Sunday Jazz : a pleasant afternoon in St Kilda

The Captain writes…

Four regular jammers were not in attendance as they had gone up the Calder to perform at the Castlemaine monthly jam (see “Moonlighting” below). A couple of others may have been seen at the Ringwood Soiree. Despite this, the Post Jam went ahead at full steam with 16 musicians taking part.

Due to the absence of a regular pianist it was decided to rearrange the stage which was universally found to be acceptable. Then the music started. Malcolm H, Peter G and John C played the keys. Peter and David put in the bass notes and Sala and Maged caressed the skins and belted some brass.  Jeff H played soprano sax and clarinet (not at the same time). Laurie S and myself were on tenor with Alan West on alto and various percussion devices. Laurie, Jeff and Alan Alan did a great version of Chitlins Con Carne.

Marion Lustig appeared towards the end of the session and played some magical recorder. Her rendition of Louie Armstrong’s Melancholy Blues was a stand out on the afternoon/evening. With only 2 vocalists, Jane L and Kay Y with able to perform more than the normal number of tunes. Jane’s God Bless the Child was special and Kay, s up beat version of What a Wonderful World got the loudest applause of the session.

Footnote: Alan West has found a great way to get a lift home. He experienced an acute attack of vertigo at the end of last week’s session which resulted in an ambulance being called. He ended up getting a ride home via the Alfred Hospital. It was also noted by several males who were present when the ambulance arrived, that, if the two young female paramedics  were typical ambos then they would consider  trying Alan’s strategy themselves.. Seriously, all’s well that ends well. Thanks must go to Marion Lustig and Bette Nash for the care and attention they gave Alan.

Kay and Dave on bass                                         Pete (bass) and Jane                                           Alan, sitting down

Moonlighting at The Maurocco

Ah, a meeting of like minded, or feeble minded, I’m not sure which, Melbourne moonlighters at the Maurocco Bar. A cold afternoon’s jaunt up the Calder. It was a packed house, (around 100 people there, maybe more) and some fine music played. The monthly Jam in Castlemaine seems to have settled to a great afternoon’s entertainment. Hard to believe that Mauro (landlord) resisted it for so long. Hard to believe the jam once sank to just six people in the original Comma bar.

Miss Smiff, Mr Hirsh, Ade, and Alan Richards all started moonlighting before I did. Greeted by Gwynn at the door, Hannah at the helm, and a wet afternoon in the Big C. Queuing for drinks, a fine collection of secondhand armchairs fully loaded, so a standing arvo and a chance to catch up with some Castlemaine stalwarts, Norm Gray on flugel, Don de Halls Gap and Christian on bass, Valiant and Maggie on keys, and the pick of them, (if you had to pick, which you didn’t) Howard on guitar.

I have been trying to find a suitable time to get up to Castlemaine for the jam session there – thanks to the Captain and Malcolm for arranging it – a fun afternoon and a credit to Hannah, Ken Turnbull, Gwynn et al for a fine session.

Hannah at the Mic                                                                          Sax and Norm on Trombone                                
Don on Bass

The Next Jam Session at The Post Hotel

The Next Jam Session at the Post Hotel

We are doing it all again on Sunday 14th July, 4.00pm start.

The Post Hotel is on the corner of Inkerman and St Kilda Road – parking is generally available on St Kilda Road, or go round the corner into Inkerman, and first on the left is Bath Road – there is a big carpark about 100m up this. Or get the tram….or come next week.

Sunday Jazz : And a brief digression . . .

Arrived at the Yugoslavian Embassy to find Ambassador’s wife in a state of high anxiety, and His Excellency engaged in a complicated manoeuvre that may have involved several inappropriate farm animals, and a bitter reference to the mid nineteenth century Balkan conflict. And if you have been reading this rubbish since that was last mentioned, it is high time you got out more…

As does Hortense from time, making one of her desperate forays from the nether recesses of the back bar in the hope of more excitement than would be found on a good day at the Strangled Ferret, were it still open, which, of course, it is not. Having burnt to the ground years ago.

 

But I digress. Again.

Jam Session? Yup, that went alright. Got there to find the gear had all been put in place, so the Captain had time for a sound check and a beer. By the time we started, the pub was pretty much full, and noisy, and we ripped through a coupla instrumentals, probably more instru than mental, with Jane and meself swapping drums mid toon without in any way altering the standard of drumming and Geoff welcome back on piano. Then singer Jess took first swipe at the donkey: a neat little vocal set with “Turn Me On” a highlight.

Much noise, beer and clapping, and on we went, with saxes CaptainChaos, , Alan, Jeff, Laurie and later on, Keef. Mercifully, Sala arrived so we had a proper drummer, followed by Frank who only came to the pub for a beer, and only said he played drums for a joke. Pretty good. Max Teakle played bass then piano, Hussein and Mac alternated on drums, Neil played some brief guitar, and Marian recorded away.

 

All good fun, followed by a succession of tonsil artistes – Jane, Carol, Dayle (first up, good, thanks for waiting patiently, please come again), Judee Horin (p and v), Brian doing a Sinatra bracket, Yuko back again, Annie, unflappable, Chris (Route 66, and welcome back!) and then Susie accompanied by Malcolm back after a spell, with a closing stanza from Janine.

Jam session went alright? Actually, it was huge, 25 musos got up, noisy, fun – and we are starting to worry about how we might stuff it up…
TW

Sir Roger . . .

Sir Roger De Coverley not even slightly deceased.

Bit of gossip doing the rounds to the effect that Sir Roger De Coverley had shuffled off the mortal coil. Not so. As soon as I heard the news I called Roger Clark, who knows De Coverley extremely well, and he assured me that everything was still in good working order. Well, he would say that wouldn’t he?

 

And what of Merimbula Jazz Festival?

“Too far away, tired old format, too much trad, same faces every year, getting smaller every year.”…that was Merimbula Jazz Festival in 2014. It must be said that one motive for starting the Castlemaine Jazz Festival was as an opportunity for musicians whose budget did not stretch to the 1,158km round trip. It is rather pleasing to get reports of how Merimbula has changed, and developed in new ways..All three respondents were, overall, positive. Read on.

Sir Roger de Coverley

Merimbula was a great festival again this year .Lots of fellowship , lots of muso’s but this year there was many more big bands than usual . Some of the big bands were very very good and some were community and school bands which lacked a little experience and polish.

There were the regulars i.e. Sarah Maclaine , Ron Anderson ,Alan Richards ,Blue Tango and more . I had a group with Gavin Franklin a Dr of music from James Morrison Jazz School in Mount Gambier, Larry Kean , Doug Kuhn and we were very pleased with the response of the crowd and our gigs were packed .Gavin is a great old friend of mine and I make special mention of him as he is a tremendous player and made such a special effort to get there.There were also some very high quality bands from Canberra which were a pleasure to hear .

My only other comment is that there were far less Trad bands this year .

Alan R the drummer.

Of course, not everything was perfect – the scheduling left some musicians with lesser venues and late night spots: quite probably because those were the musicians registered with multiple bands.

Dave the bass:

Glowing reports on the venues, and the sound equipment, and quality the music (Canberra musos?). Same gripe about scheduling. The crowds were up, the weather was good and the oysters tasty. What’s not to like?

In summary, the increasing numbers coming from Canberra, and the gradual increase in big bands to offset the decline in trad bands, and a focus on younger musicians promises well for the future.