Jam Session No 1,034 goes according to plan

One can never be sure, when sauntering into the Gold Street Gossip Shop, watering hole to the gentry, quite what the plan will be. Will the jammers, in the spirit of inconsistency, play some jazz? Will Madge from Altona run amok, or sit out the back with a house port, a sailor, and a catering pack of Winnie blues? Will Hortense get lucky, always assuming she will be there, which she might be?

Last Sunday’s not so little jam session (it was crowded again), provided none of the answers, of course. It had promised to be a run of the mill affair, Continue reading

An Extraordinary Jam Session – or much the same as usual?

Madge, scourge of Altona West and substitute Lollipop Lady when it suits her, is, as the several readers of this august organ would know, quite the philosopher: and can turn quite reflective after polishing off seven snags, two matelots and a packet of Winnie Blues for breakfast. This habitual start to her day, generally partaken around 4 pm, leaves her in a reflective mood until such time as the sun sets and the roads around Refinery Terrace grow strangely quiet.

It was in such a mood that she remarked only the other day how a Jam Session can, on occasion, reach extraordinary heights of musicality and creativity: taking jazz to another level. She may have been quoting Nietszhe again, but it could have been a head cold.

Extraordinary? The Sunday Arvo Jam could not have been so described: when the usual suspects turned up, tuned up and took to mangling innocent toons with a languid degree of gusto. It went on for, as Hortense might have said had she been there, hours. No heights were scaled.

The guilty parties included The Captain, meself, a tireless Colonel T, Hirsh, Constable, Peter on trumpet, Noel on sax, Marion on recorder (good to see ya!) Ben the Banker, Monsieur Sebastian, Ali, the Debster, Kay De Darwin, Mrs Constable, and quite possibly Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Punishments will be awarded later.

Extraordinary? Probably not, but sometimes it is good to celebrate the ordinary, quaff some social lubricant and just have a good time. So we did. And at the end of it, all the bits got put back in the box and nobody left with a burning desire to get to Monday early, so I daresay we will do it again.

TW

Gold Street Gossip

The Captain blows up a storm

The Pete turns 50

How to get a gig – easy innit! 

The Captain  Blows up a Storm:

It has become somewhat of a habit, picking up Bob and driving to the Leinster of a Sunday afternoon, parking round the corner, ambling into the Gold Street Gossip Shop, and never knowing what, or who, to expect… 

The Captain, warming up and ready to spread his own benevolent form of chaos, Tim practicing in the back room (or as Il Duce would have it, exciting Seminar facility), Jack nowhere to be seen as usual, and a positive bevy of tonsil artistes ready to do their thing. First things first, a cold beer and a bit of idle banter, Gentleman John Curtis tickling the ivories, not one of which even giggled, and Paul on the drums positively caressing the skins whilst, as is his curious habit, staring at the wall.

Glen (Il Duce to those in the know) wasn’t there, and neither were the constabulary, his solicitor, his accountant, or any investigative reporters. Coincidence, probably?

The Pete turns 50

Pete wasn’t there either . He turned 50 on Saturday, which is often a silly thing to do, so much so that few people do it more than once. Given he still looked well under 65, well, slightly well under 65, or about 65, in the morning, he obviously decided to go to the East Altona Darts and Face Painting Championships instead. And when I say I obviously, I must stress  that I wasn’t there, so it could all be true.

Easy Innit?

In time, Nick, Trent, Keef, Yass, and Taariq would join newcomer Andrew (bass) who fitted in so well that the Captain asked him to play at the Grand this Friday. Good Grief, is it that easy?

Singers Jo, Anne H, Chelly, the incomparable Debbie and I forget who else, would get up for a warble, getting up being entirely preferable to being draped inelegantly over the piano. The stand probably wouldn’t take it anyway..

In all, a quieter session for a change, with everyone getting plenty of time to mangle, modify and murder their selected toons. The standard of the music remains alarmingly good, but be assured on the basis of experience, that this is a temporary aberration. The guilty will get their come-uppance in due course. The rest of us will get some chips and another beer, probably..

Stick to the black notes – they’re cheaper
TW

Reeding, Writhing and Rhythmatic…

Reeding, Writhing and Rhythmatic…

Madge from Altona had a busy day. Taking her usual bus from Altona West over the creaking Westgate and on into the seamier parts of Collywobble, where all the men are one eyed, and their womenfolk have less  than three teeth, has always been an exhausting adventure; but this Sunday she  found the Gold Street Tearooms and Gossipshop so full that she could not even get a seat, ( the double doors to that august establishment offering  no easy passage to someone of her stature.)    So, sitting outside, wreathed in the acrid fumes of a rollie, she contented herself with listening to the strains of what could pass for jazz on a dark night, wafting from the Tea Room Orchestra.

She perceived some discontent amongst the orchestral assembly, there being no fewer than 22 changes of personnel as the afternoon wore on. Finally, as the red glow of her 15th rollie arced across the street, she rose from her now severely deformed chair, and with barely a discernible indentation in the tarmac, remounted her bus with every intention of returning it to Altona West before the indigent Altona Bus Lines staff had noticed it missing. Which they hadn’t due to three of them being unable to count, and the other 14 not giving a rat’s in the first place.

So, the busiest jam in a very long time, and some damn good music: eight sax players, two pianists, two percussion, three bass players, a flute,  mellodica, guitar  and three singers – even the Captain admitted to being tired at the end of it all.

Props to The Captain (six bar fours anyone?) Keef, Ali, Rod, Jeff, Peter, Aaron and Roger the Dodger for some the sax battles; Rob Murray for some great piano, Louis the Fly for his usual eclectic mix of mellodica, Stan, Taariq and Kariss for playing bass with some very dodgy charts and in some cases, no chart at all, Don (guitar) and Natalie (flute and small child) , Fred and  Danilo on percussion,  Nicole, Julian and Lisbeth for singing, and meself for remembering at least that many names.

Which means I have forgotten Al Papa Jazz. No easy task, but he was in a class of his own again. . At least he turned up looking resplendent in his second best outfit. Somewhere in Moonee Ponds there is a beige Datsun 120Y with no seat covers.

A number of people have asked after Hortense. It would be more  sensible to ask before.
TW