Venues and Bands ; The Captain and I have spent the week trying to rustle up more venues – and the funds to pay for them. We now have more bands that have registered their interest than we currently have space for. Some of them are damn good, too. This week’s haul: a few trad bands on the old crusty wing, and avant garde AuroraLumina at the other edge. Much talk of “spectrum” this week, as we are keen to offer a wide range of jazz styles.
The missing musician malarkey:We have a surprisingly large database of musicians – some of whom would be eagerly awaiting your call if you are one or two short.
The Committee: Met this week, cast a despairing eye over the bar chart (it is going vertical as we speak) and set about planning a media campaign.
Facebook/Whats App/Twitter: Facebook site up and running, thanks to the Bowls Club boys.
The Website We have put up details and photos on the first 40 or so bands, a few more still to come. Next task is to get some interior shost of the venues – they are surprisingly shmicko, with two big stages in the Bowls club and the RSL.
Check out the website here and like it on your Facebook page.
What an unexpected surprise! The theme this week was undoubtedly set by the number of jammers returning, in one case after at least three years (looking at you, Tony!)
Geoff the piano made a welcome return, as did Ian – can’t remember when he last jammed but I do remember his guitar playing. Russell back on the sticks -haven’t seen him for a while – POCKOTL in attendance with Rod, Bette, and a moderately second hand looking Bec, who has been in the wars. Slawie, for the second week running aced the bass department, with Pete following up with a fine set. Drummers also included Michael Happysnaps Findlay, and Hirsh the Carpet (should have mentioned his band at PFJF, but it will only encourage him).
The regulars were there : Jeff on clarinet, Alan smooth on sax, Laurie even smoother, and red hat Cardinal Calamatta popped in for a whirl through a few standards.
The singers were out in force as ever – Kay, Carol,Jane, joined by Nurul shaking off the rust, and Kevin singing Take the A train in the wrong, albeit default, key. Susanna showed up later, and I missed her singing. Tye sang with heaps more confidence, and put in a neat set as a result, That’s Why theLady is a Tramp the highlight. Getting better and better.
Pianists included Peter G and Gentleman John Curtis, a set from Richard, and Malcolm to follow. Newcomers included a nervous Barbara who played some neat drums and seemed to enjoy it. Hope she comes back. And of course, newcomer Ennes was the only Bosnian playing oboe. He made it sound simple.
Michael (sax) and his offsider, who remains a nameless guitarist/singer because I forgot to get his name, put up a rather lengthy set, not without its charms. The suspicion remains that these are carefully rehearsed and we will throw them at an impromptu line up next time. You know it makes sense.
Then Gilbert brought his own pianist, Sharon for a trot through some Festival material. Sounded good. Posh or what.
I understand that stumps were eventually drawn at around 8.30 and a fine if raucous time was had by the night watch. Definitely one of the better jams all round.
So… at 36 musos all up, this equalled the second busiest session ever, and props to the Captain who wielded his list skilfully and got everyone the spot they came for.
This week’s jam is on Sunday 23rd February from 4.00pm at the Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, all over the Front Bar.
Mingus Week went off as expected last week – everyone completely ignored it, which is, let’s face it, in the finest traditions of the Jammers. So this coming week, we will be having Cock-Up Week, with prizes for the winners.
Everyone is expected to bring their own cock-up chart, but feel free to try them out in joint formation. Perfection, as ever, will be frowned upon. If you are too modest to bring your own chart to cock up, then by all means cock up someone else’s material. They won’t mind a bit, because they will be too busy looking to return the favour..
If we can get enough cockups occurring at the same session, we may even be able to declare it a debacle. And we all enjoy those, don’t we?.
You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street (same side as Post Hotel). Tram 3/3a or 67 down St Kilda Road from the City if they are running, or take a helicopter, land elsewhere and get an Uber. Or walk. Or take the bus, but fer gawdsake bring it back. Or come the next week instead. Bring the spouse, collect double points if it is someone else’s.
Next week sees the third jammers’ gig, with singer Yuko heading up a quartet comprising Dave Taylor on Bass, Alan Richards on drums, meself on keys and quite possibly Alan West on saxophone. This spiffingly under – rehearsed quartet (at least we can count) will be running through the Onishi play book in front of an adoring crowd of about, well, I am not sure how many…
But we would like to see you there – light supper and a bevvy of some sort would be a midweek treat n’est ce pas? And Yuko at her best is rather entertaining. Starts at 6.00pm, goes to 8.00pm
Well, a few of us shot through to Port Fairy (see below) leaving the nearly famous B team to disport themselves as they wished at the famed landmark and watering hole, also known as the Post.
Rashly, or perhaps not, we left Miss Kay to wield the organisational rattan cane as required, aided and abetted by the Debster. The girls had a pretty good time of it, what with a few of the regulars holding it up, and a few newbies adding a touch of class. Discipline was excellent, I am told.
So… props to Peter G and the Curtis on keys, Richard Gale who struggled with Yuko‘s choice of ‘orrible key for A train, and ‘orrible chart for Round Midnight. Slawie dropped by, first time in a while, Shahar and Jonathan, fresh from busking at South Melbourne market, joined in to show us all how it should be done, and John Perri put up a longish session on drums. With regulars Anton (bass) Okto (guitar), John Bell (trumpet), plus all the names I didn’t recognise, a pretty good line up.
All told, seventeen musicians darkened the door, threw hats metaphorically in the ring, and had a good time anyway. Maybe more next week?
Upcoming opportunities for a gig
Mike at the Post has offered us three Wednesday night spots at the post – 26th Feb, 25th March and 25th April, each to be a two hour slot for a quartet (piano, bass, drums and soloist) and singer. This has come about following the two sessions we did with Katerina Myskova and Jess Dams.
If you would like to get involved, let us know at the jam session.
… will be this Sunday, 16th February at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. And all those who went to Port Fairy last week will have to stand in a queue at the back until you are forgiven. The (slightly famous) B Team will have bragging rights for one week. Actually they will probably get them again when Inverloch is on.(6th -9th March)
Despite St Kilda being locked shut for the Festival last week, I am reliably informed that the traffic and parking situation will be back to normal. (i.e. moderately awful, like every else ) Get a tram, bicycle, charabanc, maybe steal an electric bicycle from one of those ghastly food deliverers, strap on the roller skates, or just walk to the Post.
Mingus Week: Bass players wearing a goatee beard, dark glasses and clutching a Lester Young style busted porkpie hat will be admitted free. Everyone else will be admitted free too.
A good time had by all. Quite a few regular and occasional jammers were seen wandering the streets of a windy but sunny Port Fairy. Only their fourth Festival and this is well established on the annual roster – probably the biggest Festival in country Victoria already.
Annie Smith, sporting three broken legs, a suntan, and a cheerful attitude was there. So was the Jess Dams Quartet, Breakout, and surprise hit of the Festival, Jack Morris’ Port Phillip Showband who put up a cracker of a set – acceptance for the Newport Jazz Festival confirmed. Festival regulars such as Ron Anderson, Roger Clarke and Sarah Maclaine all shone. Of course there was some rubbish as well, but we weren’t responsible for all of it…
Jess, Mac, Peter and meself put in a fund raiser at Narrowong on the Friday night – they budgeted on selling 30 tickets and ended up selling 70 – Jess had a great night and they have asked us back.
A quick sortie up the Calder got me to t the Maurocco Bar last Sunday. Gwynn at the door, John Hannah doing the technical thing, Ken Turnbull the opening numbah, whilst Crafty old Mauro is making a motza out of this – it is the busiest day of the week for the Maurocco Bar. A lively afternoon, from Jaz Stutely and her band, through to Norm Gray and a few hot players at the other end, with Don from Halls Gap in between, all held together by Maggie Jackson and one of the rare occasions when the C Jam has out numbered the P Jam. Probably because neither meself, nor the Hirsh nor Alan Richards nor Brian made it to the Post.
Highlights of the day included a tuba, washboard and banjo, Norm’s trumpet playing and a lady (Cathy?) playing violin and singing rather well. The Hirsh played a slightly confused solo on drums (it wasn’t him doing the confusing), Brian thinks he can get away with the same Everyday I have the Blues, but he can’t because the St Kilda Post mafiosi were there., and Alan was, well, just Alan because that is what he is good at.
The Maurocco remains a great venue, and the crowd in attendance are a cruisy lot.
Meanwhile, back at the Post…
I am indebted to the local snout, aka Chaos, for his pithy comments on the jam session – a quieter one than usual, but some good stuff coming from it – he picked out the John Bell/Jeff Harris Philharmonic Orchestra for being particularly articulate, Roger Clark and the Debster for entertaining, and a newcomer (Marganita, but I am sure I have got that wrong) who sang rather well, and whom he hopes will come again. And a dancer (Natalie?) who, well, danced. No, can’t read my notes, who danced well.
Michael on guitar was too loud, his off sider Michael on sax really good. Turn up the sax, turn down the axe and come again!
Tye copped the dodgy microphone, or dodgy microphone lead. Sorry, will try and find a solution next week.
So… nobody died, nothing got broken, and a good time was hopefully had by all, although you all left before the free beer ran out, pub burnt down, the Fire Brigade arrived in fancy dress, the PA system worked properly, the tigers were let loose and the drugs wore off. None of which may not have happened. I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there.
25 musos all up, and a splendid afternoon’s entertainment.
Next week: We might suggest you stick to the black notes, they are cheaper. We might not.
The Fourth Jam Session of 2020
Will be this Sunday, 9nd February at 4.00pm. At The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street. And it promises to be an unmitigated disaster as all the muso regulars with an unnecessarily high opinion of themselves will be at Port Fairy, leaving everyone else to dive in and misbehave in their absence. Otherwise known as the (slightly famous) B Team.
Plenty of parking around the Hotel possibly due to the fact that no-one has taken over the area for coal mining, gas fracking or pop tunes done badly. Wide open spaces really, just the spot for your ageing Rover 90 Series 1, Datson 180Y with no seat covers, or similar… and then in to the warm but familiar confines of the Post, for a soothing ale or three.
The Newport Jazz Festival – this week’s updoot
Stop messing about, we are up to pussy’s bow with bands. Going to see the Hobson’s Bay City Council wallahs for an update and see if they have got any spare venues. The Captain over achieving again. Why are we not surprised.
Subtle addition of Newport Jazz Festival.com.au as a reserve website. Should automatically bounce through to melbornejazzjammers.com.au which is the actual website. Jess has been working on the band updates, but they have come in so fast we can barely keep up.
The proofs are in
Susie V and the Debster are getting quotes for graphic design. Woo Hoo!