What if they held a Jam Session, and nobody turned up? Well, that was a bit slack….

I have no clue what went on last Sunday. No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not hear the Jam. The Sydney wedding went well.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or whatever, apparently there was not a lot going on… and I am indebted to the Captain for this week’s review, a masterpiece of understatement, journalistic brevity, and quite possibly some unique spellings. At least the lads made some noise. Must do better next week..

Sunday Jam

It almost didn’t happen

No keyboard or bass players in sight. Cancellation was on the cards when Fermin Navasecues arrived with his guitar. Finally a lone chordal instrument to accompany 6 drummers, 4 singers and 3 saxophonists . Paul, Mike Bruce Glen Anne and Greg provided the beat. Maria, Kevin Chrissie and Anne sang a range of great standards. John, Peter and myself added the horn sounds. A big thanks to Fermin who tirelessly strummed his way through around 20 tunes for over three and half hours.

Not your usual correspondent

The next Jam Session is on Sunday 31st January, we will all be back on deck (assuming we can get back from Castlemaine, and/or bush bashing, in time) , nobody will turn up, and we will have a great old afternoon of ballad bashing, blues bungling, bossa mangling, vicious but genteel gossip, and the occasional infusion of social lubricant.

See ya there?

The Goss

Apparently, the youngsters prancing about as “Blowout” have suddenly become concerned that they may be confused (well, they probably are..) err, with Wildbur Wilde’s Blowout. So now they are going to prance about under the moniker “Breakout” instead.

Same good mainstream music, but.


One of Melbourne’s favourite jazz venues, Dizzy’s Jazz Club (at 381 Burnley Street, Richmond) will be featuring a mainstream quartet called “Breakout” at 8pm on February 2nd, 2016.

“Breakout” comprises Colin Garrett on saxophone, Robert Pettinato on drums, Peter Ryan on guitar, and Stan van Hooft on bass. Each player brings years of musical experience to the group and the band has performed successful gigs at the 2015 Castlemaine Jazz Festival and at several popular venues in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

With a repertoire of modern jazz classics ranging from Miles Davis’ “Tune-up” and Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments” to contemporary Australian compositions such as Paul Grabowky’s “Angel” and Bernie McGann’s “Spirit Song”, the band is sure to appeal to both a wide and sophisticated listening audience.

From Stan

Hello Jazz fans!

Is it too early to tell you about the February gigs I am involved in? Not if the first of them is on Tuesday, February 2nd. On that date, from 8pm, I will be playing with a band called “Breakout” at Dizzy’s Jazz Club. (We used to be called “Blowout” but we didn’t want to be confused with – or sued by – “Wilbur Wilde’s Blowout”.) “Breakout” comprises Colin Garett on saxophone, Robert Pettinato on drums, Peter Ryan on guitar and myself, Stan van Hooft on bass guitar. We play modern and contemporary jazz standards and original compositions. Dizzy’s Jazz Club is at 381 Burnley Street, Richmond. They have a very good kitchen and a dinner table can be booked at 9428 1233. Hope to see you there. Entry is $14 or $10 concession.

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The First Jazz Jam of 2016

… took place at the Leinster arms took place with little fanfare. A small rusted on party of people appeared to keep up the long tradition of musical train wrecks on a Sunday alive and kicking.

Due to a shortage of many varieties of musicians, some were heard on their respective instruments without any support from the interchange bench. We should have mic.’d up a bench. It would have fitted in well.

On Guitar, new face Luis brandished his white Fender copy for three hours without stopping. I think he enjoyed it and found some tunes that he had never heard so badly mangled before.

The Captain was back in charge of chaos on the saxophone. There were no other reed or wind instruments played by any other life form. He did get us playing some Mingus and Roland Kirk tunes and not pre Ella Fitzgerald stuff so he is trying to prod us in the right direction. Drummers included Spike, Monsieur Sebastien, Bruce of the‘shuffle not swing’ tribe, Matt Berg, and there may have been others who were too rhythmically challenged to make a lasting impression.

Most humans try to forget the bad stuff in life.

Well, I was on bass for the whole jam session. That may have been quite traumatic for some. Next week, we’ll pass the hat around for the costs of therapy sessions for those who have heard one bass solo too many.

Singers included Maria with the bedsheet style charts and Petronas Towers heels, Chrissie, (I got rhythm …..) and Jill, who got through some fine tunes including God Bless the Child. With a rhythm section like that, God Bless the fact that it finished.

Kevin, the bespectacled warbler, persisted with coming back in too early while soloists were plugging away. He might have been putting them out of their misery. Or not.

Knock knock.

Who’s there at the window? A singer! How do you know? They can’t find the key and don’t know where to come in!!

Pianists included Max from Italy, Ted Woollan who played on a Coltrane song just to confound me, Daniel who was excellent, and others who were too talented or too good looking to even need a name.

All up, no Funk/ fusion in the style of Weather Report or swinging hard bop in the style of Art Blakey and the Jazz messengers at 200 BPM was played at all. It was just unacceptable so I am going bushwalking. But I will turn up in two weeks in the futile hope that something different might happen. Once word gets out that the jam is back on the attendance will increase, the talent pool will become shin deep and not ankle deep, and the music will continue, like it or not!


The Albion is Vintage Hove

by Lou Glandfield

The Albion is vintage Hove. Dark and heavy on brass, flock and brown varnish, the pub can’t have changed much at all in the past fifty years. This extends to the afternoon drinkers, few of whom look as if they’re under seventy-five. They include a man who walks with difficulty and who once backed Billie Holiday on trumpet. He didn’t think much of her then and still doesn’t. They are here this afternoon to listen to the superb swing guitarist Piers Clark. For the past thirty years, Piers has scraped a living largely by playing gigs much like the one today in the Albion.

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Coming Up at The Gold Street Gossip Shop

Well, that was Christmas done and dusted for another year. We have packed up the fairy at the top of the Christmas tree, stuffed the decorations back in their box, polished off too many mince pies, and a moderate amount of social lubricant, and promised ourselves we will be a bit more sensible next year: which we won’t.

So… what next? Well, if you have any sense at all, you will get out in the sun, enjoy a bit of exercise, maybe hit the beach, and eat sensibly for a while. For the other 99.5%, why not consider strolling down to the Gold Street Gossip Shop, and leaping into a Jam session or two.

We are back into it this Sunday 17th January from 4.00pm onwards. The Captain has promised to trot out a few new toons. Only the cock ups will remain the same..

If you haven’t been to a Jam Session for a while, just wander in and greet Col warmly. He won’t remember your name. Hold up your saxaphone and announce that you play the violin or something, maybe announce the name of an entirely fictitious Wayne Shorter tune, express surprise that he needs a chart for that one, mention that you heard about the Jam in the Grocery Wholesalers Weekly, etc. By this stage he will be so confused, he will find playing in 7/8 with no chart a breeze by comparison.

Another first.

See ya there?

Melbourne Jazz Jammers Jam Session:The Leinster Arms Hotel, Gold Street, Collingwood, this Sunday 4.00pm – 8,00pm.

The Laika Bar Friday Night Sessions

rom 8.00pm every Friday at The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda,

Great line up this month – Katerina kicked it off last week with a speed freak session of up-tempo ballads.

This week Sevil Sabah will be fronting her Inverloch band (Calamatta, Eiji,Twang Stewart and meself). We will have Matt Berg on drums.


22nd January: Shimona does her first Laika session. This lady can really sing!

Camera 360

Camera 360

29th January: Jen Salisbury, with guitarist Keaton, Doug The Pres Kuhn , meself and an as yet unnamed drummer, with a guest spot by Burlesque Dancer Sahara Inferno. … of which more next week


The Bob Vinard Gathering

A lot of people (60+) gathered at the Leinster to hear some remarkable tributes to Bob. Pity he missed it, he would have been genuinely gobsmacked. Some fine music played too, with a mixture of Showbiz Club stalwarts and jam session regulars.  A number of people have commented on the Newsletter site or the Jammers Facebook Page


A couple of comments to the Newsletter:

I knew Bob through my bookshop. Bob was insatiable for knowledge, of health, and of the next life. We used to sit outside on the council bench, and he would allow me to enjoy the secondhand smoke while I explained to him why he shouldn’t buy a particular book.

I used to give him shit, and he to me, as only people comfortable in their own skins can be.

He loved music, and he loved People. He would flirt with any pretty young lady who crossed my door.

Tonight I rang his home, because I had something for him, and asked if it were too late to pass a message onto Bob ( It was 7pm ).

It was.

I am raising a glass of vodka to Valhalla, and toasting a dear friend

Vale Bob

David Syber

I went to the last Jammers with a little xmas present for Bob. It was a photo of him and myself he carried around with him. Everytime I saw him he would say I have this lovely photo of you and I Lisette Ill show you. He was to make me a copy and I could see after the mmm… 10th time that it was never going to happen and the photo was beginning to wear. So I asked him would he like me to do it. So I did. Had it enlarged and framed it for him. But he was’nt there. I very much admired him as a piano player he knew all the cliche licks and runs, so much knowledge of jazz which he was going to teach me. He was very kind and encouraging. Will be missed by all of us.