Micro-managed…

… in a fashion… Started the day with four (yes, four, read it and weep) saxophones. I tried suggesting that they should all get up and play at once, but it turns out saxophony is a competitive sport, and they each decided that the others were too good – which, of course, they weren’t.

And no bass player, for which I own an apology to pianist Peter Garam – we made him open the innings with no bass line, no proper drummer, and You’ve Changed, with which he professed no familiarity. Sounded alright to me…

Along with the Captain (Chaos), there was Laurie (sweet tone), Jeff (Misty), and the Blast from the past and all round bon vivant Alan West – turns out he lives pretty close by, and has lost none of his ability on sax…

Newcomer Dan, or Daniel perhaps, sat patiently waiting for his turn on piano, then launched into Fly Me To The Moon. Hope he comes again. Then Ezra (trombone) joined in – he took a while to warm up all 9 feet of the old brass pipe, but really added something to the jam – producing warm tones, with Julian on floot. The saxopholologists foregathered to a nearby table and attempted to snaffle all the sliders and munchies that the Post put on.

Ivan and Dave No Nickname arrived fashionably late, or more late than fashionable, take your pick; and took over bass duties from the exhausted left handed piano players, meself and Malcolm as well as the aforementioned Garam. Sala played the drums aided by innate proficiency, which is more than could be said for the alternative.

And that was it really: the first session in living memory with no singers, and the smallest line-up for, literally, years. It is a good thing they all played some sweet stuff. The audience seemed to enjoy it, the Budvar ran out, and the kids behaved.

Micro-managed? – there was stuff all to manage, what with the small turnout and the Captain calling time early.

‘Twas fun, but. Let’s do it again.

Cheers
TW

The Party Gets Bigger

And noisier, and a bit more chaotic…. Another fun session at The Post last Sunday, only this time 24 musos turned up, tuned up and shed their dignity in the approved manner. And a good time, it would seem was had by all.

Whilst almost nothing surprises the few hardy desperates who turn up every week, there was a noticeable upswing in the audience numbers, most of whom were, to start with, complete bluddy strangers. Not any more…

A few returned jammers after long absences – Stuart from the Ramage days, the immaculate Ben Hooper, rather better than ever on keys; Gentleman John Curtis, who has managed to get tied up in grandfathering duties, but dropped in for a while, with a good short stint on the ivories. And Agus, making a welcome, if occasional, visit to the jam sessions, playing as beautifully as ever. He has another gig coming up at Paris Cat on May 22nd – https://pariscat.com.au/

Sax is good for you: the Captain hauled out his sax, on the dubious grounds that exercise would be good for the damaged forelimb, and ended up playing, well, more than most. You can’t keep a good man down… or the Captain for that matter. Jeff ditto. Keef turned up lateish, as is his wont, but was possibly the best of the saxophilologists, even when playing his clarionet.

Singers (seven again) – Jane, then Carol survived us messing with the reverb, and sounded rather good. Janine, fresh from her regular St Kilda gig, sang for the first time and was the best of them, Nurul and the increasingly stylish Rose sang to their usual standard.

Drummers: John Perri, Alan Richards and Salah, most of whom got louder as the day wore on, M Hirsh esq didn’t, but tried fiddling with the drum stool, then hit the skins with drumsticks and style, if not panache, and possibly a little finesse thrown in for good measure.

Basso profundo and fender: Ivan (big bass) and Dave (elec bass) started about an hour after Neil (guitar) and meself (p) had messed around with bass lines in their absence. Thankfully.

The evening closed with Ain’t Misbehavin’, from Janine, then some nice trio work, and the Prasad playing, as he does from time to time, Blue Bossa.

All up a good arvo, lots of people and some very complimentary comments, none of which shall I repeat for fear of inflating egos beyond the width of the front door.

The Post is starting to cook. We look forward to seeing you there.
TW

Just a bunch of bloody amateurs?

Rash promises: By the time I got to the Post at 3.00pm, I had already received three text messages from singers who had said they were coming, and then didn’t. Would anybody turn up on Easter Sunday Arvo?

It seemed, for a while, quite possibly not, while we took a good 45 minutes to set up the gear. Jeez, a power point nearby wouldn’t be too much to ask, would it. Well, yes it would.

Eventually opened the batting at 4.10, with the Debster chosen as our first singer, Kevin in at first drop. Dave Taylor on double bass, and Alan Richards on drums made for a sweet rhythm section.

Due, quite possibly, to our incompetence in setting up the gear, the sound was remarkably good all afternoon although it got a bit noisy as the place filled up. I do wish that people wouldn’t turn up and have a good time, whilst we are trying to be deadly serious, or otherwise musical. Havin’ a good time? Bah, humbug!

We stopped worrying if anyone would turn up by the time the Captain started worrying about how he would get everyone a turn at the wheel. The Post Hotel was pleasantly full by half time.

In the end we had 16 musos get up and boogie – four bassists and seven singers – with the return of Rose (Route 66), Kevin and, good grief, haven’t seen Brian in a while; Carol, newcomer Edith, and Susie. Will was the lone saxophonist, played as smooth as ever, even filled in on the drums at the close. Nice one.

Props to the Captain -who didn’t play due to a crook arm, but put hours into finding the right venue, and hopefully felt well rewarded; to Edith who admitted after singing that she had never done it before – and made a pretty fair fist of it; to Rose for recommending the venue, and to all the jammers for giving the session the thumbs up.

And a final thanks to POCKOTL, Rod and Bette – they didn’t get there until 7.00, but these are our connection to the original Dizzy’s Jam sessions. Better write an other paragraph before Bette works out how old that makes her.

Oh yes… “Just a bunch of bloody amateurs” was how I described the jammers to the landlord – so he wouldn’t be disappointed – he wasn’t, and the jammers exceeded his expectations.
See ya next Sunday​​?
TW

No more Pizza, Sunday Post instead

So the sun sets on the Royal Standard, Frank reverts to a quieter life, as the last strains of Be go Bopping out the window… Well, it wasn’t quite like that, and if the truth be known, lots of peeps hacking into the pizzas, whilst we had rather a spiffin’ time of it in the back room/echo chamber.

Although, it must be said, Captain C was still a bit crook, and didn’t play his saxololliphone at all – surely another first!

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Whatever, Jeff arced up for a while, then Will stepped in with the sweetest tone, and some smooth lines. The lad is getting seriously good…so the noise and drool brigade still acquitted themselves well.

So the sun sets on the Royal Standard, Frank reverts to a quieter life, as the last strains of Be go Bopping out the window… Well, it wasn’t quite like that, and if the truth be known, lots of peeps hacking into the pizzas, whilst we had rather a spiffin’ time of it in the back room/echo chamber.

Although, it must be said, Captain C was still a bit crook, and didn’t play his saxololliphone at all – surely another first!

Whatever, Jeff arced up for a while, then Will stepped in with the sweetest tone, and some smooth lines. The lad is getting seriously good…so the noise and drool brigade still acquitted themselves well.

As did Salah (welcome back!) on drums, Michael the Lefty, No Nick Name Dave on bass, Dave Taylor on double bass and Dan on the Fender. The makings of a pretty good rhythm section.

Which got better as the Perri warmed up. Can he do latin or what? Last seen swapping Calabrian anecdotes with Frank.

Fermin (guitar) comped beautifully, and must have forgotten not to solo, as has been his wont, because he soloed rather well.

Malcolm took over on keys for an extended session, Carol sang (sweet vocals, have we nearly got the pa reverb etc. right?) as did Jane, Debbie probably the pick of them.

Julian surprised us all with Sunny on guitar, and an extended session of the Finance Sub-Committee on future Festival matters. Stay tuned for more developments on that one.

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And so, we are off to the Post Hotel, for Sunday 21st, 4.00pm on the corner of Inkerman and St Kilda Road. Some damn fool booked it for Easter Sunday, and you will all be in Church. If you could all sneek out once the Vicar gets to the sermon and starts bangin’ on, we should get a good turn out.

See ya then!

 

As did Salah (welcome back!) on drums, Michael the Lefty, No Nick Name Dave on bass, Dave Taylor on double bass and Dan on the Fender. The makings of a pretty good rhythm section.

Which got better as the Perri warmed up. Can he do latin or what? Last seen swapping Calabrian anecdotes with Frank.

Fermin (guitar) comped beautifully, and must have forgotten not to solo, as has been his wont, because he soloed rather well.

Malcolm took over on keys for an extended session, Carol sang (sweet vocals, have we nearly got the pa reverb etc. right?) as did Jane, Debbie probably the pick of them.

Julian surprised us all with Sunny on guitar, and an extended session of the Finance Sub-Committee on future Festival matters. Stay tuned for more developments on that one.

And so, we are off to the Post Hotel, for Sunday 21st, 4.00pm on the corner of Inkerman and St Kilda Road. Some damn fool booked it for Easter Sunday, and you will all be in Church. If you could all sneek out once the Vicar gets to the sermon and starts bangin’ on, we should get a good turn out.

See ya then!
TW

Sunday Jazz at The Royal Standard, Carruthers notices it is a bit quiet…

Second session at the Royal Standard, the Captain is a bit crook and all that bumping in and out to do… and it did seem a little quiet, as Carruthers has noted many times before …

Jammers Happy – at the Royal Standard playing As Time Goes By

Still, we got things up and running on time, all except the microphone which joined us a bit later. Quite why anyone would have a switch on a microphone is beyond my limited comprehension. Certainly made life hard for Miss Jane, who later sang up a storm anyway.

Good new drummer, Michael, warmed to the task after taking over from Russell the Reliable, then Bill as immaculate as ever. Jeff more or less had the saxophone department to himself, and ran duly amok, as you do.

An afternoon then rescued by Nurul, who sang remarkably well for someone who has only had kids to scream at for the last few months. Dave Taylor majestic on double bass, the Nicknameless Other Dave drove it along nicely in between times.

And as the evening wore on (and it did wear a bit at times) Huich came to the fore, given an opportunity to call the tunes and fiddle away, with Yuseke on guitar as able back up. Great little interlude towards the end of the evening.

The lowest turnout (13 musos having fun) since the Leinster Arms days – we need to settle to a new venue…

This coming Sunday will be our last at the Royal Standard for a while, notwithstanding its easy parking, central location, ace food and a really nice Little Creatures on tap. The jammers are then moving to the Post Hotel on the corner of Inkerman and St Kilda Road in sunny downtown St Kilda. More below.
TW

The Melbourne Jazz Jammers were looking for a new venue…

And we might have found it.

Many thanks to all the Jammers who put up suggestions for the Captain to look at. We didn’t look at all of them, (it took two days to see the following), but almost all were keen to have the Jammers. And why wouldn’t you be? Don’t answer that…

The Rising Sun, South Melbourne: they were keen, we were keen, the rock band downstairs were too noisy.

The Emerald: South Melbourne. Due to contact them again next week – great ambience, but a bit of a long shot as they have an established jazz programme on Sundays. Back to Friday., anyone?

The Beehive, Kew: Neato pub, good parking, on a tram line. The Manager was keen, but still needs to put it past head office. Catrin, we are waiting…

Central Club, Richmond. Nice manager, but black decor more suited to heavy metal, big cavern of a place. Are you serious?

King of Tonga Bar, Elwood: No, you are not serious. Great little bar , but way too small…Hortense does need enough space to swing her cat when she comes.

The Water Rat, South Melbourne. Great upstairs space, some parking, established music on Thursdays, serves a good beer, parking so-so.. Met the new manager, who seemed really keen, will let you know next week …

East Malvern RSL. You need a cut lunch to get there, and another one to walk from one end of the building to the other. Helpful staff, but probably too far out of town.

The Plough, Footscray. Too far out, although we did discuss its proximity to Werribee – here’s looking at you Laurie!

The Post Hotel, (or Post Office Club Hotel) – St Kilda. The only one to suggest putting the jammers in the main bar at the front. Budvar on tap, good food, storage upstairs, on a tram line, parking nearby, separate room for bagpipes etc., Mike the landlord is keen…

We are going to give this one a go for a four week trial starting on Sunday 21st April

Sunday Jazz at The Royal Standard, it worked a bit good

Got to the set-up early-ish, to find The Captain and Jane bolting the drum kit together. All more or less done before the troops arrived, although we failed to get the sound check set-up before the saxophones started warming up. Alan Richards turned up in time to re-assemble the drum kit, thereby rendering it playable.

The new/old venue proved a good one – a bit noisy and hard to balance, but the smarter musos adjusted to that quickly, using the alarming (to some) strategy of playing quieter.

Friday 22nd March saw the biggest number of hits on the website for any day in the last two years. And 19 musos fronted, singers and saxes winning the day, but rather more delicate interventions from Laurie, the Captain, Huich (violin) and Gene (guitar) in particular.

Dave Taylor added more than a touch of class on double bass, working well with Alan. Probably explains the standard of music which climbed a notch or three as the arvo wore on.

Geoff (piano) played his longest session yet. Whoo hoo!

We are continuing to check out the places suggested by various jammers, but are we happy with the Royal S so far…? Proving to be a good stopgap venue, Frank was well pleased, parking is a doddle, and a turnout bigger than we had dared hope. Roll on!

See ya this Sunday?
TW

Sunday Jazz at The Royal Standard, what will they think of next?

Yup, landlord Frank has stepped up to the plate and offered us the back room at the Royal Standard Hotel for this Sunday and next.

If we like it and he likes it, we might continue thereafter.

A little history:

We first approached the Royal Standard, watering hole to the gentry, everyone else let in for free, about 8 years ago – in the mistaken belief that it was another venue anyway. . Then landlord Dom and his wife Cheryl agreed to let us try the side Bar for a few Sundays.Eighteen months later, we left for the Leinster….

When the Grand Hotel cancelled the regular gigs there, we turned back to the Royal Standard again for Friday night sessions. These ran for a few months, and quite a few of the current MJJ regulars played there.

Frank remembers us well, probably for all the wrong reasons, but has welcomed us back. Guinness on tap, and Italian meals of the better sort. Decent sort of a fella.

See ya this Sunday?
TW