Xmas Jam 3 Dec 2017

By Taariq Hassan

The last jazz Jam of the year 2017 came and went with a bang.

A good turnout embraced the temperamental weather that Melbourne’s end of year December festivities offers and enjoyed some more: very loud drum solos; find a key singing; wandering tempos; lost chord changes and hackneyed show tunes and ancient standards being mangled yet again.

The players included your scribe on piano and guitar. Others who contributed on the bass were Ivan, Ponytail Peter and newcomer Luke who was quite proficient on the electric bass.

Piano players were not scarce. They included Lisette who also sang some songs including “Lonely Avenue” and “ Fragile” in G minor with a nice guitar solo by your correspondent.

Sam Izzo ; Gentleman John Curtis; Malcolm and the every able Kay Cai on piano and melodica all added their flourishes on the digital piano.

Fermin, Chico added guitars to the mix and yours truly played the big red guitar.

Drummers included : Michael ; Bill; Sebastien (a.k.a The Gallic Animal from the Muppets) ;Steve Bray ; Mike ” Drum solos a plenty” Hirsch and the swinging Andre.

Reed men included : Jeff; the wailing demon on alto sax. ; Peter; Capt. Chaos; Laurie and Keith.

Marion Lustig showed us her recorder skills. She did not do a lighter fluid and matches sacrifice of her instrument to conclude her performance ala Jimi Hendrix at Monterrey. I think Glenn the publican would have taken exception to that .

Vocals were warbled by Uncle Jack ,”A Foggy Day “, Lisette as mentioned before; some refused to be dictated to by key, pitch or songs that were written after 1920’s ended.

The surprise talent came from newcomer Tom P. Fresh from sunny Tasmania with his trombone , he showed us his very accurate pitching (on an instrument that can , in the wrong hands, be like a live cat being skinned) and his swinging , concise phrasing.

Come back in 2018. We need your contribution in brass.

I ended up leaving at about 7 pm after wading through some songs that ended up being ruined twice such as the ¾ time “ Alice in Wonderland” and other hoary old chestnuts.

I wish you all the season’s greetings for the pagan consumer summer solstice and hope to see and hear from you again for a bigger and better new year of Sunday jamming at the sheltered workshop for the tone deaf and rhythmically challenged.

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