The Captain Chaos Session – it is on the move (again . . . )

This week, the inestimable Annie “Gorgeous in a blue frock” will be singing with Gentleman John Curtis at the pianola. Doug “Unflappable” Kuhn on bas and a fine band to boot.. but at the Leinster Arms instead of Ruby’s Music Room. A goodly turnout is the order of he day, what with FREE DRINKS being offered (at Bar prices).

Anne will be previewing her Castlemaine Jazz Festival programme, and you are all invited to come along, misbehave, cheer wildly and generally have a good time.

Should be a lot of fun, and as an added bonus I will be in Brisbane, so that’s all good!

Next week, there is no session at Ruby’s Music Room, as Rob will be chasing the burgeoning crowd from the Melbourne International Jazz Festival punters, all of whom will undoubtedly eschew the dubious allure of a variety of aged American Jazz greats who will be well past their use by dates and still charging like wounded bulls, whilst the rest of us will be having a good time at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival instead. What’s not to like?

Anne Hayres with Gentleman John Hayres, Doug Kuhn and the crew at The Leinster Arms, Friday evening from 6.00pm

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival: The Festival you started . . .

Only a week to go, and here’s how we stand.

The Festival organisers (Captain Chaos, John Hannah, and Linda Carpenter) have each put in over 500 hours of voluntary work to make this happen. I just waffle about in the background, because that is what I am good at. (or “. . . for”, I can’t decide which). The Festival is going to feature 125 hours of performance, from over 200 musicians, all of whom have donated their time, and put up the seed money to get it off the ground. And the biggest contributor of all has been the Melbourne Jazz Jammers.

Whether you are a muso who plays at the occasional jam, or your name is Marg, you owe it to yourself to boogey up the Calder and get a piece of the action – there will be 50+ bands over two days of non-stop music, in seven different venues, all of which are licensed.

Marg, Princess of Cool and Keeper of the List will be there – she started the Jazz Jammers when the old Dizzy’s closed and will be entirely to blame if it all goes tits up. Which it won’t, because when the Jammers do something, they do it well..

Be there!

The Gold Street Gossip Shop

Last Sunday’s a bit like the curate’s egg (those of you familiar with Punch magazine circa 1910 will know what I am talking about…

Last week’s jam session was a decidedly curious affair, with the now expected high standard of music, but a little thin on the ground. I always rather like these sessions, as it presages an upsurge in new talent coming along – highlights (for me, anyway) included an increasingly confident Tina on piano – if I can just con her into coming every week, she is going to real good, Fiona singing for the first time, and later Grace’s Mum, who had only popped in fore a drink being cajoled into giving it a go, and doing really well.

Grace (aged 6) was asked “Would you like to hear your Mum sing?” and, sensibly, answered “No” Despite this, a fine performance ensued, and another dream (“I’ve always wanted to sing in front of a band, but never had the nerve…) was fulfilled. I really love these moments, and I didn’t even have to trot out my-last-line-of-defence-killer-line (“Grace, if your Mum doesn’t sing, it is because she doesn’t really love you . . .”)

Well, she did sing, and we loved it…

Ruby’s Music Room, The Flying Eyelash is back…

Amy Jaulin is this week’s featured singer, and Friday night may well be the first time anyone has sung an Aleisha Keys song in Ruby’s. It may also be the last if we cock it up. Meself, Herr Alex (tenor sax), Ann Smith’s alter ego on drums, and Doug Kuhn on bass because we might need a real musician.

Last week, Annie Hayres sang so smooth I nearly slid of my chair – great night, but a thin crowd (they should eat more) and a good debut from Paul on sax.

So good, she is doing it all again next week…

Amy Jaulin at Ruby’s Music Room. Bennetts Lane from 6.00pm to 8.00pm Friday 23rd May.

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival: The Buzz gets louder . . .

Has now reached a stage where it looks like it might happen… much frantic work from Gentleman John Curtis on his mildly updated Babbage calculating machine has produced a programme that will offer something for everyone.

This week’s featured band isn’t a band, it is Ruby Rogers – check out the article on her in Forte magazine –

I particularly like the bit about “Growing up as a teenager” – always wondered what teenagers did…

Tickets for the Festival are shifting somewhat faster – you can still get them on the web – or buy them at the festival – at the Ray Bradfield Room which will be signposted as you come into Castlemaine from the Calder.

I really must do some work sometime…

The Lizard Lounge gets loud.. a short history lesson

Henry Ford famously said “History is bunk” and I, for one, have no clue what he was talking about. History, probably.

Sebastien, our loudest drummer, decided to break with tradition and played some smooth drums at a level which caused several glaziers in the front bar to contemplate a career change. And he swung beautifully, behind singers Chelly and Sonia. Decidely perverse, but he is French…

A relaxed Sunday Arvo, underpinned by Doug Kuhn and George on bass, a neat solo on Take The A Train from a pianist whose name I neglected to remember, Peter Cole ever improving on sax, and a fine effort at calling Fours from the Captain, who at least proved he could count to six…

This week, who knows – well you will if ya turn up, toon up and mangle a few . . .

Castlemaine Jazz Festival: The Buzz

The Committee will probably be brain dead by the time we get there, but we have now decided, on the basis of ticket sales to date, that the Festival is going to run at a profit. Strewth! If anyone has any ideas what to do the $3.56, do get in touch.

The rest of you had better buy a ticket soon

This week’s featured bands: shameless self promotion: The Amy Jaulin Quartet (Saturday) and Annie and The Captain’s Crew (Saturday and Sunday).

Tickets are $75 for a week end pass, and $40 for a day pass – under 18 and Concession card holders $35 for the weekend , and $20 for a daypass. Kids under 5, $250

I was kidding about the last bit.


Amy Jaulin, our favourite ditzy blonde

Ruby’s Music Room, Miss Hayres

Last weeks’s session with Celeste Polson turned out rather well – highlight undoubtedly being a fine take on Dindi – which she absolutely nailed. Ben Calderazzo (guitar) was sensational as well…

This week sees the return of the elegant Miss Hayres – and an ever expanding range of positively obscure songs sung at fever pitch – she ran through a couple at last week’s jam session and both Ruby’s and her spot at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival are looking the goods.

Gentleman John Curtis at the joanna, and a fine band to boot.

Anne Hayres at Ruby’s Music Room. Bennetts Lane from 6.00pm to 8.00pm Friday 16th May.

Next week, the glamorous Miss Amy Jaulin.

Life is good!


Anne Hayres (and the Captain’s Crew…)

The Gold Street Suprisarama

Having attended, at a rough guess, 276 jam sessions, I have noticed that you can often tell from the get-go whether a session is going to be average or excellent. Average being a mathematical expression that is rarely supported by fact.

I have also learnt that this is a rule much honoured in the breach. Hortense, be quiet!

Anyhoo, I would have put this one down as a meagre affair, so it was with some surprise that I counted 20 musicians as turning up, tuning in, and doing their thing. It all ended up quite classy, despite my best efforts at drumming at the outset.

Props to Sebastien, who drummed with a sensitivity that one would assume was beyond a Frenchman, to Sonya, for a couple of swinging numbers sung with elan, to George whose bass gets better and better, and particularly to Miss Hayres for singing a couple of numbers with which my acquaintance was somewhere between not much and not at all.

The Captain, after a stressful week of scheduling bands for the jazz festival, rose to the occasion, and Chameleon was a standout – even Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse ( I don’t know what happened to the other three) got in the groove, and stayed there ’til cooked. As a general rule, this is a tune that is on a par with waterboarding, watching paint dry and listening to Tony Abbott, possibly simultaneously. but rules are made to be broken: best I have heard it, really.

Ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids. Try The Lunatic Soup Lounge next week.


Accommodation at Castlemaine Jazz Festival

I’ve booked a very nice and large house with dining room, outside dining, gas heating, log fire, … . It looks like there’s a piano, too. An opportunity for haute cuisine with live, background music, I think!

Located in Farnsworth St, between Forest St and Brown St.

There’s a double room free for a friendly duo. Available Fri night to Sun night, inclusive.

Kevin 0488 853 846


Perhaps Jazz Jammers might be interested to hear about Jazzaoke???

Any aspiring jazz singers wanting to get experience singing with a live big band might be interested to come along to JAZZAOKE at Dizzy’s Jazz Club. We are MoJO, the Mordialloc Jazz Orchestra and we perform on a semi-regular basis at Dizzy’s. We have a set list of over 160 swing, jazz and rock and roll tunes to choose from (contact Jane on  or 95020922 for the list/keys). Our own fantastic singers Cathy, Dave and Sylvana also perform in between our guests and can provide advice and guidance. If you come along a little early there is also the opportunity for a warm-up on the piano with the band director, Peter Foley.  In the past we’ve also had solo jazz musicians come and enjoy the backing of the big band. The Dizzy’s staff are also regular participants!

It’s a fun, low pressure night with a very friendly band, so come along and sing/play or just for a listen, to perhaps decide if you want to sing the next time. And of course bring your friends to show off your hidden talents! Great food and drinks also available.

Next session: Thurs May 22nd  8pm-11pm
$14/10 adult/concession at the door
Dizzy’s Jazz Club  Bookings: (03) 9428 1233
381 Burnley Street
Richmond Victoria [ view map ]

Thanks! Jane

The Lunatic Soup Lounge… ssh!

After the lively session last week, I half expected the back bar to be packed. Turns out I was half right, but it was the other half.

The smallish turnout got to enjoy an afternoon of Captain Chaos specials – very few singers in attendance, but a welcome return from Sebastien and the ever improving Paul Phillips on drums, some bizarre musical direction from Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Cavalry, and some fine bass work from George, and young Jonah. They are both booked for Ruby’s Music Room, of which more anon.

A late entrant was the Christine/Bruce quinella, well backed and did not disappoint. Hortense would have approved, had she been there, which she probably wasn’t due to a Prior Engagement. Sympathies to the Prior.

All in all, a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and although several of the Captain’s more obscure toons did lie somewhat mangled on the floor at the end of it, nobody suffered a permanent injury, which was nice.

Stick to the black notes – they’re cheaper!