The Jam Session last week – got it wrong again…

As I was saying only last Friday, “And next week? Probably no one will turn up. Unless you do.. ” How wrong can you be! At least 33 musicians must have heeded the call, two of them, possibly, as a direct result of reading the newsletter and realising that attending a jam was marginally less painful. To put it in perspective, this is now the second busiest Jam session we have recorded since 2008 (the busiest was 35 musos for the Captain’s birthday bash).

The early warning signs were there (4 saxophones with -ists attached by 4.30) and by about 5.30 we were out of control… But what a great afternoon it turned out to be. The standard of music was kept comfortably low, the eight reeds players tried and failed to dominate proceedings, the five drummers (Michael, Bill, Michelle, Spike and the unmentionable Mr Hirsh) were all good, the four bass players (Chris, Peter, Carlton and Ivan) did their thing, the five pianists (Gentleman JC, meself, Tony, Don and Richard) had a ball, the five vocalists (Katerina, Annie the Smith, Johanna and Shannon on latin harmonies, and Ol’ Smooth Tonsils Kev all sang up a storm, and the four guitarists (Chico, Johnny, Fermin and Peter Ryan) kept themselves nice. Well, you get the picture, and that is without mentioning the trumpeter Zizhi, the flautist Dave, and a happy little audience.


Tony blowing so hard he’s gone blurry, and the ever improving Ponytail Pete

Props to Will for turning up early and picking a coupla toons, to Ponytail Pete for putting the drum kit together and then playing some swinging bass lines, to Laurie for being the only (and therefore best) Bari in the room, to Tony for easily being the loudest saxophone, and to Evan for playing some sweet clarinet lines. Newcomers included Yu (saxophone) and Zizhi (trumpet). Alan West hit the mellow tones, and the Calamatta put in some smooth licks. The Captain was so overwhelmed he almost forgot to call fours.

Chaos smoothly rang the changes so we could listen to, and pick out, a couple more jammers for the Friday sessions – Michelle (drums) and Yu (saxophone) are booked in for 28th October – and hopefully everyone got a decent chance to join in.

The Highlights: Either six reeds playing at once, or the two newcomers Johanna and Shannon singing harmonies and giggling at the same time.

We are unlikely to sustain this many musos every week – and it is slightly alarming to see how much the list varies from one week to the next. What do we do if they all turn up? The suggested solutions are

(1) Advertise a much better Jam, at the same time, paid, in a CBD venue with free parking, and A and R in attendance …and see how many are fooled by that one
(2) Play Epistrophy in F#minor on high rotation until the fuss dies down
(3) Send all the good musos to Halls Gap and let the B Team take over.

Actually, we are trying option (3) this week – feel free to drop in (it is about 343km closer than Halls Gap to where you live) and have a dip.

We shall be disporting ourselves with elegance but probably not competence. Should be fun…


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