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.

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.

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

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

From The Leinster

Dateline Collingwood: 4.3.18

Last Sunday the Jazz Jam at the Leinster arms Hotel reached a new nadir, a point where the bottom of the barrel had been scraped so much that the bottom was gone and the tunnel to China is now complete. No one is to blame but not much can be said about it other thank goodness it is over. The sound of a cat being strangled somehow has much more appeal now. Continue reading

From The Leinster Arms

4th Feb 2018

A very small and faithful number of jammers turned up at the Leinster Arms Hotel on Sunday only to find not only no cymbals for the drum kit but no drummers. In an attempt to get some music started, the jam featured this scribe on piano , Pete on Bass, Neil on Guitar , Jeff and the Captain of Chaos on reeds, and Sir not appearing in this jam on Drums. Continue reading

Live at The Leinster

Dateline 21 Jan 2018

A small group of regular jammers appeared at the Leinster Arms Hotel on Sunday to start another year of mangled ballads, hackneyed show tunes, suspect swing songs and NQR bossa novas and soul jazz dirges. Continue reading

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. Continue reading