Bob Vinard

I first met Bob at the old Dizzy’s Friday Night Jam Sessions. He was painfully thin, and appeared to be subsisting on a diet of white wine and very little else: in turns eccentric, colourful, humorous, optimistic and irascible. As a pianist, he had a sense of rhythm and a touch to be envied. He could play a mean half stride.

I cannot recall him ever playing at the Glasshouse, Scarlette Bar, La Pena, Ramage or Royal Standard jams, but he became a regular again once we moved to the Leinster.

He had moved into new digs in Windsor, and generally cadged a lift with Frank, Debbie or Anne. Never played more than three tunes in a row, never wore the same tee-shirt twice, collected watches, most of which were only correct twice a day, and took coffee with six sugars.

For quite a while, I picked him up from Windsor each week. And every week on the way to the Jam, the conversation would be the same. How was I ? (turn left into Commercial road), could he cadge a cigarette? (turn right into Punt Road), did I remember this or that tune?(he’d sing it going down Punt Hill) a brief discussion of what book he was reading (always about Jazz) his plans for getting his Hammond Organ from wherever it was. Once onto Hoddle Street, he would get on to stories from his past, most of which would surprise a few Jammers, and none of which should be repeated.

I am told Bob went out for a walk last Thursday, got home, sat down in his chair and went to sleep. He did not wake up.

Bob Vinard

Flootist falls over, gets back up

There has been some concern amongst the long term Jammers over Young Rick Marshall, who last attended a Jam Session shortly after the Napoleonic Wars, and with similar results. He decided to go to the Alf for a bit of brain surgery this week. I am pleased to report that the operation was a success, and the medical staff are recovering well.


The Bash

Went off … NYUC’s report attached. Marvellous how he can still remember to spell Ted Woollan’s name wrong.

The 2015 Jazz Jammers Christmas Party attracted 27 musicians and friends and was a musical feast. 6 hours of non stop music.

Keyboard…………..John Curtis, Lisette Payette, Ted Woolen and Amon (the Mexican connection)
Guitar………………..Peter Ryan, young Andrew and Alex Jarosh.
Bass………………… Ivan Sultanov, Anton Tobing and Carlton.
Electric Cello……. Ian
Drums…………….. .Matthew Bird, Bruce Madigan and Mike Hirsh
clip_image002Trumpet…………. .Tim Cooper
Alto Saxophone. ..Roger Clarke and Alan West
Tenor Saxophone Tim Cooper, Tony, Peter Cole, Colin Garrett
Vocals……………….Maria, Katerina, Suzanne, Christine, Shannon and Joe
Congas……………..the guy who came with the Handlebar crew.

Highlight was a percussion lesson from Alan West (catch it on video on the Jazz Jammers Facebook page)

Best dressed (from a Christmas perspective) was Christine Manetta. (see photo)

Knowledge gained was that you can use an Ipad to photograph a chart if there are not enough to go around.clip_image002[6]

Thanks must go to Glen and Willamina for generously allowing us to use the Atrium for the whole day and to the Leinster staff for their wonderful service.



The Sunday Jam will recommence on Sunday 17th January 2016. By tradition, no-one turns up for the first one and we spend the whole afternoon going through the Captain Chaos songbook. You could drop in if you are desperate…God knows, we are.
(Not your usual correspondent, CC & others)

Some reflections on where we went wrong in 2015, and some Aims for 2016…

Where did we go wrong? Almost everywhere, that is what Jam Sessions are for.. a little healthy bar dropping, a touch of polyphony (hah!) and almost everything sung, swung and warbled out of tune, all washed down with a cooling draught and some scurrilous gossip. Sunday arvo as it should be.

Highlights of the year?
34 musos playing at the Captain’s 70th birthday. This was the biggest Jam of the year, but we regularly went over 25 musos, and the standard of music grew disturbingly high on occasion. We can fix it…

Some hot sets by Clarke, Clark, Ish and Allen, Yarosh, and a bunch of others. Al Herman (trombone, US) a standout – didn’t mind slumming it with the rest of us, and never batted an eyelid. A whole bunch of new musos (as well as the regulars) fronting at the Jams – I haven’t counted how many, but the e-mail list keeps growing.

A great weekend at Wangaratta. If you can get to the next one, do it – you are guaranteed an “off-Festival” spot – this year we played at the Bull’s Head, and the Craft Market. Fabuloso.

A huge weekend at Castlemaine: performances by a lot of regular jammers, some former jammers, and 275 musos in all. Registrations should open in January. And around 20 of the 55 volunteers last year came from the Jammers ranks..Thank you, thank you.

Some great nights at the Laika Bar (and some pretty quiet ones…) Kind of miss grumpy Boris, you never knew if you were going to get paid or fired with slightly extreme prejudice. I can remember over 30 different musos from the Jam sessions getting a spot – and more to come.

Aims for 2016

· Stay disorganised

· Play a whole session of be-bop tunes, but only if Colonel T isn’t there

· Finish Little Sunflower in less than 15 minutes. Roundup works well.

· Cut down Miles Davis Four to Three (economy drive)

· Have a whole session without Autumn Leaves or Summertime. Nah, that’s not going to happen..

· Have fun. Yup.

And finally, the Newsletter. Always fun to write, and I hope we have insulted every body equally, or preferably not at all.

Thanks particularly to the ‘steemed editor. Can I have pay rise, grovel, grovel?

The Laika Bar : Last Session for the year

Susie, nothing if not glamorous, will be fronting the regular rhythm section this week, all of whom have promised to misbehave nicely, for the final session for 2015. The Laika is on a roll at present, and the weather is conducive to sitting under the palms sipping on a wine or a cocktail as the sun goes down. Sounds perfect,, although you can still hear the music.

clip_image002She had better be good, Katerina Myskova last week will be a hard act to follow…

Susie V, from 8.00pm Friday 18th December at The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda,

Lido Cinemas Hawthorn

Hi there!
I’m contacting you on behalf of Lido Cinemas in Hawthorn, proud home of the Lido Jazz Room. Below I have attached the link to the facebook event to the Lido Jazz line-up this week. I was hoping that we could organise a bit of cross promotion. If you were able to share the Lido Jazz Room events to your following, we could, in return help you with your publicity, or venue or something else you would like.

The face book event is:

Hope to hear from you soon,
Lucy Winkler
Marketing Coordinator

Good, but it won’t last…

Miss Hortense has been a little off colour of late, sitting at her window (broken) and staring wistfully at her tattered parasol, acquired from a second hand hairdresser in Altona West, on the off chance that Rotten Ronnie Junior would lose all interest in his saxaphone, and take her for a stroll instead. RRJ, as is his wont, would, of course, do no such thing.

But I digress… what a strange sight greeted the casual observer of the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Tea Rooms this week. Aside from a few familiar faces, the joint was populated with a whole bunch of newcomers – Amanda and Andrew Beveridge on guitar, Peter Garam on piano, Shimona the CSP (*) on tonsils, and , all the way from Iceland, George Bjarnason on bass. We were not totally convinced that George had really come all the way from Iceland just to get to the jam, but it could have been the case.

An opening stanza from the redoubtable Gentleman JC, a cameo from Bob, Lisette later on, piano well served. Of course the Captain was there, along with Peter and Keef to sax things up a bit, Lee to add a bit of trumpet minuetto, and the Haircut and Ivan the Terrible attempting to raise the tone a bit on bass… oh, and the Debster bubbled through the door and bounced around a bit, as the Debster does.

All in all, 27 musos fronted for a busy session, and, casting the cares of the world to one side, launched into a fine old afternoon of music making. Colonel T held up the percussion side of things, before reverting to the Ibanez, and singularly failed to cock things up more than just a tad. Even the unmentionable Jack Jack, (**) was to be heard copping a sly trombone solo every now and then. Chrissie warbled, Bruce shuffled, and all was well with the world for an hour or three, as it should be.

Wandered out well stuffed, and satisifed that the Jams, as often before, have suddenly taken a turn for the better…

Which won’t last, of course, but why not drop in whilst the going is good. See ya next Sunday?

The Sunday Jam, every week at the Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Colliwobble, from 4.00pm until we knock off around 7.30.

(*) CSP = Chinese Singaporean Princess. Damn, she was good!
(**) Apparently, we forgot mention Jack last week, so he gets a double mention this week, or he is threatening to sulk. Again.

Christmas is Coming: The Jammers Pre-Christmas Luncheon and Jam Session Deluxe is at the Leinster Arms on the 13th December – be there!

Yup, the Annual debacle is on again this weekend. This is a sort of celebration of all the things the Jammers have done in the last year -around 100 musos turning up, around thirty peeps playing at the Laika, some great jam sessions and some truly awful ones, Gentleman JC an institution at the Grand, Il Duce accidentally playing without a rock beat (he has promised it won’t happen again), Chrissie and the band scoring some nice gigs, Ivan the Terrible turning out to be as good at swinging it as he is at classical, the Captain putting in a great set at the Church Fete, Steve getting his groove on the drums, the sublime Ade and Chelsea lifting the tone, Sir Roger De Coverley’s distant relative playing some great sax, the Haircut getting conned into being President of the Castlemaine Jazz Festival, and making a pretty good fist of it, a whole bunch of newcomers having a dip and loving it.

The general plan is to get there at Noon, massacre a few standards and stop for lunch at 1.00. Serious music mangling will resume at about 2.00pm, and we will keep going until the pub runs out of beer, the Captain calls fours correctly, or Colonel T refuses to play a Coltrane tune, whichever comes first.

Could be a long night…

The Laika Bar Gets busy, and we are going for a Saturday

The Laika Bar gets busy, and we are going for a Saturday

The gorgeous Jen Salisbury had another busy one last week – it is getting busy down Fitzroy Street.

This week the bouncing Katerina de Praha will be cruising through a bit of latin, and few standards and several songs in far too many flats. All class, brought down to earth by her regular rhythm section (who said irony was dead?) of the Haircut, Ben the Banker and meself..

Katerina Myskova, from 8.00pm Saturday 12th November at The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda,

From Derek

Merry Christmas,

Here’s a link to a recent Lorimer Street Recording for Jammers and Listeners alike.

It’s an instrumental in “E” with Harry Tarasinski on guitar, Earl Joseph Wollff on an acoustic bass guitar and myself on an “A” bluesharp.

Hasn’t got much of name.

I hope you enjoy listening to it and have a happy and safe Christmas,

Best wishes and thanks for the Jazz Jammers News…   Derek G. W. Fiddler.

Captain Beefheart was on to something…

The Leinster Arms sheltered workshop for the tone deaf and rhythmically challenged proceeded as usual on Sunday. The masochists listened and the sadists tortured many old tunes and then, with the cameras off, made a snuff movie out of at least 4 jazz standards before dancing on the graves of the others that they had murdered .

Some people probably turned up expecting music, but the musical train wrecks and caterwauling continued without respite. I shall try to name some of the culprits. Apologies if anyone has their witness protection scheme compromised by the ramblings of this scribe.

The great Don Van Vliet, a.k.a Captain Beefheart, refused to use headphones to sync his overdubs to the playbacks of the band on the making of “ Trout mask replica”, his Avant guard a clue double LP. The results were jarring. Without having any reference to time or rhythm or harmony that his band had recorded , he blazed away in a trajectory that was purportedly at the cutting edge of free jazz, delta blues and auditory waterboarding. These cacophonous shortcomings set the pace for today’s jazz jams in Collingwood without his realizing it… The good Captain, Don van Vliet is no more but I still quote him and had he been there on Sunday he would have said “ Go for it !, is that what they say these days?”

Early on the headcount was short, and due to a lack of any credible drummers in the vicinity , this scribe was heard on drums, perhaps too audibly some might suggest. Real drummers and people who claimed to be drummers , non-drummers who denied it , and those who should have taken a vow against drumming, and those who just seemed deluded, were seen near the drum kit or perched on the stool of ill repute.

Drums: The Hirsh was possibly the king of drum solos, along with Sir Bruce of the unchangeable shuffle and others who were too talented , or too good looking to make a memorable impression. Il Duce , (Glenn the Publican ) didn’t play drums which was unusual.

Bass: Mihoko played double bass in readiness for her forthcoming gig on bass. Doug ‘hairstyle’ Kuhn also played along with subsequent sounds from Ivan the terrible on 5 string double bass and a while later there was an electric bass contribution from this humble correspondent.

Guitarists included Peter on his Starcaster, the very able Alex on his PRS and yours truly on the trusty cherry red Ibanez semi acoustic guitar.

Pianists included Gentleman John Curtis, Ted Woollan, Two wheeler Trevor and his female friends who either sang , played keyboards or did both but not simultaneously, Then there was a person who insisted we play a two chord Freddie Hubbard song and then lopped off the C section because he could.

As usual I offered my much maligned keyboard services but was wisely turned down.

Horns and wind instruments were blown by Peter, Damon, The captain of chaos( who was re-inventing chaos on a new level ignoring Ana Crusis every time as well he should , because Colin is married) , Marion Lustig, the Hendrix of the recorder ( sans lighter fluid , Marshall amps and a fiery sacrifice and smashing of the instrument), and others who were also too proficient or too good looking to make a lasting memorable impression.

Warblers included another what’s her face with the wonky digital chart that kept changing before our eyes singing “Is you or ain’t my baby”, Maria , who was warbling away in her trade mark high heels (altitude training improves one’s fitness), and others, who should know better than to try the vocal version of a Guantanamo bay interrogation with a microphone and claim it is music, what with people trying to consume victuals nearby .

Colin has suggested to me the idea of teaming the advanced train wreckers and tone deaf bipeds who cannot count at all with similar players. This may not be a good idea because if non train wreck hour was at 7 pm then you would have the musical equivalent of a dental root canal operation without an anesthetic from 4 til 7pm and the people who need to play with better players in order to learn and improve would not get the chance to play with MSO alumni , semi pro. gigging players, jazz fusion heroes and people who have too much time on their hands and as a result can play entire J.S. Bach trumpet pieces perfectly 10 metres underwater whilst tied up and wearing concrete wellington boots.

Was it all a bad trip or a nasty case of reality coming back on me? One cannot tell but Ted was there and no Coltrane music was played, so go figure.

Mr T