Xmas Jam 3 Dec 2017

By Taariq Hassan

The last jazz Jam of the year 2017 came and went with a bang.

A good turnout embraced the temperamental weather that Melbourne’s end of year December festivities offers and enjoyed some more: very loud drum solos; find a key singing; wandering tempos; lost chord changes and hackneyed show tunes and ancient standards being mangled yet again.

The players included your scribe on piano and guitar. Others who contributed on the bass were Ivan, Ponytail Peter and newcomer Luke who was quite proficient on the electric bass.

Piano players were not scarce. They included Lisette who also sang some songs including “Lonely Avenue” and “ Fragile” in G minor with a nice guitar solo by your correspondent.

Sam Izzo ; Gentleman John Curtis; Malcolm and the every able Kay Cai on piano and melodica all added their flourishes on the digital piano.

Fermin, Chico added guitars to the mix and yours truly played the big red guitar.

Drummers included : Michael ; Bill; Sebastien (a.k.a The Gallic Animal from the Muppets) ;Steve Bray ; Mike ” Drum solos a plenty” Hirsch and the swinging Andre.

Reed men included : Jeff; the wailing demon on alto sax. ; Peter; Capt. Chaos; Laurie and Keith.

Marion Lustig showed us her recorder skills. She did not do a lighter fluid and matches sacrifice of her instrument to conclude her performance ala Jimi Hendrix at Monterrey. I think Glenn the publican would have taken exception to that .

Vocals were warbled by Uncle Jack ,”A Foggy Day “, Lisette as mentioned before; some refused to be dictated to by key, pitch or songs that were written after 1920’s ended.

The surprise talent came from newcomer Tom P. Fresh from sunny Tasmania with his trombone , he showed us his very accurate pitching (on an instrument that can , in the wrong hands, be like a live cat being skinned) and his swinging , concise phrasing.

Come back in 2018. We need your contribution in brass.

I ended up leaving at about 7 pm after wading through some songs that ended up being ruined twice such as the ¾ time “ Alice in Wonderland” and other hoary old chestnuts.

I wish you all the season’s greetings for the pagan consumer summer solstice and hope to see and hear from you again for a bigger and better new year of Sunday jamming at the sheltered workshop for the tone deaf and rhythmically challenged.

Chez Leinster on 19/11/17

This scribe went along armed with an electric bass and a semi hollow electric guitar to see what could happen on a Sunday at the Leinster Arms……….

The following observations were made while your correspondent played as the sole and only bassist for nearly 4 hours nonstop.

At least four drummers turned up including Michael and Bill. As a bassist I listen to the drummer while playing the song and try to torture them occasionally, or is it the other way round? Continue reading

Inside The Leinster 12 Nov 2017

So with some of the riff raff wandering all over the country it was left to the crème de la crème to hold the fort at the centre of jamming invention that is The Leinster. That is to say a decent number of us graced the establishment with a surprising level of proficiency.

On Drums we had Steve Bray, Allan Richards and Mike Hirsch who all played well. On Piano Gentleman John Curtis played a long stint before being relieved by this (edited) scribe followed by Malcolm and later Richard and Trevor tinkled the digital ivories. Continue reading

Marion Lustig takes a holiday

Hi all,
I recently had a wonderful experience as a participant at Jazz Port Townsend in Washington, U.S.A., a weeklong jazz workshop and festival. It was a truly inspiring experience to meet, study with, and hear a faculty of world class jazz musicians in a lovely semi-rural setting at Fort Woden, Port Townsend which is an historic small town about 2 hours’ drive north of Seattle. There was a full range of abilities among the participants, who included about 50% youngsters of jaw-dropping calibre, but plenty of adults ranging from enthusiastic amateurs like myself to pro musicians. Highly recommended!
Cheers,
Marion Lustig

Jazz Jam Report 6th August 2017

by

Taariq Hassam ( Mr. T. )

The Sheltered workshop for the tone deaf and the rhythmically challenged had another jam session. It happened at the Leinster arms last Sunday.

Many songs that were highly predictable were ruined in new and unpredictable ways.

The most interesting piece of music that looked promising on paper was mangled into the train wreck of the week . I speak of “ Seven Steps to Heaven”, the Miles Davis tune.

The most musical moment may have been a good version of “Nardis “ , also a Miles Davis piece. It nearly sounded like Jazz! , with this scribe on piano , Chico on Guitar and others were also present who were too talented or amazing to be described at all , even by name.

Many people turned up, tuned up and joined in. They included Pip on Viola and Violin. On Drums we had: Michael; Matt; Bill; Manny and the swinging Andre. On Bass we had :Pete Ponytail and this scribe taking it in turns on the electric bass guitar. On Piano Gentleman John Curtis played a solid bracket or two as well as your humble correspondent and some proficient tinkling from Kay.

Guitarists were not in short supply including : Fermin; Neil; Vlad ; Chico and Sir Not Appearing in this report. On Reeds and other ‘ blow in one end and hear the sound coming out the other end’ type instruments we had the usual chaos from Captain Chaos plus Jeff on Alto and Will on Tenor Sax.

Vocalists with their often inexplicably banal and hackneyed choices of songs included : the very lovely Chloe; Kylie and Susie. The bespectacled warbler Kevin also trotted out some pre Crimean war jazz standards and a late appearance from Ms. Annie Smith meant that

“All or nothing at all “

was not just a song and a chart but the reality in terms of anyone in the band really knowing what the effing hell was going on.

One must mention Tim on trumpet. There I have mentioned him.

Ted “ Anything after 1835 is Bebop “ Woollan was not there and the jam still went ahead regardless.

Overall it was not a bad jam session that started out with a small and subtle approach and ended up louder ,bigger and less nuanced as the proceedings unfolded.

I will be up on the wintery and snowy Mt. Bogong( 1986 M. ) in N.E. Victoria next week so enjoy the lack of an overconfident multi-instrumentalist muscling in on every song, on nearly every instrument (including the spoons with a rack of effects).

Be sure to play plenty of Eric Dolphy charts while I am away.

Jam Session: Brilliant solos, flawless performances

But that was somewhere else. The chill days of winter are upon us, and the same log in the Leinster fireplace as last year is burning cheerfully. Given the gloomy old day, the Chopper Read Ballroom took a while to warm up. Curtis, Happysnaps Findlay, Noel, the Captain, Neil the G and meself opened the batting and it went downhill from there. Continue reading

Jam Session: All Chips and nonsense

Spiffin ‘litttle Jam Session last Sunday. New toons, old favourites, and a birthday party to follow. Madge from Altona, doyenne of the wind-blown west, may have been there; and her good friend Hortense was back, with a vengeance, a handbag and a lifetime of regret, in the nether regions of the back bar, or not as the case may be. The Birthday party? After a busy jam, Kay rashly had the birthday at 7.00pm whereupon they all retired to the Atrium for exaggerated compliments and a frisson of jazz. Continue reading

Jam Session: A Contemplative Effort

Or whatever. Sunday rolled around, yet again, and a motley crew of musicians fronted for a bit of ballad mangling on a variety of instruments. Around 20 musos, and, for a change, singers, most of whom did Summertime.

As jam sessions go, this one had its moments, nothing got broken, and nobody died. Several perpetrators tried music, either in concert with the saxophones, or fighting over the top of the massed ranks. Continue reading

Carruthers thinks it is too quiet…

And he don’t like it when the natives get restless. Interesting session at the Gold Street Gossip Shop last Sunday – around 20 musos turned up, gentle ballad mangling was the order of the day, and a rather pleasant afternoon ensued. Col T of the Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd) was in particularly good form – he even sat out for a while – probably needed a break from piano to recover, but it is reassuring to know that every key on the Roland works. Continue reading

Jammers attempt music. Not too much audience consternation

Music! Good theoretical concept and as no-one realised this was being attempted, no real harm done.

At least I got there on time, to find Ponytail Pete bassing up a storm, Michael Happysnaps Findlay hitting things in the corner, Glen putting free munchies on the Bar which we ate whilst encouraging the usual flock of self entitled saxophonists to play some more…

Sadly, I had to leave somewhat early, so I missed Kay (piano) Susy V and La Smiff singing, probably missed the usual clear concise and contradictory instructions from Col T as to how each piece should be played, and left the jam to Captain Chaos’ tender mercies.
TW

Jam Session goes well

But we are working on it. This was a medium to heavy session, with a large group of musicians from WA, none of whom got up and played. Possibly didn’t realise we were playing music.

Jeff, sax, gets better and better, Will is starting to sound a lot more fluent, and the rest of us (Peter G, Cathy, Kay and meself on piano, Michael F on drums, Ponytail Pete running hot for a while, Ivan doing abnormal things to an otherwise innocent latin rhythm, Taariq on everything else and Neil (guitar) the pick of them. There were six saxophones there, all put in the shade by Murray’s miniature trumpet. Nice one.

Personal highlight of the arvo was a very nervous Manal getting up and singing with a band for the first time – props to Kevin for guiding her through it, and hopefully she will be back for more.

See ya Sunday?
TW