
Could you please advertise my gigs with Jenna at the
Club Voltaire,
14 Raglan St
North Melbourne
on Thurs 21 Feb at 7pm
$5 at door

Jenna and I met at the Xmas party, and we have decided to start one of the most difficult possible set-up: a duo Vocal/double-bass.

So this beautiful project is somehow one of the little babies of the Jam and we would be happy to see as many of you at our gigs.


Stripped back with nowhere to hide.
The  biggest and smallest stringed instruments meet with Jenna’s chocolatey voice.
Together they explore music through space and sound.
Performing standards like you’ve never heard them as well as some of their original compositions.
Jenna and Jeremy

What’s on at The Grand

Amy Jaulin will be  singing this Friday, 5.30 start, with Julian (tpt), Rene Tessmer on bass, Bruce Constable on drums and meself on piano. Amy is one of the youngest performers at the Grand, Bruce is probably the best of the percussionists, Rene undoubtedly has the driest sense of humour (you need it if you are Austrian), and Julian doesn’t know what he has let himself in for. Should be a great night…

Noted Belgian Dies!

History: Avid students of the 19th Century Balkans conflicts will probably have missed the news that Adolphe Sax, inventor of the Saxophone, and therefore a Belgian of note (hah!) ,  died 135 years ago. It was a splendid funeral apparently, the Funeral cortege did several laps of the Church before coming in, by the wrong door, and slightly late, and they went through the entire service five times before burying him.


The Sunday Arvo Jam Session: A Tad Average, Perhaps

One would like to say that it was deathly quiet at the Gold Street Gossip shop last Sunday, but one would not. As jam sessions go, this one took a long time to warm up, and was barely hitting its straps by bed time – although enlivened somewhat by the late arrival of Alex (sax) and his mates (cant-remember-their-names). 

Whatever, a bit of average is good for the soul, from time to time, and there were a few nuggety little gems in there. One of which could have been first time singer Sussanne, who has promised to return. As did General Macarthur, only Sussane was a better singer. A cameo appearance by Miss Hayres, who may have been so traumatised by the accompaniment  that she left after one song. Chelly on hand to lift the tone, Julian trying in vain to get St Thomas going with less than three different rhythms, Mr PC slaughtered mercilessly in an attempt to confuse the remarkably good first time pianist whose name might be Tim, or Mark, or — it was all harmlessly entertaining and much within the traditions of the jazz jams, where the cunning deployment of incompetence invariably triumphs against musical skill, and creativity is seen as finding a new way to make the same mistake again…. 

I am starting to enjoy these sessions rather a lot…