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.

The Natural Laws and Principles of Ye Jamme Session

Like all other slightly deviant activities in the  universe, or the back bar, whichever you happen to be in at the time, the Melbourne (*) Jam Sessions are subject to immutable laws, generally empirically derived, and only clarified by the third or fourth round of drinks.

ABILITY  The Inverse Law of competence: This states that the amount of time taken to set up and start playing your instrument is inversely proportional to the level of competence subsequently displayed.

IMPROVISATION: The Law of Improvisation states that the number of notes played per nano second is often a clear indication of the complete lack of creativity in any given solo. Or of a devotion to late stage middle age be-bop fixation, which is much the same thing.

SOUND LEVELS: This law states that the louder you play, the better it will sound. It is a crap law, but does appear to have widespread support.

COMPLEXITY: The Law of Complexity states that complex tunes and/or arrangements, must generally be attempted by people deeply unable to master them, and deeply unable to appreciate that they remain un-mastered.. This Law of Complexity is often enhanced by the attemptee indulging in long explanations to other players of the form, intro, outro, key, fifth page repeated three times etc. etc. This leads to the Law of Perplexity

THE LAW OF PERPLEXITY: This states that the extent to which any given musician could not give a rats posterior about the long winded explanation (see above) is exactly proportional to the relative ability of that player vis a vis the attemptee (see above again…)

THE GADGETS PRINCIPLE: The Gadgets Principle is that the number of gadgets required by a musician multiplied by the number of minutes required to connect said gadgets, divided by the number of tunes that could have been played in the time taken to rummage around for all the gadgets in the first place, then added to the the number of musicians standing around waiting for gadget connecting sequence to be completed… is errmm… a very silly number indeed.

THE COOLNESS QUOTIENT: This quotient can be derived by dividing your age by the number of years spent in studying jazz,. If the answer is between 7 and infinity, you need to stay out of the sun, acquire black clothes, a pork pie hat, a supercilious sneer, thick rimmed spectacles and a goatee beard. If female, you can skip the pork pie hat.

If your answer is below 7, you rock, Dude, probably own at least one tee shirt with no writing on it, prefer vinyl to CD, know someone who knows someone who has heard of you but never met, and have travelled extensively in third world countries such as Carlton North and Abbotsford.

Footnote
Melbourne (Australia) is not known as the cultural capital of the South for nothing. It is a city of around 5 million people,  who all wear black, know where the best coffee in Melbourne is, and voted for someone else at the last election, so cannot be held responsible…

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.

All of them Good?

Quite what makes a jam session work is an enduring mystery, but if there is a pattern to these things, it may well be emerging. Another crap day, weather wise, no advertising in Melband, very few hits on the Newsletter due to a cock up at least partly of my own making, and this week comes after a huge session the week before, all of which generally presages a drop in numbers, a lessening of musical quality, and quite possibly a visit from Hortense, of whom, more later…

The Ensembleclip_image002[6]

Long story short, 25 musos turned up, the crowd in the bar were just as enthusiastic, fairly thirsty, and a few new/old faces dropped by. We started with four bass players (Dave T, Dave NN, Slawie and Pete. Pretty good session as a result … well, at least nothing got broken and nobody died.

Highlights? Jeff turned up with a dodgy Chinese knock off flute, that sounded rather good. Laurie soloed memorably on All Blues, and Alan, who gets better every week, was his usual affable self. Singers included Aggie Smith on gardening leave, Jess trying out new material, including I Get A Kick Out of You, which isn’t exactly new, but you get the drift; Aimee struggling with young Malcolm on the piano (a reggae beat on Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Really?); Nurul rocked it on Sway and All Blues, and a trio of newcomers on guitar, piano and vocals, all good but from which I only managed to get one email address, which I cannot read.. ..followed by Janine (God Bless The Child) and Nicole (Summertime) before a big wind up with an ensemble singing of Hit The Road Jack, which, eventually, we did.

In discussion with the Captain, we estimated over 50 musicians and singers have performed at the Post. How wrong could we be – 83 have been listed in the newsletter since we started on April 19th. Apart from early days, (such as no singers on May 17), numbers have been running at or above 25 on most weeks.

And all of them good… Hortense, who often makes a discreet appearance when numbers are down, has hardly been at all.

See you next week?

 

Total

Oncers Came again
Piano 13 7 6
Sax 10 4 6
Guitar 10 5 5
Bass 7 2 5
Drums 12 4 8
Other 4 2 2
Singer 27 9 18

And all of them good… Hortense, who often makes a discreet appearance when numbers are down, has hardly been at all.

Steve on drums, hot guitarclip_image002

See you next week?
TW

Next Jam this Sunday 4.00pm at the Post Hotel

Next Jam is on Sunday at 3.30pm

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

You can park on St Kilda Road (Sunday, no restrictions). Public parking is available on Bath Street, just past the Hotel on Inkerman Street (same side as Post Hotel). Tram 3/3a or 67 down St Kilda Road from the City 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. Bring the spouse, collect double points if it is someone else’s.

Stuff Me, that was a good One!

A few stats and dot points for starters:

  • This was the third week in a row that we have cracked 25 musos. Stop mucking about, Captain Chaos is exhausted.

  • The finale for this session was a cracking Santana number, followed by “Moondance” with 12 musos up at once. Equals our biggest ever line-up. They couldn’t see the folks on the other side of the Bar, dancing…

  • If you count young Grace bopping away, it actually exceeds our biggest line-up. Grace is all of three which makes her our second youngest performer. Marley still the youngest, by a short head.

  • This week saw the smallest line-up of saxophonists for ages. Well, Jeff isn’t that small, and neither is Alan. The Captain is at least medium but you get the drift.. Come to think of it, Jeff didn’t even play his sax, only floot…Those boys had a ball, and played damn well.

  • The Captain, mortified by last week’s rhythm section taking the piss, launched into a spirited rendition of “Four” again. One of the other saxophonists scored it a 3.5. Those boys are savage on each other.

  • While the musos were playing, we “worked the room”, and gave out around 50 of the new cards. Happy little audience – we reckoned there were 80+ peeps in the bar.

  • Special mention for Kevin, who sang one of the hardest ballads going around – “Lush Life” by Billy Strayhorn. Slawie (bass) and I aged several years in the process, but it all hung together. Bravo.

  • Nicole was a first timer, jumping in on the spur of the moment. One of the best to date – Summertime and Fly Me To the Moon fairly standard offerings, but sung beautifully – please come again.

  • 82% of Annie rocked the joint to finish. The other 18% is replacement parts. Indestructible but not, it would seem, irreplaceable. Little does she know we use her as an example of how to sing, entertain, engage an audience and control a band. Quite often, she is a good example.

  • We haven’t even mentioned Kay, Jane, Yuko, Brian, Susie, Malcolm, John Curtis, Peter Garam, Lisette, Pete, Ivan and Eiji ace bassists, Neil (best guitar in ages) , Alan Richards, Steve Bray, Hussein, Andre, and Jane’s mate from Cairns. You were all spiffin’, mostly, so we won’t mention you now….

  • Jane is off to the USA, and has promised to send us all a postcard. She has also promised to forget to post it. Have a great trip…

  • Finally, we had more people than ever come up and say how much they were enjoying the music at The Post. We also had the first negative comment, so let’s not get too excited.

The Wrap: A really, really good session. Positively noisy at times, and increasingly crowded. There seem to be more people coming specifically because of the live music. Several punters thought “the band” was tight and very professional – not realising that this was a walk-up assembly of a motley crew of musos, none of whom take it too seriously, spurred on by a dedicated audience of regulars who should know better, but care not to.

See you next week? Could be a train wreck? Could be good? Ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids!

Next Jam Session will be on Sunday 4th 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. Or as well..

The Castlemaine Jam

And it don’t come in jars. The Maurocco Bar rocks this Sunday 4th August. The Maurocco was opposite the railway station last time I went, and I would be surprised it they have moved it since. 2.00pm start and a good time guaranteed.

St Kilda Road Blues – all dug up

A very quiet day at the Post, with St Kilda Junction all shook up, and the 6 lanes of St Kilda Road reduced to 1, for tram works. Half the Post (the other half) almost empty. Obviously not many of the Jammers could get a day job ripping up tram tracks, as a fair few of them turned up anyway.

Jeff warming up . . .

Quite an afternoon – Serge kicked off on double bass, and was followed by bassists Pete, Slawie, Dave the Bass, and Anton “Papa Jazz”1. They all played nicely. Frontline saxophoneezers included the Captain, Jeff, Alan West, and Laurie 2. Alan upstaged us all with an egregiously 3 great solo on “Cry Me A River” . Jess sang a neat set, with Too Close For Comfort ripping along nicely.

 

Civility was restored to proceedings once Gentleman John Curtis took over ivory tickling duties, and Alan Richards surrendered the drums to an equally rowdy Sala. Those boys were having way too much fun, as did “Carpet” Hirsh 4 after nearly throwing a hissy fit because the saxes wouldn’t play “Four” without a chart, although they managed in the end.

Alan . . . great solo

Singers… Jess gets better and better, Carol was all good fun, Aimée may have her name spelt right for the first time and sang with confidence. Kevin and Brian each ripped through a coupla songs in fine style. Later honours belonged to LilyRose and Meggan from Brisbane – they got up and duetted on “Summertime” followed by “ Dream a little Dream of Me.” Magic happens….

image

L to R The Captain, Meggan, Dave the Bass, Lily Rose and Mr Hirsh all having fun – “Summertime”

 

Notes
1. Note correct use of Oxford comma. Society is to blame.
2. “Egregiously”, as in Alan doesn’t do this too often?
3. “a good toon with which to finish” Note pedantically correct use of preposition
4. The Irrepressible Mr Hirsh once insisted on a new carpet for the drummer. We were initially offered a bucket of earplugs, several blunt instruments, and advice that could have got us arrested. He eventually settled for a secondhand carpet, and hasn’t been the same since. Or before, for that matter…
TW

Do not adjust your set…

A bitterly cold afternoon, the piano locked up somewhere, a few desultory souls wandering in. Should have been a disaster from the outset, but it wasn’t. And it all started with four saxophones, one pianist (no piano for a while though!) and then a drummer…

So it is a little surprising that this ended up as a crowded, busy sesh, 26 musos in attendance, including the many singers, all of whom would tend to sulk if we did not include them in the muso count. Apparently we scored a mention on ABC FM this week, but even that proved to be insufficient warning and peeps turned up in droves.

By mid afternoon, the saxophonist count had risen to 7, with Laurie then leaving early, after a lively contribution, Roger “the Stiff” Clark there all arvo, Jeff H playing sax, clari and then flute, Cardinal Calamatta sounding sweet as ever, Alan in fine form with Josephine, and Keef getting a decent spot to solo – this has been on our to-do list for a while, the Captain de Chaos, meanwhile, almost losing the plot – he had to fit in nine different singers, (Kay, Jane, Brian, Yuko, Annie (Every Time We Say Goodbye), Ashley de Wang, Emily (Cry Me a River), Susie and Deb). Three turned up late, and one was easily better than all the others, but I can’t remember which one. You’ll all have to come again…

We only had the one Ukrainian bass player, name unpronounceable “ДϒΗНО”. He was pretty good, and of course Pete Micevski played solid all arvo.

Slap and Rattle department well handled by Alan R, then Sala, then Mac and Hussein (great rhythm on Sway really lifted this Annie Smiff version).

Rhythm and booze: all the piano players (Peter Garam, Malcolm and meself) played piano and Ben Stewart played some mean Guitar once he had got the cobwebs out.

The Captain opined that the standard of music was as high as ever, all afternoon – and I would have to agree. The audience seemed well impressed – this week, we went round and handed out cards, chatted up the burlesque dancer in the corner, tried to persuade the barmaid to leap the counter and sing, etc.etc.

I could make all this up, if only it weren’t true.
TW

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