Ben Stewart, guitarist
I have never been a fan of the Maurocco Bar, until now, but walking into the Castlemaine Jam for its five year anniversary, found much entertainment. Continue reading →
Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr
Well, he never turned up at a Jam Session anyway. It has been some time since I last wrote for the Jammers Newsletter, being rudely interrupted by the need for a little light surgery. Wandered in to the Gold Street Gossip Shop , exhausted after a long (for me) waddle down Johnston Street, at 4.00pm sharp, to be greeted by a guitarist (1), a keyboard, the good Captain with his saxophone, no drums, no bass and an exceptionally good drummer (2). Continue reading →
Dateline 21 Jan 2018
A small group of regular jammers appeared at the Leinster Arms Hotel on Sunday to start another year of mangled ballads, hackneyed show tunes, suspect swing songs and NQR bossa novas and soul jazz dirges. Continue reading →
By Taariq Hassan
The last jazz Jam of the year 2017 came and went with a bang.
A good turnout embraced the temperamental weather that Melbourne’s end of year December festivities offers and enjoyed some more: very loud drum solos; find a key singing; wandering tempos; lost chord changes and hackneyed show tunes and ancient standards being mangled yet again. Continue reading →
Which neatly sums up the quiet little Jam Session that took place last Sunday. Plenty of opportunity to gyre and gimble, and none missed. A smaller bunch of jammers than usual (17) concocted a variety of tempo, and tones. And then had them altered at random.
All of which made for the usual gossip-mongering over a refreshing social lubricant, munchies from Glen, and the early departure of several rather good musos.
And the orchestra played on… Continue reading →
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).
The Royal Standard Hotel: Susie cracked it, Ann Hayres this week..
Susie cracked it indeed, at very short notice. And if the truth be told, a little light on for preparedness due to not much singing for the past 18 months. What ensued Susie having fun and a pretty good night, well received by the regulars. We must do it again.
This week sees Ann Hayres stepping up to the plate – with an eclectic selection of esoteric jazz standards: the irrepressible Dave Taylor back on double bass, the Captain on sax and a Allan Smith on drums. The night could turn out a debacle, but with those musos on board, at least it will be a stylish debacle. Or a lot of fun. Or both
Ann Hayres with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 30th June 2017
Improvisation, why bother. Just make it up as you go along…
The Divine Miss Smith and the polytonal Jason Chalmers did not disappoint. This week, Susie returns to the fray, after a protracted break, and the usual crew will be there in support.
Susie with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 23rd June 2017
Stick to the black notes, they’re cheaper…
Last week saw a piping hot set from Joys Njambi, and this week we are featuring the late Miss Smith, and Jason Chalmers on sax: should be good!
Annie Smith with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 16th June 2017
I wandered, lonely as a cloud (if clouds can actually feel lonely, which I would doubt), into the darkened inner recesses of the ancient and mouldering pile otherwise known as the Gold Street Gossip Shop and Bicycle Repair Emporium, and spotted, not a crowd or host of golden daffodils as such, but a coupla dills hanging about getting ready to mash up a few standards. As you do on a Sunday arvo when you have plenty better to do, but not much inclination to do it…
There followed a remarkably pleasant afternoon with nineteen musos swapping licks, hardly a trainwreck in sight, and a few highlights to be mentioned…
Newcomer Luis played some damn good soprano saxophone, which is the first time in living memory that anyone has made that instrument sound good (it normally makes the bagpipes sound good instead). Hope he will be back. Buen trabajo!
Ponytail Pete played even better than he did on Friday night (report below). Chico and Fermin swapped guitar stints.
Colonel T forgot to hammer any numbers into the ground, and in between whiles kept us amused (“there is a 1 in 88 chance of that piano player hitting the right note…”)
Kay the pick of the piano players, although the Fraser was just as good. Peter, Richard and meself made up the numbers. And the percussion crowd (Michael, Bill and Matt) generally hit things to good effect, before newcomer Andre got up and gave a bit of a drum class of his own.
Keef played some nice stuff – even forgot to play over the singers (Kev, Brian and the irrepressible Debster) for a while.
Eventually, we ran out of time to fit everyone in for a second bite at the cherry … over all of which Captain Sensible presided with his usual equanimity.
You are cordially invited to take part in the next friendly debacle … at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 12th March 2017, at 4.00pm.
June 9th – June 12th 2017
Bands registrations should be in by March 3rd, so get cracking! Musician Co-ordinator Captain Chaos can answer any queries you may have on 0422 568 537. Col Garrett has the same number, so he may answer the phone…
No reports from the Festival newsdesk this week. Rumour has it that the Castlemaine Jam Session (first Sunday of every month) is moving to the Maurocco Bar, opposite the railway station.