The Pre Christmas Bash

As ever, good fun all round, followed this year by a rather pleasant dinner for the die-hards. 28 musicians got up and boogied, Captain Chaos led the whole shebang with his usual flair, Santa Claus (looking suspiciously like Jack Morris) came to town, and the wardrobe Mistress (Annie) excelled herself with silly hats and lots of tinsel.

The Jammers, in a fit of absent mindedness, attempted some jazz tunes, very nearly succeeding on occasion.

That is it for a year which saw us relocate, and flourish at the Junk, where the standard of music making lifted considerably.

Awards:

The following prizes are not awarded, because we are mean bastards as a rule, but go out and buy yourself some chocolates

Most improved bassist: Pony Tail Pete, with Dave NN snapping at his heels. Ivan sweetest sound on that enormous double bass.

Most improved sax player: Either Keef, or possibly Laurie with a late lunge at the line. John Calamatta best sound. Captain Chaos for expanding the range of toons.

Guitar: Neil, and one sublime session with Neil and Fermin together. Ben Stewart when he turned up.

Drummers: Bill, Michael F, Malcolm, Russell Salah all good. Mike Hirsh best extended drum solo, John Perri for his technical prowess, Steve Bray for his knowledge of drums. Andre a find.

Pianists: Special mention to Malcolm, who packed up the gear every session,and otherwise fiddled excellently with his organ.  

Most singers in one session: 10. Seriously…

Best violinist: Huich, just

Best Flootist (and gets better every week): Julian

Next Jam, this Sunday 13th January, 4.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

Some of the Guilty Parties

Ben Stewart, guitarist

Steve Bray, drummer

Katerina Myskova

Salah, regular drummer
Fermin, guitarist, negotiated the Junktion deal

Pony Tail Pete, bass, Annie looks on
Jack and his slush pump
Sam Izzo, pianist, concentrating hard
Julian, floot, with a microphone up his nose?

The divine Miss Smith, who forgot her hairbrush
The inestimable Captain Chaos

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: Well,that was a surprise….

I almost didn’t go. What the hell, rocked up anyway, as I had promised Mistress Smith that I would come for the last Featured Singer series of the year (see report below).

The jam sessions have been predictably unpredictable of late … this one featured some new faces (welcome Britta the bass), some returning faces (Jane, where ya been?), some startling improvers, (Dave No Nickname on bass), some returning Jammers (Kay Young de Darwin in fine form, great to see you again), rather more audience ordering ridiculously large meals and staying all afternoon… and some fine music making/mangling/take your pick.

Featured Singer (and wardrobe mistress)Mistress Annie Smith sang a fiendishly difficult set that put Gentleman John Curtis right in his comfort zone – standout was Take Five, which is the first time in living memory anyone has attempted a 5/4 tune (other than when the rest of us were playing in some other tempo…) Annie craftily avoided some of her more entertaining/less intellectual songs so we will have to ask her back to do another set…

Rhythm section of the week: Drummers win by a country mile: Bill Swannie, Salah and Alan Smith all good, Andre a late arrival but just as good too.

Soloists: Laurie played beautifully, and nailed it, Keith was his usual excellent self, and they both paired well with the Captain .

Singers included Jane with a top swing set, Brian Fly Me To The Moon, Stormy Monday, Angel Eyes and Kevinwas there but elected not to sing. Kay Young sang as well as ever, Ann Hayres arrived later, but hadn’t sung before I left, probably so I wouldn’t be able to take the mickey. She is always good.

It was entertaining stuff. The good Captain got so excited he forgot to call his customary five bar fours, or indeed create any chaos at all. So will anyone turn up next session?

Pre Christmas Bash: Sunday 16th December

This week… 16th December, with an earlier start time of 3.00pm. For those that want to, we suggest we stop for a meal at 6.00pm  or thereabouts. The food is good, and the portions are enormous.

Indications are, that despite the bigger turnout last week, even more people will be coming for the Bash. The skeleton staff at Bendigo Towers a rereasonably confident that the afternoon will prove to be a disaster,in the finest traditions of the Melbourne Jazz Jammers.

Look out for…

Jammers attempting to play jazz – that will never work, we all prefer the occasional train-wreck.  Audience members are advised to ignore this, talk loudly and preferably indulge in malicious gossip instead. We all have our strengths…

Complete bluddy strangers deciding to turn up for the first time and expecting to play most of the afternoon…. or complete bands doing the same (it has happened before…)  We will attempt to get everyone a spot. Dodgy Dave has been warned we might run a bit late.

Of course it is always possible that almost no-one will turn up at all, in which case we will have a marvellous time anyway…

The Bash has always been a chance for new, old, decrepit and lapsed jammers to get together and sneer at the current crop. As you love a bit of scurrilous gossip (who doesn’t?) this is a great opportunity to get on the bandwagon, meet old friends, possibly wish you hadn’t,and if so inclined, blow the tits off yer fave toon or three.

Be there!

Next Jam, this Sunday 16th December, 3.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

Next week: a review of the Year that was. Reputations will be ruined, riots reviewed, repeat offenders identified, prizes awarded. 

Toodlepip!

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: A quiet session?

Well, not really. After some opening numbers by Messrs. Geoff,
Captain Chaos, and Curtis, and a welcome appearance by Mr
Stringer (drums), the afternoon followed its usual trajectory. It always
had the look of a quiet afternoon, lacking bass player and singers for
quite a while.
Nevertheless, a pleasant cacophony for a while. Volker played a
couple (sax) as did Geoff – who could have played more piano but
elected to leave. The customary hand grenade, mainly in the form of
an overly loud drummer, occasional guitarist Mr Ryan, Mr Harris and
the Captain himself contrived to make it sufficiently rowdy for a while,
with the unfortunate departure of the few audience members who
had turned up.
We were left with a total of 15 people in the room, all of them sat as
far from the music as they could get. Salah and Russell had to leave
after waiting a while .Of course, no one is expected to learn from the
experience, as they were, in the main, having too much fun.

The Captain, Peter Ryan and Volker – a quiet little drink

Kevin in fine voice

Bill Swannie (drums) Never missed a beat


Ben Stewart – Cool jazz guitar

What went well? You may well ask, always assuming you are reading
the newsletter, and in the habit of asking yourself rhetorical
questions… Pony Tail Pete had a good afternoon, playing solid bass,
with a coupla good solos thrown in. Kevin, looking and sounding
better than he has for a while, sang impressively – Georgia a highlight
with some fine piano from Malcolm.. Keef warmed up and was the
pick of the saxophones – we managed to stuff Daahoud for a couple
of choruses, but made sense of it in the end. First time Keef had
played it, and to think we were following him! Ben Stewart was a late
arrival, playing some gentle guitar with Bill Swannie on drums and
PTP on bass then sensibly ducked the solo on Daahoud

Pony Tail Pete looking chill

I had left before Mistress Smith had settled and sung. 

This was the smallest turnout we have had since starting at the Junk

  • and we must hope for rather better next week.
  • Featured Singer for December 9th
    The always entertaining, occasionally fabulous Mistress Smith! We
    have saved the best for last: singing up a storm next Sunday, and I
    am rather looking forward to this one. Silly hats optional.
The occasionally fabulous Mistress Smith
  • Pre Christmas Bash: Sunday 16th December
  • We have set the date for 16th December, with a start time of 3.00pm. For those that want to, we suggest we stop for a meal at 6.00pm or thereabouts –
  • negotiations are being held with the production staff –
  • Costume Director: Annie Smith
  • Reindeer Wrangler: Jack Morris
  • Marketing and Promotion: You
  • The Bash has always been a chance for new, old, decrepit and lapsed jammers to get together and sneer at the current crop. As you love a bit of scurrilous gossip (who doesn’t?) this is a great opportunity to get on the bandwagon, meet old friends, possibly wish you hadn’t, and if so inclined, blow the tits off yer fave toon or three.
  • Be there!


Next Jam, this Sunday 9th December, 4.00pm start,
The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the
corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park
Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops
off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.