With Captain Chaos and his cohorts in Castlemaine last Sunday and Ted W. Under the weather with a health complaint , I , Mr. T.( Not really a Colonel but my late father was one of sorts) was summoned by The Captain to take charge of the emergency B reserve team of substitute orange boys and girls of the Melbourne jazz jamming fraternity.
I was warned I may have to play the central role of pianist and personnel coordinator of the impromptu ensembles that often set the bench mark for the musical train wrecks of our epoch.
I arrived at 4 pm with my gear and having perched myself on the drum stool with newcomer Slowie (Rhymes with wowie zowie) on Bass, Rob ( The silvered haired Hendrix), Jeff on piano and his chum Bern on vocals a few songs were disassembled and eviscerated before being put to rest .
I was then on keys for some sight reading of the chords and the themes at the same time as well as long solos with lots of face pulling and musical diarrhea during the solos.
It is good that I practice the piano at home because all that came in handy and as Rob on guitar and I did battle with some songs that rarely get a look in when there are singers and horn players present .
Evan chimed in on clarinet but I was left to map out the the themes and chords to endless Mr. T. Song book charts
: “ Nostalgia in time square”; “ Wave”; “ Mr Magic” ; “Out of Nowhere”; ”Just friends”; “ Mr P.C.” ; “ Memphis underground “ etc. with a young new chappie on drums who was too talented to have name that I can recall went over quite well.
Then Glen the publican took over on drums and spotting new faces who were waiting for their turn to die a thousand deaths in front of charts that they may or not have seen before. I was too busy to write down names, organize everything and play piano at the same time. I must Thank Il Duce for his assistance and good humour with these things.
Glen and I even finished some songs at the same time. The demure and modest Slowie Zowie was still there on bass but refused offers to play some solos.
Finally Lisette , the Goldie Hawn of Jazz appeared on keys and vocals and I moved to the bass for the rest of the jam , Ben took up the challenge on guitar and Allan Richards( no relation to Keef) played drums on
“ Lucky Southern “ , yes another non 1930’s warhorse and a non-show tune by a composer /pianist Keith Jarrett, who is not quite dead yet. I could get used to this shortage of crapola film song dirges and mawkish clichéd show tunes and songs from 1870 .
Peter added some sax to “ Gone with the wind” and then Audrey sang “ Autumn Leaves” in French so in a sense we reverted to the format and material that I rail against as my of my life’s missions.
The Bruce and Chrissie show went on in earnest and the show must go on and finally Anne Smith sang a couple of numbers to finish at 8 pm.
If I have left anybody out it was because they were too good looking and too talented for my feeble mind to cope with and the memory has been expunged lest it short circuit what is left of my middle aged acid casualty brain .
There is no Jazz Jam on Easter Sunday. I will see you all there the week after which is the first Sunday of April 2016.
Mr T (aka Col T)