The Castlemaine Jazz Jam… John Hannah

The last jam was on Sunday the first of March 2020, so long ago I can barely remember what happened. I do remember we were bursting at the seams with both musos and punters, and a good time was had by all.

Thanks to our very capable team of Gwynn, Jim, Rob and Peter. And of course, to Ken for his support in publicity. You can tune in to him and Ann on Main fm 94.9 for their great show, Jazz Life, 7 to 8 pm on Mondays. And we can’t forget our genial hosts, Anne and Mauro, who provide a free drink to all who perform.

I also remember that since Mauro installed a new PA with a Mackie 32 channel 8 bus mixing desk we had been having sound problems. One of the problems was communication between the stage and the desk (because it’s now at the back of the room). So, I went out and bought a walkie-talkie. But that was just before the lockdown, so I haven’t yet been able to try it out.

It’s now over seven years since Ken and I started the CJJ. Although we never charged entry, recently we started asking punters for a gold coin donation. This has enabled us to buy a drum kit to be kept at the Maurocco Bar, just for the jazz jam. It needed a bit of work and our drummers, Alan, Geoff, Bill and Mike offered to help out.

I should also mention that two of our punters, Cheryl and Paul, very generously put on a BBQ at their country property for all the musos and organisers, all food and drinks provided. We are lucky to have very loyal and supportive audiences up here. They have offered to have another one when we return.

Unfortunately, Mauro is especially at risk so we have had to put off the next jam probably till January…but the way things are going, who knows. Anyhow, I’ll let you all know when that happens, and maybe some of you would like to make the short trip up the Calder for a celebratory opening.

Slim Hope (aka John Hannah)

Notes
1    The Mackie sound system is better than the Melbourne one
2    The walkie talkie will be the next source of complaint
3    It is very much hoped that the Melbourne Jammers will send a strong contingent to the next Castlemaine Jazz Jam, whenever it will be. The sessions are well run, and a lot of fun – just ask Carpet Hirsh, The Divine Miss Smith, Alan Basher Richards, Brian the tonsils, the Captain …or me (TW)

So…Another week, another load of codswallop, although it is getting harder to find the cods, let alone wallop them. Many thanks to all our readers who encourage us to write this tripe. You are all deeply implicated. Toodlepip!

Festival and Jammers:
https://www.melbournejazzjammers.com.au/

https://www.instagram.com/newport_jazz_festival_2021/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/83551088146

Recordings, Jam Sessions (not)..

Recordings first . Busy lot, innit?

GandT Jazz, bandcamp release https://gtjazz.bandcamp.com/releases

Those of you with long memories may remember Tina and Gill at the Leinster. Come a long way.

Leena Salim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qnz9g3cw-0I&t=4s

Have a listen to an energetic singer tackling home recording, and probably reducing her bass player, keyboard player and guitarist to quivering heaps in the process. Really should get out more!

Leena has heaps more on Youtube – search “Leena Salim”

 

Castlemaine Jam Session on hold…

This post from Ken Turnbull’s Facebook page. John Hannah and his crew do a great job on this monthly Jam, with Mike Hirsh, Alan Richards, Brian and Annie Smith amongst the regulars and we will post any update.

Dear friends of Castlemaine Jazz Jam,

After discussion with the Maurocco Bar proprietors, it has been decided to suspend the jazz jam for the rest of 202

Many jazz fans are in the high-risk group, and we feel it is best to wait until a second wave of Covid-19 has been ruled out.

The aim is to start again in January 2021, but we’ll keep you posted if things change.

Moonlighting at The Maurocco

Ah, a meeting of like minded, or feeble minded, I’m not sure which, Melbourne moonlighters at the Maurocco Bar. A cold afternoon’s jaunt up the Calder. It was a packed house, (around 100 people there, maybe more) and some fine music played. The monthly Jam in Castlemaine seems to have settled to a great afternoon’s entertainment. Hard to believe that Mauro (landlord) resisted it for so long. Hard to believe the jam once sank to just six people in the original Comma bar.

Miss Smiff, Mr Hirsh, Ade, and Alan Richards all started moonlighting before I did. Greeted by Gwynn at the door, Hannah at the helm, and a wet afternoon in the Big C. Queuing for drinks, a fine collection of secondhand armchairs fully loaded, so a standing arvo and a chance to catch up with some Castlemaine stalwarts, Norm Gray on flugel, Don de Halls Gap and Christian on bass, Valiant and Maggie on keys, and the pick of them, (if you had to pick, which you didn’t) Howard on guitar.

I have been trying to find a suitable time to get up to Castlemaine for the jam session there – thanks to the Captain and Malcolm for arranging it – a fun afternoon and a credit to Hannah, Ken Turnbull, Gwynn et al for a fine session.

Hannah at the Mic                                                                          Sax and Norm on Trombone                                
Don on Bass

Last Week’s Jam Session, this week’s Jam Session:

Fashionably late, I staggered through the door of the Gold Street Gossip shop in time to hear Curtis, Colonel T, Captain Chaos, Fermin, Findlay, Steve Bray and/or Bill and the motley crew tweak some irretrievable version of a Monk tune (name withheld to protect the guilty) before settling down to listen to Lisette bring some calm and disorder to the proceedings. I then retired to the back bar for a bit of a gossip with POCKOTL

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There is a satisfyingly predictable trajectory to the jam session which sees the singers take over around 6pm and this session Continue reading →

Castlemaine Jazz Jam

It was a veritable cornucopia — or should it be hornucopia — of movin’ and groovin’ at the Castlemaine Jazz Jam last Sunday. The movin’ bit involved going up the street to a new venue: the marvellous Maurocco Bar across from the railway station. (That’s not a typo, you mistake-spotting readers of The Age. The owner’s name is Mauro.) The groovin’ bit involved 24 jam makers preserving the juice of jazz, with nothing to jar the senses.

About 40 jazz fans kept numerous couches and armchairs warm, and bar staff did their damnedest to cool things down with liberal libations. Individual seats were as tightly held as Kooyong during the Menzies years. We welcomed some new faces who were all experienced hands. Adding them to the mix with our stalwart brigade necessitated a hastily concocted spreadsheet that approached king size.

Demonstrating that Central Victoria gets its name from, well, being at the centre of Victoria, we had jamsters from Bendigo, Dingee (we don’t know where it is either), Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon, Harcourt, Lancefield and Macedon. Melbourne was well represented by a delegation of five.

They all bopped some swing, swung some standards, innovated some bossa, jumped some blues and romanticised some ballads. To sum up, it was great.

We’ll do the same but different on Sunday 2 April at 2pm.

Ken Turnbull

Robbie Noakes took the photos…