The Jammers’ Bit

Is the standard of jazz getting better…

One has to wonder.. usual start at 4.10pm sharp, which gave the Captain an extra nine minutes to fiddle with the foldback, and Toby time to connect newcomer Salvatore‘s violin rig to the PA system. The foldbacks worked at their best for about 3 minutes, then went steadily downhill with adjustment. Sal’s violin setup, on the other hand, worked remarkably well, particularly when Sal was connected to the other end of it.

So… no bass player for a while, but a lively start to the session, and a rummage through the Debster‘s bag of tricks before Peter Garram got up with Miss Kay, Carol sang her usual immaculate set, and Ivan turned up to supply the missing bass lines.

Laurie put up some clean toned sax, Roger had a dip on guitar, Alan saxed and Jane sang.

As the arvo wore on the pub filled up with the usual assortment of jammers, startlingly single women reading E-books by the window, families with mothers escaping the humdrum , precocious kids, locals, interstate tourists on a last drink before the airport, and the usual motley crew of ruffians, ratbags and the St Kilda glitterati. So polycultural a crew in fact that we hardly need pay attention to the jam.

But we did, and a splendidly raucous racket it was, Okto on his axe, saxophones wailing about far too loud, and the Captain having such a good time, he managed to revive Little Sunflower and we didn’t mind a bit. Probably helped that Malcolm, in an avuncular mood, was on top of it Play barely settled until well after 7.30, when the usual few jammers ordered meals and sympathy at the bar. As ever, Gilbert saw us out, and the Perri bossed the remnant crew about until sticks. He told us he was a professional, in case we forgot. We didn’t.

Which brings me back to where we started. Is the standard of jazz getting better? It seems to be at one of its periodical high points, from which no doubt it will soon relapse, but what the hell, we had fun, again, didn’t we?

See ya this Sunday?

Q and A -some questions, new Festival Details, and few answers

Twenty Eight? Musos, that is, making this the second busiest Jam Session since 2008. Apart from Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch (60’s popster nerds get on down) who might have been there, Uncle Tom Cobley and all who weren’t there, and Kylie Minogue who could have been there but her people didn’t confirm, there was a record number of Japanese there, a record number of singers (10), a record number of baritone saxes (2) and even the lights were smokin’. And not a bad session, to boot…

And not a bad session, to boot

Singers: Jane, Carol and Kay early starters, with John Curtis on keys having way too much fun. Kay even forgot to sing One Note Samba as a swing tune, or some perfectly good Lennon McCartney classic as a bossa. And sounded all the better for it.

one note samba: the official chart

Jess (see the Other Newport below) sang a brief set of three, Yuko swung it, Aimee treated her friends to a complete re-ordering of the form on at least two songs, but with her trademark warm tone; Kev ducked into the Captain’s take on Besame Mucho, and Brian stuck resolutely to the blues – not that we minded, he sounded pretty good. As the arvo wore on, Gilbert got up (“I like to sing Sinatra songs”) and duly sang Sinatra songs including asking for a switch in keys in the middle of Fly Me To The Moon. I can honestly claim cock-up of the day on that one (“What, again?”) and Malcolm closed it all out by accompanying Brisbane singer Leena Salim on Girl From Ipanema, followed by Fever. And a good version of Moondance heavily obliterated by having too many soloists all at once. Probably having three singers (Susie joined Leena and Kay on that one) didn’t help either.. John got up for the epilogue. Sweet.

New Bari: Who’s a lucky boy? Jeff tried out his shiny new bari, and it has to said, we couldn’t keep him off it – but it sounded pretty damn good. Laurie probably a tad smoother on his used-to-be shiny silver Bari.

Bass lines: Piers grooved along, Dave stretched out on Brian’s blues, Eiji the pick on his stick, with Yuko and others, Anton funking it up (but gently) at the end.

Guitar: Fermin back for a hit out, all the way from the cultural backwater of Kew. Good to see him again.

Drums: Larry for starters, Steve, Alan all good, Alex back for a second hit, Michael Findlay in the groove.

Q and A Given the numbers, the Captain did well to get everyone (well almost everyone) up for a play or a yodel. Will the layout change next week? Why stop now?, although the sound was adjudged as a bit muddy by those that know. Are we approaching full house on the Jams? Can we cock it up enough to avert that crisis? Of course we can!

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman,this Sunday 15th September 4.00pm start. Do hope you can make it!