Jam Session News: Madge, where have you been?

I saw Madge from Altona the other day – and am pleased to report that she is remarkably chipper, having taken to amusing herself by giving wildly creative answers to door knockers, phone pollsters and shady politicians, all of whom appear to remarkably keen to hear Madge’s opinion on a wide range of subjects, ask her a startling array of questions, and then leave none the wiser, assuming they didn’t really want to know about alternative uses for the Pigeon Fanciers Gazette.

And Hortense, you may well ask? She may have been Continue reading →

Castlemaine Jazz Festival: The Wrap

Another year, and the wheels haven’t fallen off… far from it, this year’s Festival was the biggest yet, with around 350 musicians, 100 long suffering partners, new venues, food stalls, steam trains, a singing Mayor (I kid you not) and an enthusiastic crowd, maybe a little bigger than last year, creating a real buzz around town. The weather was as cold as a mother in laws kiss, but it didn’t seem to matter, even the outdoor performances were fun.

Feedback was better, I think, than previous years, and the standard of music was higher than ever. I mention this because apparently some people think that musical excellence is what the Festival should be about. Meh, whatever.. we all had a bunch of fun, met old and new faces, and saw some great sessions – for me, Low Down Big Band, and Open For Inspection were the highlights, the Faulder Watson Hall a better venue than we dared hope; and Campbells Creek Community Centre, another new one, rocked all weekend.

A big thankyou from the Committee to all the Jammers who got involved – musicians, volunteers, audience, the indefatigable Trevor terrorising the Calder with a truckload of gear, Ruby Rogers’ alter ego doing all the graphics, Steve setting up drums, the ageing Curtis in full nerd mode on the programme, – love all ya work!

Photos – ya mum wants one!

And if anyone wants a photograph of their band performing, Alvin is fully snowed under and you won’t get it for a week – they are selling like hot cakes, apparently.

Send us an email with the name of your band and we will get it to the Snapmeister. I have seen the rushes and you all look gorgeous….,

e-mail your details to melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

From the Clinic

The rehabilitation clinic for the tone deaf resumed on Sunday at the Leinster Arms after a quiet week with so many away at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival.

Early on I spied Roger “vote 1 Tories” Clark with his alto saxophone, Doug “I don’t play loud LSD Funk Rock” Kuhn on bass ; Sam “too loud and I‘ll quit” Izzo on keys and new face Michael who admitted he knew nothing about jazz drumming on the drums.

I took up the guitar at the Capitano of Chaos’ behest and a few interesting Continue reading →

Jazz Jam Report Sunday June 5th 2016

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is in progress and so far I have been to the Esperanza Spalding gig which I enjoyed and to check out the lovely Sarah MacLaine at Dizzy’s with Brian Abrahams on drums and vocal on “ Lush Life”. It is a fine time for live music fans and gives me something to cling to while I wait for the snow season to actually bring some snow for my outdoor winter adventures.

The Jazz Jam a.k.a the sheltered workshop for D.I.Y. musical lobotomy patients started in a very quiet and understaffed fashion. Newcomer Bill was on drums and a kind of blank bewilderment during the trading of fours with the Capitano of chaos who blew his horn and this scribe played the bassline and the chords simultaneously using each hand on the keyboard. Continue reading →

Gear Review by Mr. T.

The TC electronics looper pedal : The “Ditto x 2 “. RRP approx.. $170 AUD.
I have resisted getting one of these but now I know I was kidding myself. These units are brilliant. You can back yourself and with practice you can make accurate loops on the fly in front of an audience and never have to put up with 5 people other people with unstable egos ,mental health issues and hidden agendas (a.k.a leading a band).

If you play an instrument then keeping up the interest and motivation to practice a lot in order to improve can go through peaks and troughs . I bought this unit to remove all the troughs. Designed chiefly for an electric guitarist or an electric bassist, this unit works for keys, vocals and other instruments too as long as you can mic. them up .

Continue reading →