Padding out the Newsletter Part 1

An early classic mangle, from the Diva herself, shamelessly reprinted so you know how it should be done. All names have been retained, to protect the innocent.

The Divine Miss Smiff pulls out a chart for a song called Dreamer or something – simple enough, latin (we can cock that up, no problem), ABC form with an intro and a coda – should be easy, let’s roll!

So… we started, as you do, with the Intro. 16 bars, but the Divine Miss S decides to sing the A section over the second eight, on the grounds that she never does the intro but forgot to mention it. Not surprisingly, this doesn’t work too well, but as it is a Jam Session, no-one really minds. Except Peter Da Bass, who is actually reading the chart and is therefore, a priori, lost forthwith.

Of course, this gets us to the B Section early , where upon the piano player (moi) elects to follow the form whilst the singer, realising her mistake, jumps back to the A section instead. Or maybe she doesn’t realise her mistake and jumps to the A anyway, because the rhythm section is clearly in deep disarray , and the Divine Miss Smiff likes to tidy up where she can. A few more bars of rubbish and it is time for the saxophonist’s solo. When I tell you that the soloist is Captain Chaos himself, you will appreciate that things may not go well from here on out, not that they were going swimmingly anyway.

So, in leaps the Captain, who decides to solo over the intro, whilst the rest of us have now embarked upon the A section. Markoen (guitar) and moi have a minor mid-debacle conference and decide to follow the soloist not the form, which promptly puts the bassist (Peter, somewhat confused already) totally off… We yell “9” at him when we get to that bar, but it doesn’t help as he doesn’t speak German…

Blistering solo from Markoen, in the middle of which, the Captain wanders around helpfully telling every one we shouldn’t be playing the Intro, which we weren’t. The piano player plays A, B, A, C on the grounds that this is what the chart says. The guitarist plays A, B, C and finishes somewhat sooner. His defence is also that this is what the chart says, and who am I to argue? The drummer, Bill I think, remains so blissfully unaware of all this that he manages to keep the tempo. That will never work…

The Divine Miss Smiff comes back in. We were probably midway through the D section at this point, which is strange, because there is no D section. Whatever, the Diva elects to put in a big ending, in the mistaken belief that (a) she is in charge, and (b) this might turn tragedy into triumph after all. She isn’t, and it doesn’t. The ending she attempts is somewhat different to the coda on the chart, but why not, the rest of the chart has clearly not helped so far… and the song eventually collapses in a schemozzle or a rallentando, I am not sure which.

The audience, who surely hadn’t been listening, applauds. The rest of the jam session that Sunday was almost as good.
TW

Padding out the Newsletter Part 2

Jammers All Purpose Identification Chart

Compared notes last week with John Hannah who now runs the Castlemaine Jam sessions (first Sunday of each month at the Maurocco Bar). It seems that different jammmers fall neatly into the same categories.

The Beginner

Turns up without his or her instrument, otherwise desperately keen to play. The conversation goes something like this…

· Are you a musician? Answer, not really.

· Would you like to play/sing? Answer: no

· Which tunes would you like to not play/sing? Answer Autumn leaves, Summertime and/or Route 66

Beginner gets up and is often very good.

The Professional.

Turns up and announces that he/she is a professional musician. Actually this has only happened twice, once with a drummer who is now really good, once with a multi instrumentalist, who was really bad.

The Gadgeteer

Turns up with instrument, plus stand, plus three mutes, plus “special” microphone, plus complicated instructions for the other musicians.

As a general principle: the competence of the musician is in inverse proportion to the number of gadgets.

The Instructor

Spends more time on directions than on actually playing the damn piece. Typically, tells the other musicians what a B Section is, where a B section is, and how many times it should be played, and in what order. Invariably this does not correspond to the 5 page chart said instructor has provided. But that doesn’t matter as half the musos weren’t going to take a blind bit of notice anyway.
TW

Late Breaking News…. Oh Bugger!

The Junk is no more. We were advised yesterday that the Junktion Hotel had closed its doors, ceased trading, gone belly up, run out of beer, goodwill and enthusiasm, and is about as sanguine and sentient as a Norwegian Parrot on bypass. Meaning there wil be no jam session this Sunday 24th March

Will we try and find another venue? Yes, hopefully soon

Will we persist with Kew as a venue for a November Festival? Maybe – there are a couple of contacts with (very preliminary) interest.

Do you want to get involved? If you know of a suitable venue for a Jam session, either as a one -off stop gap measure or as a permanent venue, call

Ted 0431 968982

Col 0422568537

And following is the newsletter wot we wrote before the above…

Last week’s Jam: Strangely better.. whoo hoo!

Mixed metaphor week, and the rump goes out for lunch…

Where to start? Well, the QFest Committee quorum started with lunch and a bit of a meeting. Plans for a Festival (November 2nd/November 3rd) are gradually taking shape. The Good Captain has started contacting the first tranche of bands – no names no pack drill at present, but more than a couple of good bands have expressed interest. More later…

We ended lunch with a guided tour of QPO (it’s just up High Street) and a discussion of how we might grow in 2020. Their manager Tony Harika was certainly interested.

Surprise and Sound check.. Back to the Junk and a smooth set-up with sound checks completed and then the 20+ musos set to. Surprise appearance from Ray “the original Lounge Lizard” Hood. He ‘s been called that for so long we can’t remember why. He and his singer Annique Azure had come down for a “major tour of South East Australia” – with only one venue listed on the tee shirt. Damn, they were good!

Adolphe’s infernal contraption and a newcomer: Not to be outdone, Jeff, the Captain, Laurie, young Clark and later on Keef played some fine saxophone through the arvo, newcomer Rowena (good voice!) got up and sang against her better judgement, but with a little bit of persuasion from her friend, and moi.

Jugs: Roy and his offsider Evan played “My Canary’s Got Circles Under His Eyes”, a tune I hadn’t heard for 25 years (we played rubbish back then, still do occasionally) and other jug band numbahs on guitar and resonator mandolin. Fun stuff. Miss Jane and Miss Carol brought proceedings back to an even keel, with some gentle wanders through the jazz genre, then the late, frazzled, not frazzled, slightly laid back and/or incredibly stylish Annie produced a great take on Lennon’ s Imagine, with guitar and flute solos from the aforementioned Hood and Annique.

Drum ‘N Bass By this stage, Pete (bass) was starting to wilt – he played all arvo and played really well… again.Ditto drummers Russell, Alan and Andre.

Tits: Trevor (whereyabeengreat to see you) closed out with Jane on Stormy Monday. Just an excuse for everyone to join in, blow the tits off the proverbials, and then we all went home, strangely better. Whoo Hoo!

Last week’s Jam: Up and Down Sort of a Sesh…

Another warmish day, coldish beer, drunks on the balcony and the Jazz too ran hot and cold all day. Not a bad turn out as it happens, with upwards of thirty peeps there at some stage or other, and quite a few more wandering in later. The food looks increasingly enticing as Murilo the Brazilian Chef settles in, and the beer is always good…

After giving the sound system a big wrap last week (as good as it has ever been), the Captain sensibly (is that a first?) decided to set it up exactly the same. Needless to say, it was nowhere near as good, even after we had got the Behringer foldback to work, if that is the right word for a Behringer, which it probably isn’t…

What did work was a sweet set by Susie towards the close: her singing continues to improve. Apparently “practice” has something to do with it. Susie is sending me a copy of the video her friend took so we can put it in the Jammers Newsletter

Aren’t you, Susie??

Why does a tune go off one week, and then go off in the opposite direction the next week? Probably because we gave Laurie a bit of a plug for Memories of Tomorrow last week. Didn’t work as well – suspects include the tempo, and the Baritone, which is a monster to play at the best of times. Ten points for trying, plus another 9 for Birks Works, which again had tempo problems but was a hell of a lot of fun.

Just to make sure he was a total disaster, I commented to Dave the Bass that his playing was getting better and better. This cunning plan didn’t work, as his playing was better and better again.. That’s four betters in two weeks. Good Grief!

After Russell, Sala, and Michael Findlay back after a long spell in the paddock, John Perri played beautifully (as John Perri can..) Got a little bit excited towards the end, but great to see him back.

Singers included Jane and the Debster, Kevin smooth and I am not sure who else. All hampered a little by the sound, but all good. Jane has a Featured SInger set coming up soon. Watch this space.

I haven’t much mentioned Huich (violin), back after a break, Neil, Fermin and Gene from New Jersey on guitars, Pete and Dan on bass. And I won’t – they all leave me lost for words. Good rhythm section…

So… next week rolls around: are ya comin’ or what?
TW

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 17th March, starting at 4.00pm

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.

GIG ALERT: ANNIE’S GOT GIGS!!

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Hi everyone. Hope all’s well with you.

2019 is well underway with some great festival gigs under the belt!

  2 gigs coming up next week.

Jasper’s Jazz Club

14 Goldie Place Melbourne

8:30 – 11:00pm  Thursday March 21st.

Two Way Traffic with Annie Smith

$10 entry

https://jaspersclub.com.au/

Two Way Traffic includes a bunch of very talented musos

David Lole (piano), Ron Anderson (many things but this time reeds),

Hermann Schwaiger (double bass), Allan Smith (drums)

A smallish affair gets even smaller … and classier

It is too damn hot! By the time I got to the Junk, the car was overheating, and predicatbly, almost no one turned up…

Which was strange, because the musos that did all had a great day. Read on

Captain Chaos, fresh from wrangling a jam for about 6 hours the night before, set off at a rate of knots – you could tell straight away he was in good form. Easy Living

Jeff turned up. Been having lessons in saxophonology, embouchure, flooting and quite possibly deportment. You can never be too careful. Result? Played the best I have ever heard him.

Laurie Savage eschewed his usual run of blues based beobp tunes, instead hauling out Now and Forever, which was a highlight of the day.

Pete Micevski, he of the pony tail, got there early. Played all day, hard to believe he ever sounded like a beginner – classiest of the lot, all day.

Russell Stringer set up the drums, played 4/4, 6/8. 12/8 and grooved along. Occasionally apologised for not nailing the beat at the outset of a tune he probably hadn’t heard before anyway. Actually took no [prisoners, hit things masterfully and departed exhausted… Bill Swannie took over! And played for at least two hours without a break. Got better and better, even though he was pretty damn good to start with.

A rhythm section that good made piano playing a breeze, which it probably needed to be to cool things down – it was still too damn hot.

Julian swung his flute hard and fast. He gets better and better, and brought with him a bevy of audience to boot.

Exhaustion set in around 6.00pm, when young Malcolm took over the keys, and Vlad, first guitarist all afternoon, played up a storm.

Guest singers Ashley de Wangaratta and Nicola sang, I think, Embraceable Ewe and Stormy Weather, but it could have been Route 66, and Sumnmertime. Whatever. Entertaining sets and lifted the mood. It was still too damn hot…

Cooling down: Annie Smiiff, the Divine, Late, Frazzled or None of the above sang too. She is always good.

Chuffing: The Captain announced himself well chuffed – it had been a classy afternoon and not a trainwreck in sight. We ‘ll fix that later…

What ever next!
TW

A Smallish Affair

Sunday broke warm and smooth – not much prospect of many peeps fronting for the Jam – but when we got there, young Roger the Clark was propping up the wall, the Captain was leaping from his chariot and the cleaner was, sensibly, refusing to let the ruffians in…

In no time at all, Dodgy Dave turned up and the usual crew set to. Kickoff was marginally delayed whilst the ump found a coin, and then it was on for young and old, but only if you count anyone under the age of 60 as young…

The Captain, fearing an outbreak of normality, decided the equipment layout should be reversed. Much to everyone’s astonishment, this seemed to work rather well – certainly the sound was much clearer, and unless everyone was playing better than usual, which you would have to doubt, this could become a regular thing.

Jazz anyone? Yes, we did play a bit – mainly of this but with a lick of that thrown in for good measure. Malcolm turned up early, and announced he had to leave soon, so we got him on, asap, Laurie, the Captain, Calamatta and the aforementioned somewhat sprightly Roger the C contributed the saxophological twiddly bits, whilst Russell, Alan and Salah hit things in the background, to good effect. Neil played, beautifully, all afternoon; Pete and Dan alternating on bass. Singers Jane, Kevin and Carol leavened the bread.

Highlights of the day included a somewhat nervous Judy getting up to sing for the first time. Didn’t see any nerves once she hit the mic. All seemed pretty good to the rest of us – Summertime , recorded by E. Fitzgerald in 1956; and At Last. (Etta James, released 1960) Hope she comes again.

Trainwreck of the day! I have been building up to this one for a long time, and now officially receive the accolades of an adoring public, or maybe just a tone deaf parrot with tinnitus , for comprehensively cocking up Nicas Dream, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – (1956) aided and abetted by Calamatta (the Captain claimed he was playing in another key), aged tyro Dan MacLachlan (bass), and young Alan Richards on the drums. A complete disaster from start to finish, according to Captain Chaos, and he should know…
TW

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 3rd March, starting at 4.00pm

It is going to be huge or quite small, we really don’t have a handle on this one. You will have to turn up to find out….toodlepip!

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.

International Women’s Day

On March 8th 2019 to celebrate International Women’s Day, there will be a concert of female Australian performers performing the works of Australian females – From Her We Hear.

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The group includes five musicians and a visual artist who will bring the little cinema at the back of Long Play to life. All trained classically these performers have extensive experience with orchestras and ensembles in Australia and abroad and are equally comfortable with genre bending music. Pieces range from improvisation explorations and music that illustrates the meditative qualities of sound, to more traditional songs with voice and piano. 

We will explore and present the often forgotten music of women composers from Australia past and present. Come join us for an intimate night of sound, light, and celebration. Spaces limited bookings essential www.trybooking.com/BATTT

Long Play is at

318 St George’s Road , North Fitzroy, Victoria 3168

Friday 8th March

Two shows, 6:30 & 8pm. Seating limited, bookings essential.

Tickets $25/20.

From Her We Hear

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Kay Cai – Piano
Playing a piano solo piece by Melbourne composer Nat Bartsch
https://natbartsch.com/

Teresa Duddy – Soprano
Singing songs by Peggy Glanville Hicks and Margaret Sutherland.

Brigid Burke – Clarinet
Performing a piece for clarinet and electronics by Melbourne performer and composer Nat Grant
http://www.natgrantmusic.com/composition.html

Isabel Hede – Violin
Performing her own composition, a piece for violin and electronics

Gemma Horbury – Visuals
Tying it all together with visual mastery on the big screen.

Alexandra Mathew – Mezzo Soprano, singing songs by Margaret Sutherland.