The Ludicrous Arms, Gold Street Collingwood

After last week’s near perfect jam session, normal service will be resumed on the 27th April, at 4.00pm sharp. Or flat. Probably both if history is a guide.

The Captain has returned from Adelaide, and the rest of us from whatever you got up to last week. Hortense, just possibly, may be there. Or not as the case may be.

She has spent the last few days in court, poor dear, having returned home late one morning to discover a summons. Any mail excites Hortense, and indeed she often says she doesn’t get enough of it; so she was off to the Magistrates in a flash, having neglected to top up her Myki. Hortense’s Myki hasn’t been topped up in quite a while, it seems.

Anyhoo, she pleaded guilty to all charges, took a fancy to the tipstaff, and went home poorer but no wiser. I have no idea what all this means, but, um there wasn’t a jam session last week.

So, where was I? Ah yes, normal service. Turn up, why don’t you, it should be fun, and there will be a prize for everyone attending. Yippee!

Ruby’s Music Room

This week, Gentleman John Curtis will be accompanying Ann Hayres. Or possibly someone else, I am never quite sure these days… no, definitely Ann Hayres.

Ann is a pretty damn good interpreter of jazz tunes, both standards and the occasional exotic latin number. Being Anzac day, RMR will either be quiet or full of mildly inebriated old diggers. Or something in between. I shall be going, but I cannot decide whether I shall lower the tone or raise it inadvertently.

So… an evening full of promise and surprise is in store – drop in for a quiet little drink, Uncle Robert’s world famous (well this half of Bennett’s Lane) nibblies, and enjoy some fine music.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival: You can buy tickets to this thing!

Word is that tickets are rolling out the door, and the available accommodation in Castlemaine is starting to fill.

Given the size of the Festival, we have had to put on another venue – The Cumberland Hotel, which is right in the middle of town. The captain and I had a quite little ale there a few weeks’ ago – friendly staff, cold beer and a perfect room for 50 or 60 people to listen to a band or seven.

This week’s featured artists include:

  • The Ish Allen Project: They are being featured on Main FM local radio this week as part of the Festival promotion.
  • B3 Madness: Nicole Thorne trio who were outstanding at Halls Gap
  • Daylesford Swing Band : all twenty of them . Didn’t know twenty people lived in Daylesford.. part of the New Northern Big Band session on Sunday

The Music Place – Sponsors of Castlemaine Jazz Festival



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South Melbourne
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No Jam Session on Easter Sunday

Nada. Zilch. Zip. Nothing. Rien du tout. Go and have a beer with Glen instead.

Last week’s bash was big enough for two weeks anyway – started with a smart set by the Clarke gang, Roger and Rory in fine form. 25 musicians turned up, including young Jonah on double bass (Grade 8, precocious!) watched over by the Dave Taylor and Doug Kuhn brains trust – who declared themselves mightily impressed, and followed by guitarist Santiago (Colombia, via Denmark and Spain), Jason who didn’t come to play drums, but did, rather well, and singer Chris LeBon

A stylish afternoon all round, topped off by Christine Manetta singing Route 66, Keef playing some hot sax, Taariq putting in a few fine guitar riffs: props to les autres : Paul, The Captain (sax), Glen, Sebastien, Spike, Bruce, Paul (drums), Debbie (vocals), Trevor (harp), Gentleman John Curtis, Agus Batara and Bob (piano). Hardly got a note in edgeways.

See ya in a fortnight?

Some More Jam Session Terms Explained

Part of an ongoing series of one.

Soloist: Can only play one instrument at a time, often quite loudly or badly. If talking to a soloist, make sure that you speak clearly, as they are often not good listeners, due to lack of practice. On no account should you mention the presence of a rhythm section, as this might startle them.

Saxophonist: a sub set of soloist. They cannot all put five beats to the bar in a 4/4 tune, but most of them are pretty good at it.

Trumpeter: They can play louder than a saxophonist. They could also play quieter, but no trumpeter has ever tried this in living memory.

Guitarist: A gifted player without whom the entire band would fall to pieces. It wouldn’t matter if they did, because no-one can hear anyone else anyway.. Needs to be attached by some electrical wiring to a large box. Or to a rafter, in some cases.

Bass player: Intelligent, talented, young, good looking, delusional.

Vocalist: someone who is always right. Often sings with a five piece band , all of whom are in the wrong key.

Pianist: someone adept at playing entirely different notes to the vocalist. This is referred to as a “melody”. Often plays the wrong notes, but prefers to call these “altered chords”.

Rhythms section: note the plural. A mildly deranged collection of drummers, guitarists, pianists and bass players who can play different rhythms, and sadly often do. All at once.

Arrangement: A device used by vocalists to confuse everybody. Including the vocalist.

Charts: an indication of what you should have been playing.

Fours: often called by the Captain as a warning that there will be five bars.

Vibrato: Hortense, put that down, it is not what you think . . .

The Captain Chaos Sessions: The Band that wasn’t

Splendid cock-up on my part lead to two sets of instrumentals from a band that mosty did not know they were playing until 4.00pm that afternoon: props to Gentleman John Curtis, Doug Kuhn and Spike Kiernan for stepping in and making the Captain sound good.

Topped by Sevil Sabah whose half hour set absolutely smoked ’em.

Ruby’s was pumping – Comedy Festival act to follow, and then Adam Rudegair playing into the night. Gob-smacked audience seemed to enjoy it all, and so they should.

Next week, Fri 2nd May, Gentleman John Curtis will be accompanying the Divine Miss Smith. I would say that was a return to normal, but nothing the Divine Miss Smith does is ever that normal. Should be a great night.

Castlemaine Jazz Festival: Cheapskate Tickets run out soon!

Tickets: Hop on the website for some Early Bird tickets – available until April 22nd. All of a sudden the ticket sales have started to roll in. Gulp…

Who is Playing: We now have 54 bands registered, and 200 musicians. Which means you need to think about accommodation sooner rather than later – word is, the Castlemaine accommodation is filling up fast – although there are plenty of good places available in Maldon, Bendigo, and the local towns – all within 20 minutes of Castlemaine itself.

This week’s featured artists include:

· Cheap Frills: Cheap Frills has a diverse repertoire: Jaz Stutely sings everything from Bessie and Billie to Jobim, Janis Joplin (hence the band’s name) Momma Cass and Maria Muldaur.

· Ruby Rogers: yes that Ruby Rogers!

· The Wild Bunch New Orleans Party Band : party party party:

The Captain Chaos Sessions (sans Captain)

After last Saturday’s Ruby Rogers’ fun and games with Ruby, My Dear, a glass of water, and a Comedy Festival show to follow, Ruby’s Music Room returns to normal with this Friday’s Captain Chaos Session being headlined by Anne Hayres, supported by John Curtis and his all star team.

Another evening of sultry ballads, rollicking Latin numbers and jazz standards with a twist is promised – I am going to be there, and hope you will be too.

Anne Hayres lights up Ruby’s Music Room, Bennett’s Lane, SATURDAY 5.30 – 8.30. Free entry.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival June 7th and 8th 2014

Gettin’ on board, contributing in cash and kind…
Brett Willis of the Music Place
Bendigo Regional Tourist Board
Shire of Alexander

Tuning Up and Turning Up…
54 bands and around 190 musicians

Cracking the Numbers
Gentleman John Curtis and his magick scheduling programme

Lending the Gear
A whole bunch of Jammers, although we are proposing to hire some

Stuff to do..
Hire a Minibus, get some banners screen printed and sewn
Arrange some souvenir tee-shirts
Get some insurance
Confirm the venue opening hours
Corral a bunch of volunteers to man the venues (about 30 should do it)
Sell some more tickets (the Early Bird discount option runs out soon…)
Shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

More new stuff on the website

The Ludicrous Leinster Rocks!

And now, for something completely different…

At least one person rang the Captain to see if this really was the last Jam session – it wasn’t and I can’t believe we got away with that one (see last week’s preview…)

Perhaps that accounts for the 20+ musos who turned up this week – two bass, four drums, five sax, two pianists, Kevin the lone guitar, a floot, and seven singers come to mind. A session that ranged from mildly dysfunctional to extraordinary with a last set that just about blew the windows out.

Props to Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse who wore his fingers out on bass and played swing tunes, blues, ballads and latin with only the occasional foray into the opening bars of All Along The Watchtower. Notable contributions also from Antonello (Italia) and Murray (UK) on saxaphone, keeping the regulars honest.

A singer who shall remain nameless achieved the near impossible Double Sided, Small Print, Six Sheet manoeuvre without the use of cellotape, a feat previously considered near impossible, followed Kevin “he’s just a naughty boy” Blaze calling fours behind the Captain’s back. The poor Captain took at least five bars to recover his composure.

The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood, Sunday, from 4.00pm

Something Cool

Composer Billy Barnes (1927-2012) wrote Something Cool released by June Christie in 1953.
As Alan Kurtz has said it is a remarkable four minute drama.
Listen to June Christie here on You Tube.
What  is the song about?
Kurtz takes the meaning to be along the lines of Blanche Dubois in a Streetcar Named Desire, a role recently reprised by Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen’s latest movie.

Are the words a dream or a memory. I’ll leave you to work it out.