A Smallish Affair

Sunday broke warm and smooth – not much prospect of many peeps fronting for the Jam – but when we got there, young Roger the Clark was propping up the wall, the Captain was leaping from his chariot and the cleaner was, sensibly, refusing to let the ruffians in…

In no time at all, Dodgy Dave turned up and the usual crew set to. Kickoff was marginally delayed whilst the ump found a coin, and then it was on for young and old, but only if you count anyone under the age of 60 as young…

The Captain, fearing an outbreak of normality, decided the equipment layout should be reversed. Much to everyone’s astonishment, this seemed to work rather well – certainly the sound was much clearer, and unless everyone was playing better than usual, which you would have to doubt, this could become a regular thing.

Jazz anyone? Yes, we did play a bit – mainly of this but with a lick of that thrown in for good measure. Malcolm turned up early, and announced he had to leave soon, so we got him on, asap, Laurie, the Captain, Calamatta and the aforementioned somewhat sprightly Roger the C contributed the saxophological twiddly bits, whilst Russell, Alan and Salah hit things in the background, to good effect. Neil played, beautifully, all afternoon; Pete and Dan alternating on bass. Singers Jane, Kevin and Carol leavened the bread.

Highlights of the day included a somewhat nervous Judy getting up to sing for the first time. Didn’t see any nerves once she hit the mic. All seemed pretty good to the rest of us – Summertime , recorded by E. Fitzgerald in 1956; and At Last. (Etta James, released 1960) Hope she comes again.

Trainwreck of the day! I have been building up to this one for a long time, and now officially receive the accolades of an adoring public, or maybe just a tone deaf parrot with tinnitus , for comprehensively cocking up Nicas Dream, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – (1956) aided and abetted by Calamatta (the Captain claimed he was playing in another key), aged tyro Dan MacLachlan (bass), and young Alan Richards on the drums. A complete disaster from start to finish, according to Captain Chaos, and he should know…

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 3rd March, starting at 4.00pm

It is going to be huge or quite small, we really don’t have a handle on this one. You will have to turn up to find out….toodlepip!

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.

International Women’s Day

On March 8th 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day, there will be a concert of female Australian performers performing the works of Australian females – From Her We Hear.


The group includes five musicians and a visual artist who will bring the little cinema at the back of Long Play to life. All trained classically these performers have extensive experience with orchestras and ensembles in Australia and abroad and are equally comfortable with genre bending music. Pieces range from improvisation explorations and music that illustrates the meditative qualities of sound, to more traditional songs with voice and piano. 

We will explore and present the often forgotten music of women composers from Australia past and present. Come join us for an intimate night of sound, light, and celebration. Spaces limited bookings essential www.trybooking.com/BATTT

Long Play is at

318 St George’s Road , North Fitzroy, Victoria 3168

Friday 8th March

Two shows, 6:30 & 8pm. Seating limited, bookings essential.

Tickets $25/20.

From Her We Hear


Kay Cai – Piano
Playing a piano solo piece by Melbourne composer Nat Bartsch

Teresa Duddy – Soprano
Singing songs by Peggy Glanville Hicks and Margaret Sutherland.

Brigid Burke – Clarinet
Performing a piece for clarinet and electronics by Melbourne performer and composer Nat Grant

Isabel Hede – Violin
Performing her own composition, a piece for violin and electronics

Gemma Horbury – Visuals
Tying it all together with visual mastery on the big screen.

Alexandra Mathew – Mezzo Soprano, singing songs by Margaret Sutherland.

Sweet Ade,Saturday, Mar 16, 9pm

Marion Lustig’s band Sweet Ade will be playing on Saturday, March 16, 9-11 pm, at The Moldy Fig bar and restaurant in East Brunswick.

The band is a lively, upbeat 6 person jazz band featuring recorders, clarinet, saxophones, piano, sousaphone,  washboard, drums, ukuleles, piano accordion and vocals.  We play an entertaining, interesting and eclectic repertoire with creative arrangements of music ranging from the late 1800’s to the present day. We like to balance well-known tunes with little heard gems including early Australian jazz. 

The musicians are Marion Lustig (recorders),Janet Arndt (vocals), Peter Mason (reeds, ukelele, vocals, harmonica), Lisette Payet (piano, ukelele, accordion, vocals and left hand substituting on this occasion for the sousa!),  Richard Opat (washboard, drums).

The Moldy Fig is a restaurant and bar serving authentic New Orleans food and featuring live music. 120-122 Lygon St., East BrunswickThe kitchen is open from 5-11 pm. Bookings 90427613. Free entry.

So You missed it….

In case you turned up, or in case you didn’t, the Junktion Hotel was closed on Sunday 10th, sadly for the staff to attend a funeral. Dodgy Dave clearly had the week from hell, but is bouncing back…Apologies if you didn’t get a phone call or an e-mail – the Captain was at Port Fairy Jazz Festival and I was somewhere around Bandar Seri Begawan, the most exciting airport in the free world.

Rose (sing next time please) and the Debster (sing anytime please)

All of which meant that we put some effort into getting a decent turn out for last week’s session (Sunday 17th Feb if you are as confused as I am). If you are not confused, read on and we will do our best..

Back in the Groove

Last Sunday’s session ripped. The Port Fairy heroes, or most of them, returned – generally playing better than ever as a result, and by the end of the arvo, we had 26 musos get up and boogie – including a cameo from the elderly Mr Clark (sax), no less than 8 drummers, ranging from Russell the Hustle through the smooth Swannie, via Alan in a loud mood, Sala as good as ever, Mr Hirsh (also sang Sunny Side of the Street) Ponta, Tom (?) and David with a closing cameo from Andre.

Which pretty much set the tone for the afternoon. Entertaining sets from singers Jane, Carol, Debbie, Ann Hayres, Kevin (smooth as) and Rose H, back in the groove… all drowned out on occasion by saxophones with the Captain, Laurie and Jeff redeeming themselves with the highlight of the day –

Highlight of the day: Killer Joe, featuring bassist Dave NNY playing the best we have heard him ably supported/guided by Neil.

If I haven’t mentioned Julian, Marion Lustig, Ponytail Pete or a healthy audience it is because they were all good too. Lisbeth promised to sing The Old Country (Nat Adderley, ) …. probably by 2028 or earlier. Can’t wait.

A fun , if exhausting afternoon, plenty of variety and more musos than usual.

Next week Come along! We will be planning the next featured singer series, trying to catch up on the planning for the upcoming Q Festival now slated for 2nd and 3rd of November 2019. Keen afficionados of something or other may recognise this as the date vacated by Wangaratta, and just before the Melbourne Cup.

Next Jam at the Junktion Hotel: Sunday 24th February, 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.

It has been a busy week in jazz. See ya Sunday?

The Missing Jam session review and the Madge Memoirs

It is with some concern that I realise that the newsletter won’t write itself. And silence from the erstwhile reliable Captain Chaos who was, as I understand it, a super star of the Port Fairy Jazz Festival, (last weekend) or a burnt out supernova or something in between.

Captain C has not therefore supplied any guidance as to the goings on or off at the Junk in his absence.


Madge, as it turned out, had offered to supply a suitable memoire in lieu. But ran out of paper and didn’t own a pen. Miss Hortense, as is often the case, was of no help either. If one or two of those upstanding denizens of West Altona don’t get crumpet for tea or sailors for supper there may be hell to pay.

Il Duce
Whatever happened to what’s his face?

Perhaps the readers of this august organ, (and you both know who you are), may care to make up a suitable jam session review for yourselves. Or perhaps if we take snippets of the usual drivel from the past 350 or so newsletters and paste them randomly together, we may concoct an account only marginally less coherent than usual.

Whatever. I shall be at the next jam session, at 4.00pm on Sunday 17th February, with jet lag. I look forward to seeing all six of the regulars/desperates there and hearing all your adventures.



51.3489° N, 1.9948° W until tomorrow

Wangaratta cancelled for 2019

The 2019 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues has been cancelled. This follows the resignation of co-artistic director Adam Simmons and before that the departure of long term festival managers, Nolan Media. Doubtless the $100,000 bail out of last year’s festival by the local council, though not disclosed at the time, was an indication of what was to come.

read more here . . .

IN RECESS: The Wangaratta Jazz Festival won't be held in 2019 after a ratepayer contribution of $100,000 saved the event last year.

Breaking News:

Wangaratta cancelled for 2019

Port Fairy Jazz next week

Not many lunatics at the Junk this week

First things first: Wangaratta Jazz Festival has been cancelled for this year.

Wang has been a bit of a fixture for the Melbourne Jazz Jammers for the last few years, with the jam sessions at the Bulls Head and at the market sessions, and a number of jammers playing on the Community stage over the years.

Breaking News: Port Fairy Jazz next week

Fri, 8 Feb 2019 – Sun, 10 Feb 2019

One wonders whether PFJ is becoming the new Wang – a huge number of bands playing, lots of Jammers making the trip and a great week-end all round. What’s not to like?

read more . . .


Breaking News: Not many lunatics at the Junk this week

According to the Captain… a very quiet session -possibly due to a very hot day last Sunday (41 deg C at 4.00pm). Malcolm the only keyboard player. Jeff, Will and the Captain on Saxophones, Salah, Steve and John Perry on Drums. Samara, Jane, Anne and Miriam (from Norway) vocalised. Pete on Bass and Vlad, Brian Paulusz and Neil on guitars.

Actually, that seems like a pretty good line–up to me. Brian Paulusz doesn’t come to the jams much but used to be a regular. Much improved going by his smooth session with Janet Arndt at the Ballarat AJC.

Samara used to sing in a duo, and is getting back into it. First time at a jam session.

Miriam from Norway is continuing the recent run of overseas contributors. One wonders where they hear of the Jam sessions from. We have had readers from 25 different countries in 2018.

Only the truly dedicated lunatics would front for a jam in 41 deg.c, and this session was a marvellous opportunity to find out who they were. I stayed home…. and missed this week’s highlight: Little Sunflower. I find the that a little hard to believe, but clearly John Perri’s latin drumming lifts even the most repetitive of tunes to a new level.

A mixed week of news, what with Wang, Port Fairy, and a quiet(ish) jam session. See ya soon.
not your (un)usual correspondent with assistance from the inimitable TW

The session on 20th January; an update with your name in it…

How did you score on last week’s template? We may have been inundated with email submissions. The glowing report from Captain Chaos has arrived in icy downtown Devizes and it seems most of you got it either right or wrong as usual. Or I did, whichever you prefer…

The session was remarkable for the number of international visitors: Alex from Germany (he was a star at the first Castlemaine Jazz Festival and well remembered) and Jeremy from France, who is here for a little longer and will hopefully front up again. Possibly. Ditto Yuseke (guitar) who is here from Japan to study English. And plays a mean guitar. In Japanese, but hey, who is counting?

All that and the regulars – Malcolm, Jeff, (sax) Pete and Dave (bass department) with contributions from Paul Phillips (drummer from way back) and late arrivals Will and Vlad.


The Captain doesn’t say if Jeff Harris sang, or danced on the table, or played a great version of When Sunny gets Blue, but we must assume anything is possible…

The Shame File:

Apparently Desafinado (João Gilberto) is a bossa,. Anyone listening to the jammers version would realise that the secret is quite safe…

Next week: will be an absolute ripper. I know this because I already have the Chaos files on the session. 24 musos! Phew!

Last week’s session: what a ripper

Wow, that came around quick. So…. twenty four musos fronted for a session de luxe at the Dodgy Dave’s Disco-rama and snack bar. Still ensconced in the Wltshire bleak midwinter, so I did’nt front – yet again. I am indebted to Captain Chaos for his summary.

The Drummers: Outdid the previous record of six drummers, although only just. Steve Bray, Hirsh, Bill Swannie (the regulars) joined by the likes of Alan Richards, Phunta (?) Michael Cameron and Anton’s mate. They were all good.

Keys: The usual Malcolm, Curtis the Debonair and Geoff (who is this month’s tip for most improved muso of 2019) as well as Jonathon Harvey, who I don’t know… must have ducked out for that one. As ever, the pianists were better looking, more intellectual and more modest than all the others.

Vocals: what a line-up! Carol, Jane, Brigid, the Debster, then Ann Hayres for afters.

The saxopholologists. Damn typewriter. After last week’s European invasion, just the Captain and Jeff H on the front line. Not sure what they played, but all spiffin’.

The stringy bits: Peter, Dave,and Anton on bass stringy bits, Neil, Yuseke and Fermin on twangly things. Rhythm Section the driving force behind the session – all the others are Prima Donnas. At least some of the time.

One more week for me in Pommieland, and then the Jammers Newsletter will once again feature reality.