All Bashed Up…

A spiffin’ little light luncheon followed by no less than 40 musicians getting in on the act – making this the busiest jam session since the mid 19th century Balkan Wars, or possibly even before that., I wouldn’t know.

How sensible of Il Duce to arrange some nice weather so we could sit outside, gossip over an occasional social lubricant, and completely ignore the annual Bash going on inside. And there was plenty to ignore – 40 musicians got in on the act,

Due to the usual misunderstanding, about 39 of them appeared to be behaving quite inappropriately by playing music that could be misconstrued as jazz, if you weren’t paying attention and had more pressing matters on your mind. Splendid!

Highlights included Annie Smith handing out silly hats, wearing one herself and behaving decorously, as she always does…

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and the Captain in fine form – he managed to ring the changes so smoothly all afternoon. And the rest of us just had fun. Hopefully…

It is hard to sum up the Bash – certainly the biggest so far, and musically one of the best yet – but the music isn’t only what it is all about. Perhaps it is worth considering that there were at least seven people there who attended the original Dizzy’s Friday night sessions 22 years ago – The Princess of Cool and Keeper of the List, Rod, Bette the stateless one, Mike H the world’s quietest drummer, Gentleman John C, Col T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) and meself.

The First Jam Session of 2017

We are planning to start up again on January 15th 2017…. by tradition, nobody turns up for the first session, so about five of us get together and have a ball. Feel free to rock up and ruin it for us…. or make it even better.


Friday Nights Live at the Royal Standard: and an invitation for 2017

Last week’s Annie Smith gig was a lot of fun if a little quieter – at one stage, every person in the bar was connected with the Jammers. And the food was pretty damn good…

Friday 16th December, Joys Njambi with the Captain Chaos Quartet

Joy’s last session before she sings at the Australian Jazz Convention in Ballarat. Promises to try out some Aretha Franklin and Etta James material along with a selection of jazz standards. Guitarist Ben Stewart will be the featured soloist.


This Friday

Friday 23rd December, Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet

And the year gets rounded out by Katerina – the pub is likely to be packed for this one, but we will squeeze you in. Or it will be almost empty, in which case we will shackle you to the bar…. The Chaos quartet will feature Chance Dorland on drums.


23rd December

An Invitation for 2017 Frank has already asked us back – so we will be contacting some more musicians in the near future – drop us a line at if you are interested.

The Year in review: stop laughing, this is serious

It has been, as ever, an interesting 12 months – started brightly with several good jam sessions, then hit a sour note with the passing of Bob Vinard, although the session with so many of his mates was a beauty. Several jammers went to Inverloch, Halls Gap, and Ballarat for the Australian Jazz Convention. The extra 3B copy boy (ed: aka Ted)managed to join the cardiac club and we had to give up the Laika residency. Colonel T (retd) took the newsletter in a somewhat surreal direction for a while. Gill and Tina started to sound good. The middle of the year saw us all toddle off to Castlemaine – the usual suspects, plus debutante G and T sounding very good. Katerina singing up a storm, Il Presidente Doug on top of everything and still managing to play sessions, the Captain grinning from ear to ear all weekend as he should.

Come August, the newsletter fell in a hole as both Editor and extra 3B reserve copyboy went to Europe, and we had our smallest ever session with just 8 peeps turning up. About 8 weeks later, we had our second biggest session ever… and I seem to recall some hot sessions with the Clark mob, Ade Ishs and a few other monsters after that.

So …

The Most Indefatigable Award: Colonel T for playing a whole session – twice. We also considered him for playing the same solo more times than anyone else – 16 bars single note, 16 bars playing in octaves, and pull a face on arrival: played over bossa, bebop, swing, blues, and in every time signature and tempo.

Most Improved Drummer: Bruce. Have you been taking lessons?

Most Improved Singer: Katerina, but only because Annie was already good

Biggest Train Wreck: close run thing between the Curtis/Chaos Round Midnight debacle, and Annie Smith for whatever that godawful tune was. We’ll wait for the drug tests and award this one later.

Noisiest Saxophone: Laurie’s is bigger than Tony Wharton’s, so maybe this one goes to Laurie by a whisker. I am sure we will be able to enjoy Tony’s solos once he gets to Bangkok. At least they both play damn well.

And a big thanks to whoever gets all the gear set out, and also packs it up at the end of every session, along with wrangling the pack in between. I think his name is Col.

Precocious Brats, Ageing Reprobates and All Blues…

Things are getting out of hand – The good Captain collared a coupla kids, aged about 5 and minus 3 and a bit, and had them playing the drums before we started. Their sister, we were told by Proud Mum, was dying to play the piano. Naturally we agreed on the usual condition Continue reading →

The Annual Jammers Bash – This Sunday at the Leinster Bossa Barn

Yup, Lunch at 1.00, Chaos at 2.00 – just turn up any time, and you will be thrust into the limelight for your chance to shine in possibly under three hours. This is a great opportunity to get together with a whole bunch of other jammers, tell outrageously exaggerated lies about your musical prowess, and then get totally found out when they play Epistrophy in F# minor at 220bpm – but we don’t care…

Judging by the emails and responses, there will be a few for lunch, and the usual ageing reprobates thereafter.

You could book by looking here

Last Weeks Jam Session… and an invitation to lunch

Last Sunday was a blast, but I barely attended, so what would I know… Sadly, it had to finish early, so Il Duce could spend the evening thanking his staff, and possibly bribing them to stay for another year… but I had time to catch a coupla lively toons by Julie (“I’ve never tried this one”) Enright, equipment failure for Katerina, some fine playing from an ageing roue descendant of the knight errant Sir Roger De Coverley, mainly famous in his day for his way with a saxophone and his tight fitting armour; and a cameo from Don, accompanying Rose. The Bus Conductor, I am told, played bass all afternoon – onya Mr T!

It’s Lunchtime!

On to less important matters: the Pre Christmas Jam Session Bash. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, apparently. Jammers in the know can escape the horror of all this, by spending a quiet afternoon at the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Annual Sorry Excuse for a pre-Christmas Bash. Continue reading →

Sarah’s Chunky

Home-made marmalade is nice, but a
community-made jazz jam is even nicer.

Join us for the final Castlemaine Jazz Jam of 2016
It all happens this Sunday 4 December at 3.30pmĀ 
in the Cumberland Hotel, Barker Street
All welcome to sing, play or relax and listen in a friendly atmosphere
Performers please bring chord charts
And there could be a couple of spot prizes involving home-made marmalade!!