The Jam Session: Up a Bit, Left a Bit

It has been a busy week…

Friday: publish the latest edition of the Jammer’s Email Newsletter. It gets 103 views on Friday, 290 for the week. Relies on avid readers having nothing better to do.

Saturday

For the sixth year in a row. The Box Hill Anglican Church Fete, starts around 10.15 with the often-played Variations on a Feedback. Settles down, Huich (violin) gets better and better, Steve Bray, the Captain and meself should know what we are doing, but do it anyway: Jess looks good, sings good, moves good and sets up a good rapport with the audience, which ranged from One Small Child (lost) and a dog, to an all classy bevy of sausage eaters, vicars, parishioners and the like, and a fan waving dance troupe in red. Topped it all off with a classy take on Peel Me A Grape

Sunday

Committee Meeting for the Newport Festival. Reports on Venues, Marketing, Finance – welcome back to Julian, the four month globetrotting absentee, just in time to start spending money. And lots of discussion on how to get the name of the Festival and website address we want

Ashley turns 60, invites some of the jammers, resulting Post Jam Session as classy as all get-out – coincidence surely, although we would like to see the ageing Ashley again some time.

Meanwhile, back at The Post, yet another change to the sound system, skilfully avoided by the Captain (at the Ash bash). Again, once it had settled down, this week’s layout worked half well, with a positively pleasing sound in the rear Courtyard. We started with everything but the singer too loud, turned everything down and were rewarded with the saxes (Alan and Laurie) playing beautifully, and at the right vol. Nice one!

Flamenco Dancers. Much to everyone’s surprise, only the one Flamenco dancer turned up (Natalie), turning a normal afternoon into an egregiously good one.

Singers: Jane, Carol, Yuko, Debster, Kevin, Chantelle, Silvana (walk in) Rachel Camarino and Nurul all sang. This is, apparently, what singers do.. If I had to pick one this week (I don’t) Carol gets stronger and stronger.

Drums: set up by Michael Findlay and Alan Richards, with a surprise visit from Sala (now from Castlemaine) and Chantelle finding out she doesn’t find latin rhythms that easy.

Bass: Ivan in absolutely top form, played all arvo. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou..

Guitar: Fermin comped and solo-ed all arvo. Filled the sound nicely.

Recorder: again, only one recorder player turned up – Marion the mention, as good as ever… and she is now on a promise to put a band up for the looming Festival.

Piano: The Debonair Curtis and meself took turns in tickling the ivories, at least, in John’s case, to great effect. Eventually the piano disgraced itself due to the bodged up stand failing, and we finished off on a table. We played an inordinate amount of latin because the Flamenco thing was such fun, but there was plenty of other stuff – Deb picked out a typical Deb-style obscure ballad, which turned out to be (a) different, and (b) fun to solo on.

Alan, Fermin, Ivan, Rachel, Sala, TW    Photograph by Michael Findlay

The Next Jam

It will be at The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday October 13th. Last week’s comment about a 3.30 start to allow time for fiddling with the sound system proved satisfyingly accurate, but was only meant as a joke. Next week we will start at 4.00 on the dot, promise, or the Captain will stand everyone a beer.

Wanted: around 25 thimbles. Must be waterproof, and clean

See ya there?

The Newport Jazz Fest – up a bit, left a bit more,

We are still scouting venues – on a “the more the merrier” basis, and are starting to talk seriously to bands (seriously? another first!)

Volunteers: We have had several people rash enough to volunteer their services. Frankly, the number of volunteers needed to run this sort of event can be staggering – at a rough count we are looking at between 24 and 48 volunteers (24 only if they all agree to do a shift both days)

That said, we are tremendously encouraged by the offers we have had to date – we will just need more of them!

It’s getting rather busy…

…And we are rapidly approaching a point where we will run the risk of being over-subscribed. This last week, we had 4 pianists, 4 saxophonists, 6 drummers, 4 bass players, 2 guitarists, and 9 singers – a total of 29 musos for the Captain to fit in. We barely managed, so if you are one of the lucky ones who got to play more than three times, make sure that everyone else gets a go before you get up again.

Egregiously uncharacteristic appearances:

Trevor Prasad,(keyboard) for one. He contented himself with the thought that the piano was inaudible, but what we could hear of it was pretty much on the money.

Fermin: great solos again, otherwise contributed to the muddy sound with gusto.

Chantelle: newcomer, sang some standards, powerful voice and tuneful.

Bill Swannie: (drums) first time at the Post, Bill has played a number of gigs with Katerina in the past and remains as smooth as. And it is his Birthday.

John Perri: maintains he has barely touched the drums for months, but is a dream to play with. Possibly the only drummer to suggest 12/8 time and mean it.

Jane and Jeff

Jane: sang early: and entertained. Stayed late and should have sung again. Jeff Harris in the background.

Summary: The Captain resorted to putting up six or seven musos at a time as a means of getting everyone in. The Captain Chaos Knackeredom Index was up several points by the time we finished and packed up. This was a busy session, and ran well late. There was lots of good stuff going on. Word from the audience was generally highly complementary. Hortense and Madge from Altona were both speechless, but only because they were not there. Again!

See Ya Sunday?

Marketing 1.01

Did you notice the Sandwich Board outside, and the update on the Post Hotel website? Have you seen the ads on Melband? Have you given one of the MJJ cards to your best friend, vague acquaintance or complete bluddy stranger? Have you tried googling Melbourne+ Jazz+ Jam Session, and marvelled at how high up the first page we come?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 6th October, 4.00pm start. Should be fun – get there early and help move the PA around (again!); order something exotic off the menu, get your instrument out and start playing it loudly whilst we are doing a soundcheck – God, we love that!

 Jam Session at the Maurocco Bar, Castlemaine.

This Sunday 6th October, usual time, the Bar is right opposite the Railway Station. Vice versa is also true. John Hannah reports that Mauro has invested in a new sound system. Nick it and bring it back…

Vale

Peter Ryan, Guitarist with Breakout

Peter first started coming to the Jam Sessions way back when, at the Royal Standard and the Leinster Arms. He was an occasional visitor rather than a regular. I did not know him outside the sphere of his musical activities. We recorded in 2011 with Julie Stewart and Brae Grimes at the ABC Studios, and we saw him play with Breakout in 2016 at the Castlemaine Jazz Festival. As ever, Peter put on a bit of a show.

He had a strut and a swagger when playing, which he would then ruin by grinning impishly to show he didn’t take himself too seriously – indeed, he had a dry and cynical sense of humour. The last time he played at a jam session it was obvious his time with Breakout, or his retirement from teaching, or both, had enabled him to develop his guitar playing to a considerable degree.

After a short illness, Peter died last Wednesday, with his family at his bedside. He will be missed by the Jammers. We rather liked him. I think most people did.

Q and A -some questions, new Festival Details, and few answers

Twenty Eight? Musos, that is, making this the second busiest Jam Session since 2008. Apart from Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch (60’s popster nerds get on down) who might have been there, Uncle Tom Cobley and all who weren’t there, and Kylie Minogue who could have been there but her people didn’t confirm, there was a record number of Japanese there, a record number of singers (10), a record number of baritone saxes (2) and even the lights were smokin’. And not a bad session, to boot…

And not a bad session, to boot

Singers: Jane, Carol and Kay early starters, with John Curtis on keys having way too much fun. Kay even forgot to sing One Note Samba as a swing tune, or some perfectly good Lennon McCartney classic as a bossa. And sounded all the better for it.

one note samba: the official chart

Jess (see the Other Newport below) sang a brief set of three, Yuko swung it, Aimee treated her friends to a complete re-ordering of the form on at least two songs, but with her trademark warm tone; Kev ducked into the Captain’s take on Besame Mucho, and Brian stuck resolutely to the blues – not that we minded, he sounded pretty good. As the arvo wore on, Gilbert got up (“I like to sing Sinatra songs”) and duly sang Sinatra songs including asking for a switch in keys in the middle of Fly Me To The Moon. I can honestly claim cock-up of the day on that one (“What, again?”) and Malcolm closed it all out by accompanying Brisbane singer Leena Salim on Girl From Ipanema, followed by Fever. And a good version of Moondance heavily obliterated by having too many soloists all at once. Probably having three singers (Susie joined Leena and Kay on that one) didn’t help either.. John got up for the epilogue. Sweet.

New Bari: Who’s a lucky boy? Jeff tried out his shiny new bari, and it has to said, we couldn’t keep him off it – but it sounded pretty damn good. Laurie probably a tad smoother on his used-to-be shiny silver Bari.

Bass lines: Piers grooved along, Dave stretched out on Brian’s blues, Eiji the pick on his stick, with Yuko and others, Anton funking it up (but gently) at the end.

Guitar: Fermin back for a hit out, all the way from the cultural backwater of Kew. Good to see him again.

Drums: Larry for starters, Steve, Alan all good, Alex back for a second hit, Michael Findlay in the groove.

Q and A Given the numbers, the Captain did well to get everyone (well almost everyone) up for a play or a yodel. Will the layout change next week? Why stop now?, although the sound was adjudged as a bit muddy by those that know. Are we approaching full house on the Jams? Can we cock it up enough to avert that crisis? Of course we can!

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman,this Sunday 15th September 4.00pm start. Do hope you can make it!

And what of the Jazz Festival – ?

A Brief history and a new venue

We started planning the Castlemaine Jazz Festival in February 2013. After a false start in Maldon, it saw the light of day in June 2014, after John Hannah had got on board. I only mention this because that now looks like lightning quick progress. We first proposed a Jazz Festival in Kew in 2018. The idea was that this would provide an opportunity for some jammers to get involved, and it would attract Melbourne based bands, including those who would find the cost of the various country town Festivals as prohibitive. A trip to Wangaratta or Castlemaine costs around $400 by the time you stop drinking, eating, carousing etc.

The Junction Hotel. Our first fiasco was the idea of using three performance rooms in the Junction, hosting 24 -28 bands over two days. Heaps of careful planning went into this, only we forgot to factor in the Junk going broke in April 2018. At which point we approached Studley Park Boathouse, (great venue, no time available) and then Kew Junction Business Association (funded by Boroondarah Council with a mission to promote the High Street business district).. All we asked of them was that they supply the venues from their membership. We held positive discussions with both Hellenic Republic and QPO on High Street, only to have both venues propose a venue hire fee in addition to the free music and up to 500 people a day we would put in there.

Their room hire fee of $100 per musician for the Festival ($18,000) was either ludicrous, excessively greedy, unrealistic or a really good idea if you owned a venue and weren’t a musician. If we had that sort of money, we could have booked out Paris Cat and Birds Basement simultaneously.

Back to the drawing board… two hours later, the Captain came up with an alternative:

The “Other” Newport Jazz Festival. In the other Newport which is a little cultural hot spot just before you get to Williamstown.

So… the plan is:

The Date: Hold the Festival at Newport on May 2nd, May 3rd 2020

The Venues Use 5, maybe 6 venues including the Newport Library/.Community Centre, The Newport Bowls Club, the Newport RSL, and the Scout Hall (maybe)

The Bands: Book 40 – 50 bands who are prepared to volunteer their services in return for an equal share of any surplus made.

The Web Site Jess (the singer) is preparing a red hot web site. We are proposing to transfer the Newsletter and such recipients on th e-mail as are interested to the website.

The Committee are keen, the venues are keen, the Council is keen. What could possibly go wrong?

Stay tuned to find out!

The Captain Does a Runner

Well, not really, but he and Malcolm spent the afternoon in a tin shearing shed up the bush, listening to the rain. For reasons which escape me. The barest rump of a Jam Session in their absence: an afternoon with only one saxophonist, no drumsticks and, for a while, no drummer, (see the big secret below.) other than the estimable John Curtis who sat in and made do before a goodly session on keys.  – and yet, the afternoon had much to commend it.

Bass for starters: Dave NN repeated his stint as a more than competent bass player, this time driving the rhythm section nicely, followed by Piers who did much the same. And followed by Anton who we all know is good.

Saxophones: Laurie fronted with his Baritone, and played out of his skin all afternoon -one of the best sax sessions we have had at the Post.

Guitar: Just as well we were all on our best behaviour, because next up was Ray “lounge” Hood, who has embarked on another of his world tours (the Lounge Lizard and Annique at La Niche). Usual ridiculously good standard of music, although in the interests of accuracy (hah! Who would be interested in that?) we should mention that Annique had a first class go at blowing up the PA . Props to Dan for fixing it. Fermin, (Dindi) for the first time in a while, got up to take over the guitar department. Quite like old times at the Junk..

Recorder. Marion, but by that time we had settled to a groove and couldn’t be arsed to play some obscure bebop number, obliging her to play All of Me, and a bunch of other toons… con gusto….

Rose, Marion on recorder

Drums: Great to see John and Alex, not sighted since the Laika Bar days. Alex played drums, properly, for the first time all arvo..(See below for the big secret…). Later on Mack and then Andre took turns on the drums. (see also below for the Big Secret)

Singers? What Singers?. I haven’t mentioned the singers – they are all too shy and modest to be mentioned anyway, other than Kay, Aimee, Rose, Deb, Yuko, Jane, and Annique. Despite our best efforts, they dominated the afternoon, and mighty fine they were too.

Debs on the turps, a happy bar

The Big Secret Curiously, people kept commenting all afternoon on how good the three drummers were, (Mack, Alex and Andre) and how they weren’t making too much noise. It wasn’t until we were packing up that we realised there had been no cymbals, no snare, one ride – we will never get away with that again, but they were good…

Finally, props to Kay who wrangled the musos nicely – might get her to do that again. . We called stumps due to fading light somewhat after 7.30, at which point we all went home older, but none the wiser.

It had been a good afternoon – see you next week?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 8th September 4.00pm start. This is going to be a special session as we will be announcing details of the Jazz Festival to be….possibly.

Another fine mess..

Strolled into the Post Hotel, watering hole of the alternative gentry, and apparently of the Aldi clientele from up the road, and whoever lives in Elwood, plus a whole load of randoms from other salubrious suburbs with their wives, children, surfing companions, chauffeurs and familiars….and that was just the audience.

Rose, who did not sing, and doesn’t dance on the table

Where was I? Ah, yes, the Jam session, and would I kindly write a review, subtly naming everyone who turned up so they get to read their names hidden in the depths of this twaddle like a jewel in the compost heap of life; and come again, the following week.

Pockotl and Rod who neither sang nor danced on the table

So, we started (this is the review bit) with a ten minute hiatus whilst Captain Chaos searched high and low for a chart to Mercy Mercy Mercy, didn’t find it and made the unsuspecting Jess sing it anyway, even though she had only heard it for the first time on her I-Phone three minutes earlier, and had three or four other well rehearsed songs ready to roll.

 

Sir Roger de Coverley, not to be outdone, got up and played a lively little set of I can’t remember which, Jeff clarinetted to Jess’s medley of Ella Fitz songs, and the Captain, Laurie and Alan variously played on a variety of saxophones, and chinese floots, to a variety of toons. It was with some relief that we got to Laurie’s C minor blues in one piece. He likes that stuff and it shows. Followed by a fine cameo from Rob, who last played guitar at, I think, the Leinster in about 1455 -1485, shortly before, during or after the wars of the roses. Or not, as the case may be… He hasn’t lost his touch.

Sir Roger De Coverley, the indefatigable Anton, and The Debonair Mr Curtis

What else? Drums ably handled by Steve Bray and Michael Findlay, Anton cruised in, and proceeded to play for the rest of the session, the lone but classy bassist. Marion struggled with the mic, then got it right and recordered away. Trevor harped on for a while, The Curtis accompanied various singers beautifully, Brian and then Carol sang some trainwrecks with gusto, Malcolm turned up late, to hear Peter Garram on the keys – (note to the organisers, the Garram plays a mean blues) – Then Huich fiddled a bit, Susie sang Black Coffee, after which, Malcolm got up to accompany Annie the Smith, with trumpeter Guy joining in, eventually joined by Kay for another dip, this time on Mercy Mercy Mercy. For some strange reason, this was executed for the second time in the session at a funereal pace.

Trevor the Harp

What a splendid afternoon’s mess: thoroughly not to be taken too seriously. Of which, Jess topped the lot of them with her version of Adele’s version of Billy Joel’s version of the Bob Dylan ballad To Make You Feel My Love. Wow!

Jam Session? Another fine mess indeed. Ya wouldn’t be dead for quids! See you soon.

 

The Next Jam Session

Yes, we are doing it all again, at the Post Hotel, corner of Inkerman and St Kilda Road, on Sunday 1st August, 4.00 start. The Captain (but not the chaos) and Malcolm will be away, there is another fine Jam Session in Castlemaine the same day, so whoever turns up at the Post will get the run of the joint – more tunes, more trainwrecks, etc. etc.

Why Music?

Why not… I have been reading some articles on Neil Young recently and listening to the 1973 recording, warts and all, that has become his latest release. The irascible Young holds a theory that digital reproduction loses a lot of the sound quality of vinyl/analogue – and this damages our brains, although why Neil Young would still worry about that is a mystery to me….

Why Music? Do we need live performance any more, now that the machines can do it all? Technically, the rot set in in 1877, when Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph, initially, one would assume, as a means of making money, but later on as a means of reproducing music as it sounded in live performance. Neil’s live performance incorporates the mistakes, clams and glitches for which he is famous – as a part of his artistic expression. It grows on you.

Avid readers, all three of them, may now be wondering quite what this has to do with a Jam Session. Each week, we produce, live, some truly awful renditions of tunes which deserved better. This last week was no exception – except that the 27 musicians who fronted had a great time in general. This is currently one of the larger live, unrehearsed and impromptu musical gatherings in Melbourne, and if we are not careful, will continue to attract a uncritical audience.

Soloists: So rare are the brassisti that we have given up advertising for trumpeters – and of course two turned up – Satou from Japan and Guy (I think) from somewhere else. On top of which, the usual complement of saxes, plus Jeff on clarinet and soprano sax. And Sir Roger De Coverley, buckler of swashes and Bounder about Town, who mercifully left his horse, if he had one, outside.

Guy, Satou and Laurie: don’t look so serious chaps!

Singers were a bit thin on the ground- Kay with her usual collection of Bossa modified standards, Yuko singing up a storm, teenage gardener Miss Annabelle Smythe, reeking of Lobelia roots, but otherwise in fine voice. And Kevin the cap, for good measure.

Kevin the Cap

Drummers included Mike Findlay, Alan Richards, Steve Bray, Russell, and on a flying visit from Tasmania’s Big Ho, Nigel Legge (washboard ace, but this time on drums)

Guitarists: Octo as good as ever, newcomer Roy held his own, and Harry from Queensland got up eventually and could play more than a bit. All sweet.

Bass: Dave NN has taken to misbehaving, by playing rather well when you least expect it, and was the pick of them for once.. Another fine innings from Piers, Anton from Glasshouse days, and Roy’s offsider who was (a) better looking than Roy and (b) rather good.

Piano: Early contribution from Mr Curtis, played beautifully for Yuko, Malcolm and one other (name?) at the end.

All of which made for a middling musical medley, a goodly audience, and notably quite a few family groups amongst them. The Arvo was wrapped up with a fine (hah!) rendition of Minnie the Moocher, which proved an inspired choice.

The next generation looks on…

The Next Jam

Yes, you guessed it,The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 25th August, 4.00pm start.

Serious Jazz? Tits to that! (*)

Jam sessions in Melbourne come and go – we have lost count of how many have blossomed, flourished, faded and carked it. There should be a hotly contested prize for the serious session with the shortest life span… not that the Post would be hoisting the trophy, for at least two reasons.

The most likely explanation of the longevity of the Jam Sessions is that we have not yet got it right, do not know how to get it right, and have very little clue as to how to get it wrong, but keep trying.. Creative incompetence, BoJo (**) style, perhaps?

This week’s jam at St Kilda’s Post and Part Time Furniture Store (have you seen upstairs?) was, it could be said, on a downward trajectory – smaller than previous weeks, and musically a bit loose.

So… what, as the Curate (***) said, were the parts of it that were excellent?

The sound: just about as good as it gets. Captain Chaos has taking to adjusting the twiddly bits on the mixer, with, admittedly, disappointing results. In his heyday, the pub would have been burnt to the ground by now.

The fully engaged audience of punters, kids, hopefuls and lunatics. Most of whom, sensibly, huddle on the far side of the bar, although, to be fair, the Captain reckons that is the “sweet spot” sound wise.

The singers (fewer this week) who tend to get in the way of an extended saxophone/flute/clarinet solo from time to time. Accidentally of course, but much to the relief of the considerable number of friends they bring with them. The soloists generally arrive early and on their own. You may draw your own conclusions.

The big wind up at the end. Although not, perhaps, as good as the previous two weeks: Mustang Sally robustly and comprehensively explored. Are we going to keep the all-in smorgasbord finale of recent weeks going? We should, at least until we either cock it up, forget to do it, or accidentally play Little Sunflower (****) instead.

Mustang Sally : L-R Col,Alan, Vlad, Singer, Kay, Piers, Annie, (Malcolm) Michael, Octo
  • * “Serious Jazz? Tits to that” … a quote from one of the 322 ads we have put in Melband. We are not allowed to say that any more. Apparently “serious jazz” offends some people.
  • ** Obscure but on point reference to Boris.
  • *** The Curate’s Egg, as featured in Punch Magazine, November 9, 1895 . “Parts of it were excellent”. But of course, you knew that…
  • **** “ accidentally play Little Sunflower” : fondly remembered as the longest and dullest tune in the repertoire, this once went for an appalling 11 minutes at the Leinster. Several audience members had woken up by the time it finished.

Awards Night. Don’t be silly, there isn’t one, but if there was…

Best Violin; Huich – great solos.

Best Guitar: Octo – a bit of shredding going on, but in a tasteful way. Neil, Vlad and the Queenslander all needed more volume at times..

Best Saxophonist: Go on, sulk, the rest of you – Will was easily the best this week. Alan, Jeff, Col all placed well, and Calamatta had a hot solo in there somewhere.

Best Pianist: Malcolm managed to keep the vol at a sensible level, chose his organ sounds sparingly and appropriately, subtly drove the others to greater heights on Mustang Sally. And packed up afterwards – what’s not to like?

Best Bass: Pete and Slawie were their usual excellent selves, but it was great to see Piers back – clean bass lines, absolutely rock solid tempo.

Best Singer: This one was easy: there is no such thing as a best singer, they are all good, and if you don’t want your eyes scratched out, you will keep it that way.

So… 24 musos rocked up, mucked around a bit, and walked back out into the rain well chuffed. Not the greatest Jam Session ever, but a solid afternoon’s work all round. Train wreck next week, please, we have to maintain our usual standard (often referred to as “abysmal”).

See you Sunday?

Will and the Captain
The Andrews Sisters, possibly

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 18th August, starting at 4.00pm

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman Street, St Kilda

You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street. Or catch a tram if they are running, or take a helicopter, land elsewhere and get an Uber. Or walk. Or take the bus, but fer gawdsake bring it back. Or come the next week instead.

Sunday Jazz : a pleasant afternoon in St Kilda

The Captain writes…

Four regular jammers were not in attendance as they had gone up the Calder to perform at the Castlemaine monthly jam (see “Moonlighting” below). A couple of others may have been seen at the Ringwood Soiree. Despite this, the Post Jam went ahead at full steam with 16 musicians taking part.

Due to the absence of a regular pianist it was decided to rearrange the stage which was universally found to be acceptable. Then the music started. Malcolm H, Peter G and John C played the keys. Peter and David put in the bass notes and Sala and Maged caressed the skins and belted some brass.  Jeff H played soprano sax and clarinet (not at the same time). Laurie S and myself were on tenor with Alan West on alto and various percussion devices. Laurie, Jeff and Alan Alan did a great version of Chitlins Con Carne.

Marion Lustig appeared towards the end of the session and played some magical recorder. Her rendition of Louie Armstrong’s Melancholy Blues was a stand out on the afternoon/evening. With only 2 vocalists, Jane L and Kay Y with able to perform more than the normal number of tunes. Jane’s God Bless the Child was special and Kay, s up beat version of What a Wonderful World got the loudest applause of the session.

Footnote: Alan West has found a great way to get a lift home. He experienced an acute attack of vertigo at the end of last week’s session which resulted in an ambulance being called. He ended up getting a ride home via the Alfred Hospital. It was also noted by several males who were present when the ambulance arrived, that, if the two young female paramedics  were typical ambos then they would consider  trying Alan’s strategy themselves.. Seriously, all’s well that ends well. Thanks must go to Marion Lustig and Bette Nash for the care and attention they gave Alan.

Kay and Dave on bass                                         Pete (bass) and Jane                                           Alan, sitting down

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