It’s getting rather busy…

…And we are rapidly approaching a point where we will run the risk of being over-subscribed. This last week, we had 4 pianists, 4 saxophonists, 6 drummers, 4 bass players, 2 guitarists, and 9 singers – a total of 29 musos for the Captain to fit in. We barely managed, so if you are one of the lucky ones who got to play more than three times, make sure that everyone else gets a go before you get up again.

Egregiously uncharacteristic appearances:

Trevor Prasad,(keyboard) for one. He contented himself with the thought that the piano was inaudible, but what we could hear of it was pretty much on the money.

Fermin: great solos again, otherwise contributed to the muddy sound with gusto.

Chantelle: newcomer, sang some standards, powerful voice and tuneful.

Bill Swannie: (drums) first time at the Post, Bill has played a number of gigs with Katerina in the past and remains as smooth as. And it is his Birthday.

John Perri: maintains he has barely touched the drums for months, but is a dream to play with. Possibly the only drummer to suggest 12/8 time and mean it.

Jane and Jeff

Jane: sang early: and entertained. Stayed late and should have sung again. Jeff Harris in the background.

Summary: The Captain resorted to putting up six or seven musos at a time as a means of getting everyone in. The Captain Chaos Knackeredom Index was up several points by the time we finished and packed up. This was a busy session, and ran well late. There was lots of good stuff going on. Word from the audience was generally highly complementary. Hortense and Madge from Altona were both speechless, but only because they were not there. Again!

See Ya Sunday?

Marketing 1.01

Did you notice the Sandwich Board outside, and the update on the Post Hotel website? Have you seen the ads on Melband? Have you given one of the MJJ cards to your best friend, vague acquaintance or complete bluddy stranger? Have you tried googling Melbourne+ Jazz+ Jam Session, and marvelled at how high up the first page we come?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 6th October, 4.00pm start. Should be fun – get there early and help move the PA around (again!); order something exotic off the menu, get your instrument out and start playing it loudly whilst we are doing a soundcheck – God, we love that!

 Jam Session at the Maurocco Bar, Castlemaine.

This Sunday 6th October, usual time, the Bar is right opposite the Railway Station. Vice versa is also true. John Hannah reports that Mauro has invested in a new sound system. Nick it and bring it back…

And what of the Jazz Festival – ?

A Brief history and a new venue

We started planning the Castlemaine Jazz Festival in February 2013. After a false start in Maldon, it saw the light of day in June 2014, after John Hannah had got on board. I only mention this because that now looks like lightning quick progress. We first proposed a Jazz Festival in Kew in 2018. The idea was that this would provide an opportunity for some jammers to get involved, and it would attract Melbourne based bands, including those who would find the cost of the various country town Festivals as prohibitive. A trip to Wangaratta or Castlemaine costs around $400 by the time you stop drinking, eating, carousing etc.

The Junction Hotel. Our first fiasco was the idea of using three performance rooms in the Junction, hosting 24 -28 bands over two days. Heaps of careful planning went into this, only we forgot to factor in the Junk going broke in April 2018. At which point we approached Studley Park Boathouse, (great venue, no time available) and then Kew Junction Business Association (funded by Boroondarah Council with a mission to promote the High Street business district).. All we asked of them was that they supply the venues from their membership. We held positive discussions with both Hellenic Republic and QPO on High Street, only to have both venues propose a venue hire fee in addition to the free music and up to 500 people a day we would put in there.

Their room hire fee of $100 per musician for the Festival ($18,000) was either ludicrous, excessively greedy, unrealistic or a really good idea if you owned a venue and weren’t a musician. If we had that sort of money, we could have booked out Paris Cat and Birds Basement simultaneously.

Back to the drawing board… two hours later, the Captain came up with an alternative:

The “Other” Newport Jazz Festival. In the other Newport which is a little cultural hot spot just before you get to Williamstown.

So… the plan is:

The Date: Hold the Festival at Newport on May 2nd, May 3rd 2020

The Venues Use 5, maybe 6 venues including the Newport Library/.Community Centre, The Newport Bowls Club, the Newport RSL, and the Scout Hall (maybe)

The Bands: Book 40 – 50 bands who are prepared to volunteer their services in return for an equal share of any surplus made.

The Web Site Jess (the singer) is preparing a red hot web site. We are proposing to transfer the Newsletter and such recipients on th e-mail as are interested to the website.

The Committee are keen, the venues are keen, the Council is keen. What could possibly go wrong?

Stay tuned to find out!

Some of the Guilty Parties

Ben Stewart, guitarist

Steve Bray, drummer

Katerina Myskova

Salah, regular drummer
Fermin, guitarist, negotiated the Junktion deal

Pony Tail Pete, bass, Annie looks on
Jack and his slush pump
Sam Izzo, pianist, concentrating hard
Julian, floot, with a microphone up his nose?

The divine Miss Smith, who forgot her hairbrush
The inestimable Captain Chaos

“the more things change, the more they stay the same”

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 →

Xmas Jam 3 Dec 2017

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 →

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe

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 →

Jazz Jam Report 6th August 2017

by

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).

Be sure to play plenty of Eric Dolphy charts while I am away.

What’s on, Friday: The Royal Standard Hotel

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 Royal Standard Hotel: Fridays sorted

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…