Well, you have to start somewhere, do you not. I have been reading about the slithy toves this week, and do not intend to pursue the matter further, there being a rather good jam session on which to report.
Where did we go wrong? Not sure, but a surprisingly good cross section of Jammers turned up, late as usual. We kicked the pill round the paddock , before embarking on a session that got better by the minute.
Sir Roger De Coverley’s dubious descendant ripped out his black sax and entertained us for a while. Quite what has come over him is still uncertain, but he seemed to do all sorts of weird stuff, like leaving space for Les Autres (see footnote) to get aboard, playing succinctly composed solos, and generally raising the tone. About time.
Of course having Ade Ish on keys helped considerably, and when we realised that (a) young Stan on bass was having a red hot go, and (b) Monsieur Bray was as good as ever on drums, a half decent jam session emerged.
Jess put up a passably smooth set of jazz swing, then Peel Me A Grape. Jeff soloed a treat on that one. Not to be outdone, we had a mass saxophone section (Laurie, Jeff, Alan, Keef – kicked off by the Captain, and Jaime (de Spain) on his 3 month old saxophone with a handy take on Footprints, which besides being a Wayne Shorter toon, is easy on the ear, and quite possibly piano, although you wouldn’t think it at the time.
The afternoon passed at a dizzying pace, and the pub filled satisfyingly full – maybe a little cold weather was driving the punters in? Song of the Day (do we have one of those?) went to My Old Flame, (Ade, Alan West, Stan and Steve on drums)
Huich turned in a typically unobtrusive violin solo; and Julian, back from what he described as a four month hiatus, played some pretty sweet floot.
Hirsh arrived to take over from Steve on drums, Nelson relieved a determined not to be knackered Stan, Yuko (My Baby Just Cares For Me), Jane (East of the Sun), Carol (Minnie the Moocher) Annie (You turned the tables on Me) all pumped new life into songs we forgot to bury years ago. And then Mr Hirsh dragged him self off the carpet for a rousing take on Sunny Side of The Street. You cant keep a good man down. God knows, we’ve tried….
So … only 24 musos turned out for this one, no excuses, but it was definitely up a grade or two, music-wise. We indulged the instrumentalists manly because they were, for the first time in a long time, the stars of the show.
Next one please, can’t wait!
Footnote: Very little is known about Les Autres, and none of it is true. Les could have been a late 19th Century toothbrush salesman, but his dad wouldn’t let him. He often hangs about the back entrance to one of the many licensed premises that the Melbourne Jazz Jammers have closed down over the years, waiting for the next debacle.