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.

From Sam Izzo

Some of you may know pianist Sam Izzo from the jazz jams. What you might not know is that in his day job he makes video games! He’s just released a new music puzzle game today on the Apple app store, so if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can check it out
here

Relax, remix and restore with Resynth, a minimal musical puzzler on iOS. Unravel the rhythms and heal the grooves to set the music free. Find your focus in the space between the sounds, and return colour and harmony to a sumptuous sonic soundscape. Ask yourself – what does a great puzzle sound like?

 

RESYNTH_Title_OutNow

Open Mic at Basco Brunswick Fridays

Open Mic with the Melbourne Music Performers returns to Brunswick on Friday 19 May and then monthly thereafter. This is in addition to our monthly events in Eltham.

We have a big programme with several open mic spots, open jams and an invited artist.
The Open Mic spots are for vocalists or instrumentalists: you can choose to be backed by some or all of the house band (please bring your charts) or back yourself. Open Mic spots are available for booking from 7:30pm.
Or, join in one of the jams – we publish the list of jam songs and charts ahead of time so that you can practise before you arrive. And, if you’ve never played in a jam before, we’ll help to make it an enjoyable experience for you.
Or, come along and join in the fun as the audience – it’s a very friendly, party atmosphere and there’s usually dancing. We have many regular audience members.
Friday, May 19, 2017, 7:30pm to 11:45pm
Basco Brunswick
307 Sydney Rd
Brunswick
More info:
Kevin Blazé & Ann Craig

And speaking of Port Fairy Jazz Festival…

Which we weren’t … nothing but good reports coming back from the Festival – that is good by any standard and not just a first year effort. We are indebted to Captain Chaos for the following…

After 30 successful years, the February Grampians Jazz Festival was wound up, leading to the emergence of the Port Fairy Jazz Festival. Any initial reservations amongst the music fraternity were immediately dispelled – by both the musicians and patrons who made the long trip from Melbourne and beyond to this charming sea side town. The organisation was superb and most of the venues were well set up and within easy reach of each other.

A smattering of regular Jazz Jammers – Annie Smith, Kevin Blaze, Ann Craig, John Curtis, Doug Kűhn, Laurie Savage, Roger Clark, the Captain , Chrissie Manetta, and (of course) Bruce Maddigan performed to appreciative audiences. Occasional and past jammers Anne Hayres, Peter Ryan, Stan Van Hooft, Cath Connor, Tiina Ayris, Gil Sealby, Steve Bray, ade ishs, Chelsea Allen, Marek Podstawek, Ashley Thomas, Tony Luxmore, Jess Wood, Brian Pauluz, Anthony Pell and David Ruiz also presented their talents in a range of groups.

Its hard to hear everybody with 10 venues running at the same time, and playing 6 sets yourself. However, my standouts were Anne Hayres with Melbourne Chamber Jazz, ade ishs Trio and Anne Craig Duo.

Port Fairy Blaze and Craig

The Rev Kev and Ann Craig in full flight – shortly after this, the Blazé managed to re-arrange his weekend and several of his fingers by falling down some steps. There was no alcohol involved, which is probably where he went wrong… get well soon Kevin!

Inverloch Festival

March 10th – 13th

This is the next Festival on the calendar, and a number of jammers have got sessions – the Divine Miss Smith in several bands, Gentleman John Curtis, Doug Haircut Kuhn, Katerina Myskova, Bill Swannie and meself amongst ’em. Tickets start from $35 for a day session, $80 for a weekend pass, and they even throw in the delightful seaside town of Inverloch for free.

http://www.inverlochjazzfestival.com/

Richard From Colliwobble Land

The Yarra Mens Shed and Collingwood Neighbourhood House would like to invite any Jazzers to look at Jam sessions through the week on site, with an aim to perform at Community events on the public housing estates with local residents and cultural groups.

 

The group would link with the already establish Harmonicas, Uke Group, Vocal Boogie, local Hip Hop and beat makers, Belly Slap, Community Choirs, Yarra Mens Blues band, Cross Cultural groups…. all established groups, just missing one….Jazz.

 

So if interested, proficiency is not required, elementary and enthusiasm is (it is community based), feel free to drop in Wednesday 10.30am or Thursdays 12.30pm school term and have a chat.

Collingwood Neighbourhood House Ground Floor 253 Hoddle St Collingwood or call 9417 4856. Rikardo

From Geoff Woollan

Could the jams be streamed live from the Lunatic Soup Lounge so those of us a little further away could listen as well ?

As for criticism, clearly non-existent management is doing something right as the definition of bad management is being unable to organise a piss-up in a brewery. It would seem that the products of the brewery are an important part of the technique.

GW as opposed to TW from 10,000 + miles away

Why Bother?

There has been some discussion on the purpose of the jams of late, and your opinions are sought –

As a reminder, here are some random thoughts on what we are doing:

Joining In: How many musos have turned up with very little experience of playing with a band, joined in and had a ball. (if anyone is wondering, around 40 new faces turn up each year – close to 1000 since the jams started.)

Learning on the Gig: Steve Sedergreen, jazz pianist and educator, who started the Friday night sessions at the old, old Dizzy’s, is big on this one: theoretical studies, plus practice don’t cut it – the third wheel is getting experience of playing live. The Jam Sessions provide this opportunity.

Musical Excellence: As in not pursuing this. The pursuit of excellence is what the Schools of Jazz are for – you will notice not many students turn up at jam sessions. If the aim was solely to achieve excellence, we should have given up about 24 years ago. Not all musicians want to follow someone who is clearly better than them.

Three specific criticisms need to be discussed:

· Criticism of beginners, hopefully well intentioned. This came up a few weeks ago. We should never forget just how terrifying it is to get up and perform for the first time (or the second, or the hundredth…) Newcomers to Jam sessions need all the positive encouragement they can get.

· Criticism of the Jammers playing a Friday night session and depriving professional musicians of income. This has been raised by several people and has some validity. In defence of the Jammers (who have just done four weeks on spec at the Royal Standard, using 13 different musicians) the pub only started having live music because we originally approached them and suggested it; the “income” of the professional musicians was an insulting 34c above the legal minimum adult wage, and the Captain Chaos Quartet is reportedly pulling substantially more people into the pub than the bands tried before.

· Some musos have turned up at a Jam, sat around, and left before we can get them a spot. We have had this happen three or four times in the last six months, generally because we have been too busy, occasionally because individual musos tend to hog the spot and a couple of times because the standard was scary high.

Have Your Say!

I would suggest comments to the management of the organisation, but there isn’t any (*)… your thoughts on the Jams, however, random, are sought – email to:

melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

* Footnote: There isn’t any… management or organisation, take your pick.

YOUR HEALTH IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

With Cash Savage, Susan Cooper, Greg ‘Clanger’ Kleynjans and Catherine Haridy
TUESDAY 29 NOVEMBER 6.30 PM

Stress, anxiety, drugs, alcohol, lack of sleep, self-doubt, creative frustration, unhealthy food, financial struggle, hearing loss, rejection, self-medication, life on the road – who’s looking after you? The top runner for this position is you. Learn from peers, industry insiders and health experts about positive steps you can take to ensure you maintain your health in the short and long term working in the music industry.

Free event but bookings are essential.

Presented by Music Victoria, Brunswick Music Festival and Moreland City Council
Supported by Wick Rehearsal Studios

BOOK NOW!

This event is part of the Making it in Moreland Series of Free Professional Development Workshops and Events. For full program details click here.

A Fete Worse Than Death

Ah, the St Pete’s Box Hill Church Fete, for the fourth year running (or in the Captain’s case, the fifth). It wasn’t bucketing down when we got there, it was bucketing horizontally. It was cold, it was wet, we was miserable. A surprisingly large crowd turned up anyway.

Discretion being the better part of valour, we ditched the outside venue, and set up along side the book fair in the Church. Great acoustics, and a great singer (Joys) aided our cause – certainly seemed to go down well, and the old boys taking the money for the book fair said they did heaps better than last year.

MIJF–Marketing Types Wanted

Join our team!

Are you a great communicator and love building relationships? Are you passionate about jazz?

We are looking for a Marketing and Development Manager to join our team. This is a great opportunity to be involved in the delivery of a major international jazz festival while working in a dedicated, supportive and enthusiastic team atmosphere. Full details are on our website  – applications close Thursday 3 November.

The Fifth Stage: Jam Session de luxe

The development of jazz, from its earliest stages through to the demise of the postmodern CD cover is often described in four categories: Early Jazz, Swing, Be Bop and Post Bop. Not that the jammers had a great regard for that this week. Adopting their habitual fifth category, they systematically demolished almost every toon suggested by an increasingly demented Captain Chaos.

2016-08-21 17.32.59

Pride of place must go to Messrs Curtis, Chaos, Peter the bass and Michael on drums, for a particularly fine effort in destroying Mr Mingus’ bebop Round Midnight. Who would have though it was possible to drop bars before you have even started? Continue reading