The Leinster Arms Jam session: less is more

Or more is less. One might think that after more than ten years of writing drivel about the jam sessions, there might be an emerging consensus as to what makes a session as enjoyable as this latest mangle session turned out to be.

It didn’t start well: weather as cold as a mother in law’s kiss, the Council had ripped up the pavement and put a fence round the footpath, so you couldn’t get in, Glen away, all of three desperate regulars in the front bar, and absolutely no one to keep drummer Michael Findlay company as he unloaded the drum set.

Eventually the Captain, Neil and meself set about moving tables, chairs, benches and jammers equipment into place, plugged it all in, Laurie the sax warmed up, regaled us with tales of taking a fall in the night (see footnote), and Piers turned up with his double bass. We started making a bit of noise to keep ourselves warm.

The ingredients of a successful jam? It continues to elude us, which was probably a good thing – but maybe less musos who all get plenty of space to shine at the toons they mangled has a bit to do with it. For whatever reason, it turned out a convivial afternoon, plenty of good solos from Laurie and Folker, Brian waiting patiently for a turn on the tonsils, all of us getting lost, the Captain finding some swing tunes at the back of his book. In the middle of which Jeremiah turned in some hot playing with a banjo and a trumpet, though not, mercifully, at the same time.

Highlights, you may ask? There didn’t need to be many, but the rhythm section of Findlay, Neil (guitar) Jeremiah (banjo) and Piers (double bass) put in a delightful romp (sans piano and saxophones) through a few standards, we played a serviceable Mr PC (at Volker’s request), Laurie picked out a Keith Jarrett ballad whose name escapes me, and we couldn’t decide if apologies were due to Keith or Laurie first.

A quieter session, and we all went home at 6.30 because the piano player was knackered.

Very satisfying. See ya next week?

The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, will be back on Sunday 22nd April at 4.00pm.

Footnotes
Laurie’s fall: he says it was a dark night and an unfamiliar room to blame. Of course we all assumed he’d been 100% hammered. No damage done, although strangely, he played rather well.

Piers’double bass: asked him where he trained: turns out he is a self taught bass player. Struth!

Jeremiah’s trumpet and banjo: last came to a jam session at the Royal Standard Hotel. Asked him where he studied: VCA and NMIT. Not surprised.
TW

The Jam session: 15 Musos with nothing better to do

The Leinster Arms Hotel
Well, a quiet day for a change, in the Chateau de Leinster, and 15 musos (and you may treat the term with derision if you wish) all neatly lined up to take their turn (hah!) in mangling a fine selection of toons. We even played a Peter Ryan original, but we were getting desperate by then.

Fine cameo by Trev on piano, Fermin and Neil on guitars, and a welcome return by Michael Findlay on drums, followed by Bill, the Captain and later a coupla solos from Will on saxaphone, much improved and improvised, before Malcolm took over the keys. Bassist Pierce played solidly all afternoon, and got the bass sound right: he held the rhythm section admirably together. Black Nile a standout that flew well above the audience’s heads, then the Debster and Kevin on vocals. After which point, some of us wandered out into the warm air of an autumnal evening, and the remaining musos probably ramped it up until the dancing on the tables died down, and they all left when the pub ran out of beer.

Or not as the case may be. Well, probably not…

The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, will definitely be back on Sunday 15th April at 4.00pm
TW

Madge: the news from Refinery Terrace

It has been quiet of late, in West Altona’s leafiest suburban street. What a pity there are no trees to go with it. After the debacle with Rotten Ronnie Junior, of which the less said the better, Madge has taken to her room, with only a cask port and a catering pack of Winnie Blues to sustain her. There may have been the occasional foray to the Strangled Parrot, West Altona’s first and last licensed cabaret venue, but not many matelots get that far these days . . . and even fewer get back.

Hortense on the other hand, has been lurking about the jazz bars and live music venues of Melbourne, generally keeping to herself, or not, as the case may be. She may well have been sitting outside the Gold Street Gossip shop enjoying the music, but that would have been on Easter Sunday.
TW

The Leinster Arms Hotel

Jazz this Sunday April 8th from 4.00pm.

After last Sunday’s brief pause. Many thanks to the people who read the Jammers Newsletter and didn’t turn up, and to Mike Hirsh who didn’t read the newsletter, and did. Extra solo for him next session which is on April 8th

The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, will definitely be back on Sunday 8th April at 4.00pm

 

April starts with a whimper – NO JAM SESSION ON EASTER SUNDAY good lord!

I walked in to the Gold Street Gossip shop, bang on time, to be greeted by a fine selection of old friends – Marg and Mark Allen brung along a table or two, Steve Bray setting up his drums, Land lord Glen in jovial mood and a bunch of regular musos. Seems like the return to form of the jam of the previous week, and then some. Only thing lacking was a train wreck or two, but we can fix that later. Continue reading

“the more things change, the more they stay the same”

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Well, he never turned up at a Jam Session anyway. It has been some time since I last wrote for the Jammers Newsletter, being rudely interrupted by the need for a little light surgery. Wandered in to the Gold Street Gossip Shop , exhausted after a long (for me) waddle down Johnston Street, at 4.00pm sharp, to be greeted by a guitarist (1), a keyboard, the good Captain with his saxophone, no drums, no bass and an exceptionally good drummer (2). Continue reading

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