The Annual General Meeting of the Mildly Distressed Gentlefolk of the Jazz Persuasion…

…took place, as it does almost every week, in the back bar of the probably not Royal but decidedly ancient Leinster Arms Gossip Shop and Social Lubricant Dispensary. Mostly nothing was discussed and certainly nothing was resolved, as the 6-2-5-1’s kept rolling around.

And what a splendid meeting it was, with several propositions put to the sword, the debonair Curtis at the keys, Brent (Saxaphone) trading licks with the Captain, Mike (long time no C) at the drums, Ali quietly singing, chuckling to himself and playing sax, almost simultaneously, and the wily Colonel T (ret’d) of the Punjab Fourth Light Cavalry playing some neat bass lines, as if to persuade us that he won’t break into All Along the Watchtower at any minute.

Newcomer Gill sang with increasing confidence as the afternoon wore on, Ivan and his monster 5 string bass pulled the rhythm section together and a slightly under the weather Bob nailed a coupla Gershwin’s.

Nothing got broken, nobody died, Collingwood got beaten, again, and a good time was had by all. Not a great Jam Session, but satisfying nonetheless.

I need a lie down. See ya Sunday?


The Umbrella Bar

Last week, Angela Strickland sang beautifully, with meself on piano and Ivan on Bass, the Captain soloing and no drums, due to an oversight in the Booking Department. Not a huge crowd, but a well entertained one.

This Friday, John Curtis will be tickling the hopefully tuned by now ivories, and the Divine Miss Smiff will be singing, as only the Divine Miss Smiff can. The DMS has a long history of theatre musical, may be wearing Spandex and sporting a feather boa, but may not , has a predilection for cocktails, and hasn’t been up before the Magistrate in the last three years. Actually, I haven’t checked that last bit, so it might not be true.

A diverse selection of songs, including the weird and wonderful probably, Entertainment guaranteed.

The Divine Miss Smiff at the Umbrella Bar 338 – 340 Glenhuntly Road, Friday 1st August, 7.30pm – 10pm


Anne Smith, singing with her eyes shut, and, for that reason, entirely missing the microphone… she won’t remember this, but it was a great set at Halls Gap Jazz Festival.

Happy Birthday Allan Browne

Allan Browne, who has not had the best of health over the years, turned 70 on Monday.

Still going on about Rimbaud and suchlike. He gets better and better.

Happy birthday Allan.

If you missed his birthday performance you can read a review of it by clicking below.

Allan Browne review Jessica Nicholas

For some background on Allan and his achievements you can click through to the jazzhead page below.

Allan Browne at Jazzhead

At Dizzy’s

John Montesante Quintet featuring May Johnston


After highly lauded performances at Glastonbury (UK) and St Paul Jazz Festival(France), and many gigs in Australia, versatile songstress, MAY JOHNSTON, returns to Dizzy’s with her “Women of Jazz” program, performing Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan & Etta James, among others.

She will appear with John Montesante (trumpet/flugelhorn), Roger Clark (alto saxophone), Carlo Alberto Canevali (drums), Paige Smith (double bass) and Rory Clark (piano).
You are guaranteed a stellar experience with this special artiste, outstanding jazz music, delicious food and drink and excellent company. Dinner available from 7pm with showtime 9pm.

Start Time: 9:00 PM
Entry Fee: $20/$16

Visit our website for more details:

Dizzy’s Jazz Club
381 Burnley Street
Richmond Victoria
Phone:(03) 9428 1233

Passing of Celestine McDermott

Many of you will remember Celestine from the days of the jam sessions in the old Dizzy’s in Swan Street, Richmond where she used to entertain us with renditions from her very extensive repertoire of standards. Sadly she passed away at the age of 92 on Wednesday  evening.

Celestine had a very lively spirit and a agile mind and was an excellent singer with a great sense of timing and pitch. She was a lovely person and was well-loved by those she got to know. She will be missed.

Our sincere condolences go to her family members for their sad loss.

Her funeral will be held at 3pm Friday 25th at
St. Silas & St Anselm Anglican Church,
99 Bridport St, Albert Park
Margaret Michael and John Curtis

Sunday Rolls Around: A Survey of Musicians

Once more unto the breach, dear Friends, or failing that, the Gold Street Gossip Shop. Due to something or other, I forget which, Bob and I turned up early for a change. The first bout on the programme was a notable tussle between the Captain’s new charts, and well, almost everyone, really. Including the Captain.

Young Clark rightly took a dim view of this, and despite suffering from a bad back incurred during a strenuous session of pulling something (on the farm, if you wish to believe his version of events) got up to establish some sort of order, if not a tenuous relationship to music, for a while.

Fortunately this did not last, and we were back to ballad mangling in no time. As there were four saxes in attendance (young Justin?, the Captain, Noel and said RC) it was not actually possible to hear any noises that anyone else might have been making, so all in all, not such a bad afternoon.

There has been a distinct paucity of singers of late, so I have checked with all the saxophonists who all assure me that singers like the saxes playing all over the singer’s solos as well as their own. Just to make doubly sure, I asked the guitarists, and they are all quite confident that singers benefit from guitar chords being played to a rhythym somewhat independent of the rest of the rhythm section, and that in fact, the said guitarists are doing every one a favour by playing as many chords as often as possible, because it drowns out mistakes. Although they would prefer it if the saxophonists could back off a bit.

By this stage, I was getting quite misty eyed at all the goodness in the room – I hadn’t realised the sacrifices that all these fine musicians are prepared to make. So I asked the drummers, and they all said “What? I can’t hear you” as drummers do, and explained that they like to speed up in the course of a tune because they can get to the end earlier, which leaves more time for everyone else.

All of which, leaves the bass players speechless.

See ya Sunday?

The Umbrella Bar: Angela Strickland Week: Tune It Timo!

This week, Angela Strickland will be croonin’ a few cocktail numbers, plus anything else that tickles her fancy, accompanied by the usual eclectic mix of Captain Chaos Quartet worthies (including Ivan on double bass, and meself on piano).


Angela Strickland, at The Umbrella Lounge Bar, 338 -340 Glenthuntly Road, Elsternwick, 7.30pm – 10.30pm, Friday 15th July

Next week, the Divine Miss Smith and welcome back Gentleman John Curtis!

Mordialloc Jazz Orchestra (MOJO) with Peter Foley at Dizzy’s

The Mordialloc Jazz Orchestra (MoJO). We play various styles of music such as big band, funk, jazz and swing, all under the musical direction and skillful guidance of Elliot Hughes. The band is looking forward to a rockin’ night.

Guests are encouraged to go up on stage and sing a number or two with the band.

It is highly recommended that you book, as MoJO gigs are always busy!

Thurs 31st July
Entry: $14/$10

C’est Si LeBon Band

Thanks Melbourne Jazz Jammers for this great website!

Inspired by the great tradition of American soul music and the fusion of blues, jazz, R&B and French compositions, Chris G Le Bon created his style. His show  ‘PARIS to NEW YORK’  is a unique mixture of French well known songs (originally written by French composers), but made popular to the world in their American version…with a touch of Rhythm’N’Blues! We aim to have a great night!

Chris (vocals/bass) is accompanied by acclaimed Melbourne musicians:  Alex Yarosh (guitar); Roman Syrek (piano accordion/trombone); Orlando Zilich (Bass) and Marek Podstawek (drums).  Come and enjoy the unique mixture of smooth ballads, vibrant swings and funky soul music in French and English.

Thursday 31st July at 8pm
Treble Clef Lounge Bar
17 Paynes Rd   Chirnside Park
Reservations: 0402 371 143 / 9739 6739
Cover charge: $10

The Umbrella Bar: Chaos in Elsternwick

A fine inaugural session from Sevil Sabah, to a pretty full house which stayed all night. Food was great, music was great, and a good time was had by all. As a performance space, it is probably more used to a trio, but Temo seemed well chuffed with the night, and so were we.

This week, Amy Jaulin (the flying eyelash) is appearing, with her regular backing of meself (piano), Doug Kuhn (bass), and Spike Tiernan on drums. The Captain will turn up, insist we play from his charts for a while, and then settle down to making the appropriate saxophonical noises behind the chanteuse. The increasingly experienced Miss Jaulin is the real deal – with a voice to die for. More than a couple of regulars have already siad they are going – but the more the merrier for what promises to be a good night.

Amy Jaulin, at The Umbrella Lounge Bar, 338 -340 Glenthuntly Road, Elsternwick, 7.30pm – 10.30pm, Friday 18th July


Amy Jaulin, singing at the 2014 Castlemaine Jazz Festival