From Taariq

I am back in Granada,Spain & it is hot down here(35 C.). I am  back after climbing the highest mountain in Europe outside of the European Alps and the Caucasus. Mulhathen (moolhussan )peak is just short of 3500 M & it is the highest peak in mainland Spain.It is in the Sierra Nevada range. . It was very steep,rocky ,slippery , very tough b.c . of the high altitude\oxygen shortage and it was very cold. We had to leg it back down the mountain pronto b.c a storm rolled in . It began to hail & rain , it snowed on the high ridges and there was thunder and lightning which is scary when you are above the treeline because there is more of a risk of being struck by lightning up there. . I am glad I  took  all my  trekking attire.I was  equipped for all weather. That was  yesterday . On Tues.  we  climbed  Picos El Pulpito(The  Pulpit peak  2890 M.)  as a  warm up  and a  chance to acclimatize.On Tues. night  we slept  at the  hike in only   refuge hut at  2500 M.  which  was like a  communal user pays   hostal cum chalet with all   mod. con.s ,situated   on the  lower  slopes  of the  Mulhacen  peak,  way above the  treeline .
I feel  good  having  done such a  big  trek & climb  ( 17  km on Tues. and  17  kms  yesterday  plus the  ascents and  descents) The  group and esp.  the  guide,( a very  fit  Spanish  woman  who knows the  mountains well ),  were  generally   good   people to  walk \ climb   with.
I  am  flying  to  London  tomorrow and  then taking the  train to
Stratford upon  avon.

Another meeting at the Bide A Wee Home for Distressed Gentlefolk . . .

Occasionally, we receive an e-mail from some hopeful or other enquiring as to whether the Jam Session is “on this Sunday”. And have taken to replying as follows:

“Yes, the Jam Session will be on this Sunday from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. It has been every Sunday other than Mothers Day and the New Year break for 23 years. We think we can see a pattern emerging.”

This week, there were three people at the Jam session who would have attended the original Dizzy’s sessions 23 years ago. By way of an exception to one of the many rules (see Rule No 6) by which the Jam Sessions are conducted in an orderly and decorous manner, this one ran from 4.00pm to 8.00pm. And it was quite a tasty one, with a solid rhythm section, a coupla good saxes and a light sprinkling of new faces…

Stuart got up and sang, a lass played violin, her friend sang Fry Me A Liver, and John Curtis was moved to announce that he knew Mr Bojangles. Which was written in about 1947. I didn’t know he was that old. Mr Bojangles, I mean.

Quite where all the new musos come from is a bit of a mystery at times, with most finding us by googling “Melbourne Jam session”, quite a few coming from the ads we occasionally put in Melband ( and this week, three having found us on the Facebook site. Props to POCKOTL, who has been posting some ugly sights on Facebook, and improbably bad audio, possibly in the hope of scaring people off… it is not working…

Amongst the Guilty:

Captain Chaos, John Curtis, Sam Izzo, meself, Doug “Haircut” Kuhn, Ivan the Terrible, Mihoko (db) Elliott Joe (g and green trombone), the Divine Miss Smith, the aforementioned five newbies whose names mainly escape me, Mike Hirsh (d), Glen (d), and probably a few I have not mentioned.

The rules of the Jam Session

Rule No 1: Jam sessions shall be run in an orderly manner, no bars will be dropped, and the music shall be consistently harmonious.

Rule No 2: Anyone believing rule no 1 should seek urgent medical advice on the grounds that they have lost touch with reality.

Rule No 3: See Rule No 4

Rule No 4: See Rule No 3 (this was put in to keep musicians from Ireland amused for hours)

Rule No 5: There is no Rule No 5: on the grounds that Captain Chaos struggles to count to 4 on a good day, so this rule is surplus to requirements.

Rule No 6: Everything will happen as planned. Not

And don’t you forget it… See ya Sunday?

The Laika Bar

A couple cold nights at the Laika last week, Katerina singing in six flats on Friday, and the Captain, Doug and meself having a fun night of instrumentals to a very quiet Bar on Saturday

This week, we are featuring a mystery singer from Russia on Friday ( a name, a song list, a rehearsal or charts not yet available, but everything else running smoothly) And a mystery Sonia Davoine on Saturday – she went down rather well at Castlemaine, so Dan, Elliott and meself will be reprising…

Miss Somethingorother-ova (hell, my Russian ain’t that good) on Friday. Doug Haircut Kuhn to save the day.Friday 27th June at the Laika Bar, 6 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, from 7.00pm

Sonia Davoine and the Captain Chaos Quartet, Saturday 28th June at the Laika Bar, 6 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, from 7.00pm

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival:


Sweet Ade at the Gaol

Thank you to all the Jammers who played, or volunteered, or just turned up and bought tickets. Lots of feedback coming in, some great suggestions, and, hilariously, because if you didn’t laugh you’d cry, a call from Council following up on our letter sent December 10th 2014 asking for some support for an event that brought around $400,000 into Castlemaine over the weekend.

The music was pretty damn good!

Darebin Music Feast – Participate!

There are many ways for community groups, musicians and producers to get involved in the Darebin Music Feast. Expressions of interest and registrations for Hello Sunday, Artist Support Program, Local Venue Shows and the Darebin Music Feast Songwriters’ Award are now open.
Hello Sunday – Expressions of Interest extended to close 4pm, Wednesday 8 July
Artist Support Program – Applications close 4pm, Wednesday 29 July
Local Venue Shows – Registrations close 4pm, Wednesday 19 August
Darebin Music Feast Songwriters’ Award – Entries close 4pm, Wednesday 23 September
Visit the Darebin Music Feast website for all the details.

Festival Photos: What a Great Idea: Christmas presents sorted

Oh, you are a gorgeous lot… we had two photographers cover the event. If you would like to get hi-res copies, at vastly trifling expense.
They didn’t cover every band, but took some great shots. Your maiden aunt wants one…

Bands photographed by Tatjana Plitt
12pm Bob Sedergreen Seminar
1pm Sweet Ade
1pm Rachel Camerino & Her Gentlemen of Jazz
2pm Urban Trio +2
2pm Arkham Bop Featuring Ange Strickland
3pm Kodani Swings
3pm Ruby Street
4pm Low Down Big Band
4pm The Jazz Cats
5pm Peter McCutcheon Chamber Jazz
5pm Four Directions
6pm Sus2 Augmented
7pm Glass Moon
7pm Sevil Sabah Quartet
8pm Kim Edwards and Her Jazz Men
8pm Malt and Rye
9pm Savannah Syncopators

Contact Tatjana or Alvin as below

Tatjana Plitt
Ph: 0413 684 885

Alvin Ang 0403 700 230
e-mail: (




The Jam Sessions

I have neglected to check whether the Leinster Arms has burnt down in the two weeks since the last Jam Session, but I am unreliably informed that there is no trail of destruction running from Altona West to the Colliwobble, so it is safe to assume the keys to the Altona West Buslines 33 seat charabanc remain safely locked away; and the mouldering pile still stands..

Hortense, on the other hand, has recently acquired a smartphone and alternates between ordering carloads of unsuspecting GST non compliant drivers and swiping her Tinder app (she has tilt control set permanently to the right), but to little effect. Poor Hortense isn’t seen out much these days, preferring to stay in a darkened room with only her latest stuffed Parakeet for company. Hortense only got it stuffed the other day,

But I digress: the Jam Sessions are back in full swing, everyone who went to Castlemaine is going to turn up and exaggerate, and strong drinks and a lie – down are called for.

Society is to blame.

The Laika Bar

Sevil Sabah sang a final session (before a month in France) on Friday: encores, finished way late… ’nuff said. Dave Taylor (bass) and Ben Stewart (guitar) swinging hard all night.

Saturday sees the return of Cathy McQuade, for a night of latin (mainly sung in Portuguese, although it could be Swahili for all I would know). A busy night in prospect.

The Captain has finally discovered the end of his tether with Luxor, so expect more of him at the Laika (starting yesterday..) You have been warned.

Cathy McQuade at Laika Bar, 6 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, with the Captain Chaos Quartet, Saturday 13th June from 8.00pm