From the archives: a 2011 essay. Not much has changed
Like all other slightly deviant activities in the universe, or the back bar, whichever you happen to be in at the time, the Melbourne (*) Jam Sessions are subject to immutable laws, generally empirically derived, and only clarified by the third or fourth round of drinks.
ABILITY The Inverse Law of competence: This states that the amount of time taken to set up and start playing your instrument is inversely proportional to the level of competence subsequently displayed.
IMPROVISATION: The Law of Improvisation states that the number of notes played per nano second is often a clear indication of the complete lack of creativity in any given solo. Or of a devotion to late stage middle age be-bop fixation, which is much the same thing.
SOUND LEVELS: This law states that the louder you play, the better it will sound. It is a crap law, but does appear to have widespread support.
COMPLEXITY: The Law of Complexity states that complex tunes and/or arrangements, must generally be attempted by people deeply unable to master them, and deeply unable to appreciate that they remain un-mastered.. This Law of Complexity is often enhanced by the attemptee indulging in long explanations to other players of the form, intro, outro, key, fifth page repeated three times etc. etc. This leads to the Law of Perplexity
THE LAW OF PERPLEXITY: This states that the extent to which any given musician could not give a rats posterior about the long winded explanation (see above) is exactly proportional to the relative ability of that player vis a vis the attemtptee (see above again…)
THE GADGETS PRINCIPLE: The Gadgets Principle is that the number of gadgets required by a musician multiplied by the number of minutes required to connect said gadgets, divided by the number of tunes that could have been played in the time taken to rummage around for all the gadgets in the first place, then added to the the number of musicians standing around waiting for gadget connecting sequence to be completed… is errmm… a very silly number indeed.
THE COOLNESS QUOTIENT: This quotient can be derived by dividing your age by the number of years spent in studying jazz,. If the answer is between 7 and infinity, you need to stay out of the sun, acquire black clothes, a pork pie hat, a supercilious sneer, thick rimmed spectacles and a goatee beard. If female, you can skip the pork pie hat.
If your answer is below 7, you rock, Dude, probably own at least one skivvy with no writing on it, prefer vinyl to CD, know someone who knows someone who has heard of you but never met, and have travelled extensively in third world countries such as Carlton North and Abbotsford.
Melbourne (Australia) is not known as the cultural capital of the South for nothing. It is a city of around 4.9 million people, who all wear black, know where the best coffee in Melbourne is, and voted for someone else at the last election, so cannot be held responsible…