A packed house at “The Comma”: lots of people turning up expecting to be entertained – maybe they hadn’t fully grasped the concept of a jam – and the rhythm section of Geoff Sayer (on drums); Doug Kuhn (double bass) with meself on keys, kicked off at 3.23pm sharp with a slow burn on Swingin’ Shepherd Blues – audience seemed to like that one, maybe we did spot a saxaphone case or two down the back of the room, maybe a guitar. Second number, “All Blues”... a couple of choruses, and up stepped Ruby Rogers to sing…..
Three and half hours later, after seven other singers, Ruby Rogers stepped back up to the microphone and closed a memorable session with a smokin’ version of “Don’t Go To Strangers”.
Singers: this was a real surprise – the standard was scary good, with a couple of professional singers leading the way – and the instrumentalists were not far behind – there is some amazing talent in and around Castlemaine. Standouts (for me, anyway) were Tania Vida Petrini, Ange and Lena (see it wasn’t too hard…), with Meg Corson’s great take on Round Midnight probably the pick of them (for me anyway). Terry and Gillian Murray (guitar and tonsils) rocked the joint big time and the saxes (Bren and, I think, Tim) traded some hot licks,. Barry proved to be an ace drummer, but Indefatigable Doug Kuhn played throughout the session – we need at least one more bass player!
Props to the Melbourne Jazz Jammers regulars who turned up and supported the locals: Rob McCue (piano) Lee (trumpet) and of course Melinda Traves, who had to stay in the Ruby Rogers Tourbus all afternoon whilst Rubes was out and about…
If I didn’t get your name, it was because you are young, good looking and talented and I was too shy to ask…
So… the whole shebang was well organised and promoted by John Hannah, and Ken Turnbull, and it looks as though this will become a monthly event. They already have a substantial mailing list of contacts – and this will form a starting point for organising the proposed Jazz Festival.
The next Jam at the Comma is Sunday 2nd June and already quite a few people have said they are going: all you have to do is turn up, tune up, join in and blow the tits off ya fave toon.