Wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Society Tea Roomes last Sunday with every expectation of there being no one there, and a seriously quiet jam session in prospect, given that so many regulars had made the odyssey to Port Fairy for their first Jazz Festival (see the Captain’s report below)
The session started quiet enough, but musicians of all calibres kept arriving all afternoon – and what transpired was one of the most enjoyable jams in a long time. Could I have a dollar for every time someone said “I thought there would be no-one here…”
We started with a classy little set from Katerina Myskova, accompanied by Mr T (bass) and Will (saxophone), moved on to Kevin on vocals, then Geoff and Bern on piano and vocals, accompanied by Mr T (bass) and Fermin (guitar), then a sparkling little set from Peter Garam, accompanied by Jack on Trombone, Peter Cole on sax, and …Mr T (bass).
Meanwhile, the slap and rattle department was being adroitly handled by Findlay, Swannie and Morrison, with later contributions from Il Duce, then Matt.
But I digress… the music kept getting better and better – Sam Izzo on keys, Cardinal Calamatta on sax, and You Don’t Know What Love Is on high rotation... and things really hotted up. Then Trent (sax) Peter (trombone) and Yassim wandered in, stole Fermin’s guitar and torched it up with some bebop numbers, Don hot on keys, and all accompanied by Mr T (bass). They even managed to make Equinox sound good, unless it was The Hills Are Alive from the Sound of Music played really badly, but I don’t think so.
At which point they decided to stop messing about and played some seriously good stuff for a while; Keef played some, then Katerina again. Chico turned up with his mates Jerome and Romany, who both eventually got up to sing – Jerome asked to do You Don’t Know What Love Is again, so we had to promise to do it so badly that no-one would recognise it as a tune we had done earlier. Some things we can get right! And then Nature Boy, done salsa style – Romany seemed a little nervous, but no-one had mentioned it was her first time singing in public. Jerome probably the best male singer we have had since Henry Manetta, if not before…
And all accompanied by Mr T (bass) – another 4 hours straight without a break. Nice one, Colonel, and you just broke the record for most mentions in a single jam session review.
It was way past my bed time when we all went home, but the bar has, I feel, been set appropriately high for the real musicians who missed it. All the way to Port Fairy and back? Pfft! The B team smashed it…
Melbourne Jazz Jammers – where everyone gets dragged down to the same level, and then beaten on experience.
You may redeem yourself at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 19th February 2017, from 4.00pm