Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: Well,that was a surprise….

I almost didn’t go. What the hell, rocked up anyway, as I had promised Mistress Smith that I would come for the last Featured Singer series of the year (see report below).

The jam sessions have been predictably unpredictable of late … this one featured some new faces (welcome Britta the bass), some returning faces (Jane, where ya been?), some startling improvers, (Dave No Nickname on bass), some returning Jammers (Kay Young de Darwin in fine form, great to see you again), rather more audience ordering ridiculously large meals and staying all afternoon… and some fine music making/mangling/take your pick.

Featured Singer (and wardrobe mistress)Mistress Annie Smith sang a fiendishly difficult set that put Gentleman John Curtis right in his comfort zone – standout was Take Five, which is the first time in living memory anyone has attempted a 5/4 tune (other than when the rest of us were playing in some other tempo…) Annie craftily avoided some of her more entertaining/less intellectual songs so we will have to ask her back to do another set…

Rhythm section of the week: Drummers win by a country mile: Bill Swannie, Salah and Alan Smith all good, Andre a late arrival but just as good too.

Soloists: Laurie played beautifully, and nailed it, Keith was his usual excellent self, and they both paired well with the Captain .

Singers included Jane with a top swing set, Brian Fly Me To The Moon, Stormy Monday, Angel Eyes and Kevinwas there but elected not to sing. Kay Young sang as well as ever, Ann Hayres arrived later, but hadn’t sung before I left, probably so I wouldn’t be able to take the mickey. She is always good.

It was entertaining stuff. The good Captain got so excited he forgot to call his customary five bar fours, or indeed create any chaos at all. So will anyone turn up next session?

Pre Christmas Bash: Sunday 16th December

This week… 16th December, with an earlier start time of 3.00pm. For those that want to, we suggest we stop for a meal at 6.00pm  or thereabouts. The food is good, and the portions are enormous.

Indications are, that despite the bigger turnout last week, even more people will be coming for the Bash. The skeleton staff at Bendigo Towers a rereasonably confident that the afternoon will prove to be a disaster,in the finest traditions of the Melbourne Jazz Jammers.

Look out for…

Jammers attempting to play jazz – that will never work, we all prefer the occasional train-wreck.  Audience members are advised to ignore this, talk loudly and preferably indulge in malicious gossip instead. We all have our strengths…

Complete bluddy strangers deciding to turn up for the first time and expecting to play most of the afternoon…. or complete bands doing the same (it has happened before…)  We will attempt to get everyone a spot. Dodgy Dave has been warned we might run a bit late.

Of course it is always possible that almost no-one will turn up at all, in which case we will have a marvellous time anyway…

The Bash has always been a chance for new, old, decrepit and lapsed jammers to get together and sneer at the current crop. As you love a bit of scurrilous gossip (who doesn’t?) this is a great opportunity to get on the bandwagon, meet old friends, possibly wish you hadn’t,and if so inclined, blow the tits off yer fave toon or three.

Be there!

Next Jam, this Sunday 16th December, 3.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

Next week: a review of the Year that was. Reputations will be ruined, riots reviewed, repeat offenders identified, prizes awarded. 

Toodlepip!

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: A quiet session?

Well, not really. After some opening numbers by Messrs. Geoff,
Captain Chaos, and Curtis, and a welcome appearance by Mr
Stringer (drums), the afternoon followed its usual trajectory. It always
had the look of a quiet afternoon, lacking bass player and singers for
quite a while.
Nevertheless, a pleasant cacophony for a while. Volker played a
couple (sax) as did Geoff – who could have played more piano but
elected to leave. The customary hand grenade, mainly in the form of
an overly loud drummer, occasional guitarist Mr Ryan, Mr Harris and
the Captain himself contrived to make it sufficiently rowdy for a while,
with the unfortunate departure of the few audience members who
had turned up.
We were left with a total of 15 people in the room, all of them sat as
far from the music as they could get. Salah and Russell had to leave
after waiting a while .Of course, no one is expected to learn from the
experience, as they were, in the main, having too much fun.

The Captain, Peter Ryan and Volker – a quiet little drink

Kevin in fine voice

Bill Swannie (drums) Never missed a beat


Ben Stewart – Cool jazz guitar

What went well? You may well ask, always assuming you are reading
the newsletter, and in the habit of asking yourself rhetorical
questions… Pony Tail Pete had a good afternoon, playing solid bass,
with a coupla good solos thrown in. Kevin, looking and sounding
better than he has for a while, sang impressively – Georgia a highlight
with some fine piano from Malcolm.. Keef warmed up and was the
pick of the saxophones – we managed to stuff Daahoud for a couple
of choruses, but made sense of it in the end. First time Keef had
played it, and to think we were following him! Ben Stewart was a late
arrival, playing some gentle guitar with Bill Swannie on drums and
PTP on bass then sensibly ducked the solo on Daahoud

Pony Tail Pete looking chill

I had left before Mistress Smith had settled and sung. 

This was the smallest turnout we have had since starting at the Junk

  • and we must hope for rather better next week.
  • Featured Singer for December 9th
    The always entertaining, occasionally fabulous Mistress Smith! We
    have saved the best for last: singing up a storm next Sunday, and I
    am rather looking forward to this one. Silly hats optional.
The occasionally fabulous Mistress Smith
  • Pre Christmas Bash: Sunday 16th December
  • We have set the date for 16th December, with a start time of 3.00pm. For those that want to, we suggest we stop for a meal at 6.00pm or thereabouts –
  • negotiations are being held with the production staff –
  • Costume Director: Annie Smith
  • Reindeer Wrangler: Jack Morris
  • Marketing and Promotion: You
  • The Bash has always been a chance for new, old, decrepit and lapsed jammers to get together and sneer at the current crop. As you love a bit of scurrilous gossip (who doesn’t?) this is a great opportunity to get on the bandwagon, meet old friends, possibly wish you hadn’t, and if so inclined, blow the tits off yer fave toon or three.
  • Be there!


Next Jam, this Sunday 9th December, 4.00pm start,
The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the
corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park
Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops
off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.




Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: A lot of people and a bit of chaos


TRather more people than usual turned up for this one – including about five people from Canberra, along with about 345 extremely well behaved tinlids, who sat through the afternoon and appeared to enjoy it all.

The usual opening fusillade of jazz standards, with the Captain lighting up some smooth sax lines, the inimitable John Curtis priming himself for the featured duo of Debbie and Ashley. It was all going swimmingly, until, eventually, the Captain felt enough was enough and called for the big spanner, putting up Ash and Deb whilst the debonair Mr C was nowhere to be seen, and meself got finagled into sitting in as the Debster started with a tune I didn’t know. If it had any more flats, we could have taken it to VCAT. Mercifully, John returned, with a wry grin, and the thought occurred that he might have deliberately hand passed the opening tunes… couldn’t happen could it?

As a result, the duo set wasn’t as smooth as we could have hoped – no reflection on the singers, as they harmonised beautifully, but organisationally this wasn’t our finest moment. The cock was definitely upped…

Didn’t seem to matter, and over the next coupla hours, over 20 musicians got up and boogied. “twas fun, but…

Manal was back and sang with her usual mixture of nerves and charm. The ever improving Laurie blew some nice lines, Will ditto,ditto, nobody died and nothing got broken, well maybe a little bit but who cares….

Pre Christmas Bash: Sunday 16th December

After some discussion with Dodgy Dave, we have set the date for 16th December, with a start time of 3.00pm. For those that want to, we suggest we stop for a meal at 6.00pm or thereabouts – negotiations are being held with the production staff –

Costume Director: Annie Smith, with hats

Reindeer Wrangler: Jack Morris if I can get him

Marketing and Promotion:  You: ring ya mates

The Bash has always been a chance for new, old, decrepit and lapsed jammers to get together and sneer at the current crop. As you love a bit of scurrilous gossip (who doesn’t?) this is a great opportunity to get on the bandwagon, meet old friends, possibly wish you hadn’t,and if so inclined, blow the tits off yer fave toon or three.

Be there!

Featured Singer?

No featured singer this week, you will just have to feature yourselves. Our last featured singer of this year will be Annie Smith on 9th December

Next Jam, this Sunday 2nd December, 4.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

 

Sunday at the Junk: Gossip, Jazz,

The Jam Session: We foregathered so early that the Junk wasn’t even open, convened a meeting on a nearby park bench… kicked around a few ideas for a proposed jazz party that will hopefully come to fruition some time in the New Year. Not saying which New Year as we haven’t got that far.

The set up was much aided by Debbie, directed by the Captain, a few cables plugged in by meself,  Fermin set up the guitars and amps, and Russell re-assembled the drum kit, although he subsequently averred it wasn’t up to (his) standards.

A pleasant and diverse afternoon of ballad mangling ensued, with contributions from Salah then Bill Swannie on drums, a welcome return from PT Pete on bass after his Uni exams, songs from Jane, Debbie amongst others, Neil and Fermin on guitars, the Captain opened the batting for the saxophone brigade, followed by the immaculate tones of Cardinal Calamatta, and we may have persuaded Julian (floot and abacus) to join the putative Committee. Hopefully he won’t be too busy to play floot. Huich on violin. Volker back on sax.

Singer du jour was Michelle Gigliotti, in a tight set, accompanied by Kip Dale on electric bass, Bill on drums, and meself tickling the ivories. She sang a second set with Malcolm struggling with some of my dodgiest charts – my excuse is that I never used charts on any gig with Michelle anyway… and we knocked out 80 or so in years past.

Pony Tail Pete back on bass

Rod and Bette de Singapore dropped in, as you do, POCKOTL was there, and there were a pleasing number of locals in the audience. More musos than last week, and more fun too…

Featured Singers this Sunday 25th November

This next one is going to be a bit special, as Debbie and Ashley de Wang will be singing some duets – swing tunes in the main. I have heard some of their material and this should prove a real crowd pleaser

Next jam, this Sunday 25th November, 4.00pm start,

TheJunktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on thecorner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley ParkRoad, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops offFenton Street from High St, Kew.

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel:

The full crew were back from Wang, and the Jam sessions reverted to their usual format of a few instrumentals, then a featured singer as the room began to fill.

AT which point Captain Chaos brought on Julie Stewart who started out with some smooth songs only to be displaced by the next singer midway through her set. By this time there were already three other singers in the room, with the Captain pleading ignorance due to a missing “click here” on the Newsletter e-mail.

You can, if addicted to such drivel, access the Newsletter for the week by typing https://melbournejazzjammers.com/ instead. This is more or less foolproof, except maybe for the saxophonists.

After a lively interlude by singer Katerina Myskova, solo of the week came from Laurie Savage, on Summertime, We restored Miss Stewart for the remainder of her set, which went remarkably well, with singers Jane, and Carol to follow.

We then had a flautist, name unknown, drowned out by more soloists, but contributed to some sophistication to proceedings, the room stayed lively for quite a while.

Whilst the only other pianist in the room had to depart early to deliver forgotten house keys to his better half in Lorne – Gentleman John Curtis thereby leaving meself in the lurch breakwise. Neil played pretty much without a break as well.

Malcolm came in the nick of time to take over keys, only having to contend with Mr Hirsh way too loud on drums. I did suggest he might play a little quieter – he can be one of the most accomplished drummers after all, but I don’t think he could hear me. Signor Perri took over… aah!

Huich (violin) and the Late Miss Smith got in some late contributions to general ballad mangling, Fermin turned up late from some function or other, and a good time was had by all.

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel

No one played a bum note all afternoon, the Bistro was its usual busy self, the sun shone, we all had a good time…

Probably, I wouldn’t know, I was away. Calamatta put in a half hearted effort, turning round about halfway there.

All of this made possible by the fact that there was no jam session, what with the Captain leading the Wangaratta mob, and me transporting the PA to Portland and back for a fine wedding on a farm in Narrawong.

We’ll be back with a vengeance this Sunday, with Bolivian nose floots, bagpipes and a rough assemblage of soxollip hones, Geetars, drums, pianolistic keynotes, tall tales and true and quite possibly a bass player or two.

Should be rather fun…

Correspondence received from Bendigo Towers…

Disclaimers

The Bendigo Towers (*) Legal Department have requested the following be brought to the attention of jammers.

This article may be copyright as we cannot remember who we pinched it from. Please feel free to copy it and publish it under your own name as we would rather they sued you than us.

This article may contain facts. We do not warranty any of these facts to be true. If you are allergic to facts, or indeed, in any way gullible, please stop reading this immediately. You may wish to apply for a position with the Herald Sun.

If you thought you were at the Jam Session, and we have not mentioned you it is either because there was no jam session, or you are so young, talented, and good looking that words fail us; or we forgot. Your choice.

(*) Bendigo Towers, is, as many would know, the World Headquarters of the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Newsletter, manned exclusively by the ‘steemed Ed and extra 3b reserve copy boy, neither of whom has anything better to do. On a good day. Possibly fictional.
TW

The featured Singers series is back…

This week, Julie Stewart will put in a stylish set of her fave tunes – a bit of latin, a bit of blues and the occasional Jazz standard for fun.

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Julie Stewart – who has sung with the Jammers at the Junktion, The Grand Hotel, Crystal Bar and gawd knows where else over the years. Welcome back!

Upcoming singers will include Michelle Gigliotti, Katerina Myskova, a duo set from Ashley and Debbie, the Divine Miss Smiff (date tbc) and Carol (date tbc).

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: The B Team smashes it

The Set Up: By the time I got there, Fermin and Neil had the set-up well in hand. We all waited with bated breath to see if a drummer would turn up and set up the drum kit, but alas Salah managed to darken the door about 15 seconds too late.

The record: What followed was a classic B team effort – that is, sixteen musos had a lot of fun, and broke our all-time record for most musos playing together – 12 at one stage, and they sounded damn good. Not many people in the audience for quite a while, and in the absence of the Halls Gap crew, we played, umm, about two instrumentals all afternoon, and had a ball, with tonsil artistes Jane, Ashley, Debbie and Carol all getting more singing time than usual. (16)

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Singers Carol, Jane and Ashley

Musos Props to Salah, Ashley and newcomer Russell Stringer for some immaculate drumming, Julian for nearly blowing up his amp and then ditching it and fluting beautifully anyway, Huich for some extended violin, Malcolm for taking over piano and staying to help pack up. Ivan, Neil and Fermin for the best rhythm section we have had in ages, Calamatta and Will for a sweet saxophone section…

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Great Rhythm Section – played all day

And Don (piano) who attempted anonymity to avoid adverse newsletter comment. As if. He last came on April 22nd 2015, also a week when the Captain was absent.. and played hot. Is a pattern emerging? We could consider a whip round as he clearly can’t afford a barber.

Going Home: We pulled stumps at 7.30, which required going round the room and apologising to diners and drinkers who had wandered in for the last stanza, but the rhythm section was truly knackered.
TW

Sunday Jazz at The Junktion Hotel: The Restaurant Experiment works again

An enjoyable Jam: second week in the Bistro, wandered in somewhat late and the set up went smoothly again… leaving us ready to start by, ooh, maybe 15 minutes late. Steve Bray set up the percussion, Fermin came early and set up the amps, closely followed by Neil. Only two pianists all day (meself and Malcolm) and Huich, alternately spelt Guichi excelled again. But a fine sunny day in tropical Kew promised a good crowd, and so it was, although not as many as we had hoped. The day was enlivened by a coupla new and returning musos, as well as a smattering of locals – Ben Stewart all class on guitar,

Jazz anyone? We kicked off with a few instrumentals from the Captain Chaos chart books whilst the room filled up, and followed this up with singers Debbie, Carol, Jane and later on the lads, Brian and Kev, as well as the late Miss Smith who went all modern on us with interesting results. Bacharach with his trademark 6/4 bar stuck in the middle of a 4/4 tune threw the lot of us. Jane could have sung a few more, but her selection of swing tunes was the liveliest part of the afternoon. Carol gets better and better.

Drummers to follow Steve included Bill Swannie, John Perri and later on Andre… he seems to have improved and played a decent set.

Train wrecks: probably the pick of them was Misty, with which we all struggled with a choice of tempos and the occasional dropped bar, in a key which may not have been Debbie’s first choice. Ah well, they are always fun anyway.

The audience dropped off noticeably as the afternoon wore on and we ended on a quiet note (it may have been F#, but I had left by then, so I can’t be sure.)

Teaser of the week: Some interesting discussions on possible future developments – stay tuned and we will bring this to you in due course.

Halls Gap Festival this weekend, the Captain, Curtis, Annie Smith and Jeff Harris will be there, amongst other Jammers. So the B Team will be taking over next Sunday 28th October. Always assuming there is a B team and it turns up.

And if anyone wants to help set up, feel free to turn up a bit early – see ya Sunday?
TW