Sup,Yup, Yep and Nope

Sup? Well, not a lot really,, The Post Hotel seems to score a lot more recognition than the name, location and history would suggest. An easy stroll from Chateau de Ma Missus foregone this week due to a sore back.

So Col and Manager Mike had things well under control by the time I got there, and I amused myself by looking (confused) at all the knobs on Manager Mike’s mixer; whilst the Captain fretted about the lack of one speaker cable. A detail, surely?

Started sans bass player (or another piano player for that matter) at 4.10. Dave Taylor lugged his double in about a minute later, and we were all good to go. The debtser, I think opened the batting or was it the saxogoodie brigade with some obscure three chorder?

Yup: saxoloboddle benefit week, what with the Captain, Jeff H, Alan and later Keef and Stan all having a dip. Some good stuff amongst the lads, and they all took turns and played nicely for the most part.

Yep: Kay sang up a storm, Deb sounded good whilst confusing some of us, and when I say some, I really mean meself. Newcomer Jess was an instant hit, singing You’ve Changed, Dream a Little Dream, and You Go to my Head. Pretty challenging selection first up, but clearly had prior and proved well up to it, other than ducking around the form. Next time, next time, please come again,.

Who else? Carol sang with her trademark warm tone, and managed the rhythm section beautifully – we were getting a bit unruly by this stage. Janine gave me a break and sang with guitar at the end. Sweet.

Drums deftly handled by Alan Richards, Steve Bray back from Queensland as good as new. Neil (guitar) earned some warm praise from the back row and threw in a couple of solos.

Marian, who I have not apparently mentioned three weeks in a row, may have turned up early, and and played some neat recorder. Just thought I’d mention it….

Nope: So…we seemed to go awful late – finished at 7.50, by which stage I had enjoyed a good ten minutes off, slack mongrel…

Castlemaine Jazz Festival is coming up fast -7th – 10th June for all the details. Five venues: McPhee Broadway, Theatre Royal, Run Rabbit Run and Maurocco Bar; with newcomer Castlemaine Senior Citizens Centre plus the Cumberland Hotel whiteboard/jam sessions.

If you are going, grab an early bird ticket before June 6th (on-line) or pay full price at the Box Office, which has moved to the Market Building this year.

Amongst the 49 bands listed, jammers past and present playing (and I am bound to miss a few) include

· Breakout, feat Captain Chaos, Sala Kord (drums)
· West Coast Little Big Band, Captain Chaos, Jeff Harris, Murray Rees (trumpet)
· The PR Project – Malcolm Hornby, Peter Ryan
· G and T Jazz – feat. Gill Sealby, Tiina Ayris and Gill (G and T geddit?)were regulars at The Leinster about 75 years ago
· ade ishs & eMotion Band: Ade Ish, Paul Bonnington on bass. Ade and Paul were occasional jammers at the Leinster.

Of the other bands, I know little, but would like to single out The Ben Charnley Trio – regulars with Nadira Farid at Paris Cat, a class act and well worth a listen.

Merimbula Jazz Festival 7th -10th June

Get all the details at their website:

The standout on this one is that there will be “750 musicians” going, according to the talented but disreputable Roger Clark. – which if only remotely true would make this a helluva festival.

Apart from the usual suspects – Roger’s hottest band featuring David Franklin on piano, Larry Kees and one time jammer Doug Kuhn, there will be Festival regulars Sarah Maclaine, and the Ron Anderson Trio. Also, a complete weekend’s worth of big bands, with the Navy Band to top it off; and a full house of Trad Revival bands. Dave Taylor, who is a regular jammer, will be playing bass in, oh, about 23 bands. Always good…

It is a long way to Merimbula, and just as far back, but give this one a go if you are so inclined.

Was that a good Session? First, some thoughts on the Kafkas

All you really need to know about Franz Kafka is that he died of tuberculosis and was 6 foot tall. Although not necessarily in that order. His sister Ottla may have been an exceptional pianist. Nobody knows for sure, as she didn’t turn up for last Sunday’s jam session either.

Franz was of course famous for his short stories and being a bit of a nutter. Ottla was known for absolutely nothing. Had they both been there, it is highly probable that they would have had little effect upon the Sunday Jam Session, especially as they are both dead. Possibly.

But I digress. You may skip this next bit, as you have already deepened your knowledge of Prague based novelists, etc. etc. and that should be enough education for anyone.

You still here? Good…the session started with, um, some music probably. Kay singing 42, 18, 81 and I can’t remember what other numbers, but it all sounded good. Mr Richards on drums was rather excellent. The Captain, Jeff, Laurie and Keef on saxithingies then exerted their numerical superiority for a bit, Laurie notably smooth on a coupla ballads, before the tonsil artistes took over again. Rose voted the pick of them, or maybe Annie in her first stint at the Post, or Carol directing her band beautifully. First timer Libby got up and sang a coupla toons -seemed to go alright for someone with not very much prior form. Julian alternately flooted, twanged and warbled. Susie just sang.

All about the bass: Dave NN started on bass, then lent his axe to Ivan, who had way too much fun, before newcomer Serge took over on double bass, playing some tidy lines, with watsisname Hirsh, esquire no less, pretty neat on drums… again.

The Wrap: Some time around bedtime, the incomparable Annie Smith sang a coupla riotous toons, amusing herself by getting the guitarists (Neil, then Graham)  tangled up in 3/4 time. Annie insisted on not being called the Divine Miss Smith, and has been on gardening leave. She says. Anyway, if she really is 22 and a half, as she possibly alleges, she would be starting to look a bit frayed round the edges. We had fun. Disregard this paragraph if you prefer….

So…it was, in the end, a rather good session; and if you are still here, triffic, now turn up next Sunday for another go.


Often, when wandering into a Sunday Arvo Jam, one wonders. And just as often, one does not. Last Sunday was one of those days when pondering the state of the universe would only become those who were not heaving the gear up and down the stairs, and wondering, where are the speaker stands?

After the previous week’s quiet one, this time we stepped into the Mother’s Day luncheons, and a bar that was already fullish. We started as soon as we had gone round each table to apologise for the appalling racket we had in contemplation.

Only it didn’t quite turn out that way: a brisk Comin’ Home Baby to settle the crowd, Jeff and the Captain smooth on saxibles, then we were away with all sorts of singers – Deb, Jane, Susie, Kevin, Kay now back in Melbourne for good. Whose good, she neglected to say, but singing better than ever, according to the seasoned salts.

As a busy, noisy afternoon wore on, guitar from Fermin and Neil, fine cameos from Julian (floot and abacus) Huich (violin), meself and young Malcolm on keys, and an admirable line up of Russell, Alan R, Sala and Mr Hirsh esq. on the slap, rattle and thump department.

Really, the music was as good as the PA was a mess – the Captain kept busy most of the afternoon tweaking the knobs, and tuning the sound system in between. We eventually diagnosed a dodgy speaker lead having the afternoon off. (Factory Sound in South Melbourne have fixed it already.)

19 musos, with the afternoon stolen by Marley, see above pic she is the smaller one, on percussion and scene stealing, the Hirsh on Sunny Side of the Street, and a wrap up by Janine – Aint Misbehavin’ in G. Good grief! ‘Twas all good – let’s do it again, next time with speaker stands, and no dodgy leads…



… in a fashion… Started the day with four (yes, four, read it and weep) saxophones. I tried suggesting that they should all get up and play at once, but it turns out saxophony is a competitive sport, and they each decided that the others were too good – which, of course, they weren’t.

And no bass player, for which I own an apology to pianist Peter Garam – we made him open the innings with no bass line, no proper drummer, and You’ve Changed, with which he professed no familiarity. Sounded alright to me…

Along with the Captain (Chaos), there was Laurie (sweet tone), Jeff (Misty), and the Blast from the past and all round bon vivant Alan West – turns out he lives pretty close by, and has lost none of his ability on sax…

Newcomer Dan, or Daniel perhaps, sat patiently waiting for his turn on piano, then launched into Fly Me To The Moon. Hope he comes again. Then Ezra (trombone) joined in – he took a while to warm up all 9 feet of the old brass pipe, but really added something to the jam – producing warm tones, with Julian on floot. The saxopholologists foregathered to a nearby table and attempted to snaffle all the sliders and munchies that the Post put on.

Ivan and Dave No Nickname arrived fashionably late, or more late than fashionable, take your pick; and took over bass duties from the exhausted left handed piano players, meself and Malcolm as well as the aforementioned Garam. Sala played the drums aided by innate proficiency, which is more than could be said for the alternative.

And that was it really: the first session in living memory with no singers, and the smallest line-up for, literally, years. It is a good thing they all played some sweet stuff. The audience seemed to enjoy it, the Budvar ran out, and the kids behaved.

Micro-managed? – there was stuff all to manage, what with the small turnout and the Captain calling time early.

‘Twas fun, but. Let’s do it again.


The Party Gets Bigger

And noisier, and a bit more chaotic…. Another fun session at The Post last Sunday, only this time 24 musos turned up, tuned up and shed their dignity in the approved manner. And a good time, it would seem was had by all.

Whilst almost nothing surprises the few hardy desperates who turn up every week, there was a noticeable upswing in the audience numbers, most of whom were, to start with, complete bluddy strangers. Not any more…

A few returned jammers after long absences – Stuart from the Ramage days, the immaculate Ben Hooper, rather better than ever on keys; Gentleman John Curtis, who has managed to get tied up in grandfathering duties, but dropped in for a while, with a good short stint on the ivories. And Agus, making a welcome, if occasional, visit to the jam sessions, playing as beautifully as ever. He has another gig coming up at Paris Cat on May 22nd –

Sax is good for you: the Captain hauled out his sax, on the dubious grounds that exercise would be good for the damaged forelimb, and ended up playing, well, more than most. You can’t keep a good man down… or the Captain for that matter. Jeff ditto. Keef turned up lateish, as is his wont, but was possibly the best of the saxophilologists, even when playing his clarionet.

Singers (seven again) – Jane, then Carol survived us messing with the reverb, and sounded rather good. Janine, fresh from her regular St Kilda gig, sang for the first time and was the best of them, Nurul and the increasingly stylish Rose sang to their usual standard.

Drummers: John Perri, Alan Richards and Salah, most of whom got louder as the day wore on, M Hirsh esq didn’t, but tried fiddling with the drum stool, then hit the skins with drumsticks and style, if not panache, and possibly a little finesse thrown in for good measure.

Basso profundo and fender: Ivan (big bass) and Dave (elec bass) started about an hour after Neil (guitar) and meself (p) had messed around with bass lines in their absence. Thankfully.

The evening closed with Ain’t Misbehavin’, from Janine, then some nice trio work, and the Prasad playing, as he does from time to time, Blue Bossa.

All up a good arvo, lots of people and some very complimentary comments, none of which shall I repeat for fear of inflating egos beyond the width of the front door.

The Post is starting to cook. We look forward to seeing you there.