Jamming at the Lunatic Soup Lounge: Despatch from the Colonel

The Jazz Jam at the Leinster Arms Hotel on 31st of January 2016 had an improved attendance, with a better spectrum of people who claimed to be musicians who played or tried to play various instruments. There were not just singers and drummers who are really the people who hang around with musicians. Early on in the proceedings the standard was dragged down by this scribe sitting in on drums.

Many songs of Pre Swing era antiquity were trotted out despite protestations from this scribe. Jazz has moved on, Miles Davis went electric and freaky, Weather Report hired Jaco Pastorius and Charles Mingus never got a nice friendly lift music Kenny Gee kind of attitude about anything, but alas some people missed that and keep missing it. Well ignore what happened after 1933 at your own peril I say. That was also the year Hitler came to power.

The highlights were thin on the ground as most material was duly mangled and turned into a what V Line call ‘quality’ and ‘punctuality ‘ , but Alex Jarosh on Guitar playing “Stella By Starlight “ was almost something that resembled jazz music . The vocalists included : Chris Manetta (vocals) who put “ I put a spell on you “ through the Jazz jam blender with Bruce still impersonating a drummer; Kevin the bespectacled warbler who thrives on skipping multiple bars of music (if this is an act of kindness then we thank you for getting it over with sooner rather than later); Jill who was backed by Marek and yours truly on drums and electric precision bass respectively and made “ Cly me a Libber” ( the tired old Korean karoke standard) more interesting than usual. Thanks to Mark who came down from Castlemaine (smooth vocals) and the other warblers ,scatting groovers and crooners who stepped up.

Pianists included : Ted Woollan; Sam Izzo ; Gentleman John Curtis ; Adrian of the The Elwood Blues Club. Reeds and “blow in one end and hope for the best” kind of instruments were played by Captain Chaos, who ignored the “ Chameleon” form and finished the song on the 2nd time around thereby avoiding the the coda instructions on the chart; and Keef on saxophone. Uncle Jack Morris played some neat trombone. Playing Music keeps you young. It uses the brain in ways that are a healing force, although those of us whosometimes listen may be more scarred than healed.

Newcomers… plenty responded to the ad. placed in that teenage heavy metal cyber space positions vacant kind of web page “Mel band”. These included : First timers Tim ( busy double bass); Matt , the extroverted 3 pot screamer who played over other people’s singing and solos and should have stuck to that. Try the ginger beer next time. Rob Lewis, silver haired guitar God, Bass player Peter with the pony tail,who played electric bass in the trial by fire that is often the sink or swim initiation at train wreck central, Mauricio (guitar) from Chile, with the lovely Anita – the first Chilean musos that I can remember at a jam.

As the last month of summer appears, and we grow older but only marginally wiser, we can but hope for more music to be heard at the jazz jam next week, or settle for what happens instead. You will have to bear witness to these crimes against music if you wish to report them to the relevant authority.

The next Jam Seesion is on Sunday 7th February, at the Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood, from 4 – 7.30pm

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