The Sunday Jam Session: Don’t play You Are The Sunshine of My Life until you have checked the weather forecast.

If, as seems very unlikely, Will (guitar), Daniel (electric bass), Bob (piano), Gentleman John Curtis (piano), Paul Phillips and Spike Tiernan (drums), Colonel Taariq (everything),  Chico (guitar), Christine Manetta (vocals), Bruce (drums), Col (chaos), The Divine Miss Smith (vocals), Sonia (vocals, but in French), Chelly (vocals but not in French), Jason (saxaphone and hat), Nicholas (Chilean saxaphone), Tina (piano), Doug (double bass and haircut) all turned up to hear me play piano, they were mainly disappointed, as I hardly got a look in with that lot all playing.

Which was a good thing, because the standard of music they produced was remarkably high, and intermittently consistent…

With one glaring exception: an absolutely splendidly cocked up version of Stevie Wonder’s You are The Sunshine of My Life. People a good deal more sensible than the assembled jammers would have called it a day at about the third bar in, retired hurt, resorted to strong drink and sought medical advice.. Fortunately they persisted, and gave us a most memorable trainwreck. Sheer bliss from start to debacle, and the audience’s collective faith in humanity restored.

Nevertheless, if Jam Sessions were all about good music, this would have been one of the best.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain falls over.

2014 Inaugural Jam Session: Musicians turn up shock

In a rare departure for Jam Sessions, several real musicians turned up, and people started playing jazz. It is, admittedly, early days, but I can’t see this radical departure from the norm persisting for too long. Oh well, ’twas fun while it lasted . . .

Not one, but two Clarks fronted – Roger and the better looking, much younger one, Rory. And between them, they made a number of others sound pretty damn good.

Props to Bishop Bennett for a long stint on both bass and guitar (not, mercifully, at the same time.) Quite how anyone can carry on a conversation, laugh his head off and still play fabulously is a mystery. The Biennett himself could not explain it.

Alternated with Jess (double bass), who wore her fingers to a frazzle trying to keep up with Chelly Parisi on Devil May Care. Um, who else: Ali of course on his silver sax, a long stint from Glen on drums, Karen deciding she would sing Amazing Grace after all, and did it nicely, Captain Chaos and Eric de Canada swapping saxaphone licks, Dylan (?) from Queensland dropping by to  play guitar, the married Sebastien on drums, Kay from Darwin in fine form, proud owner of a Yamaha Digital Electric Grand, no side car attached, and  welcome back. And Bob, who doesn’t read the newsletter, but I tell him he is mentioned, and that seems to suffice. Surprise of the day was Kevin who looks like he should know better by now, but has a smooth as voice and was a delight to listen to.

Good grief, there was even an audience: POCKOTL, Rod, Bette, and the usual slew of lightly fried locals.

All in all, a spiffin’ little jaunt, and we will do it again, always assuming someone turns up.

The Grand Hotel, corner of Spencer Street and Flinders Street, Friday, 4th October, from 5.30 – 8.30pm

Who caught the flu, who stepped in, who is going to step in, what they are stepping in, and why you should turn up

After last week’s late change, (Ruby Rogers not a well girl) which saw Risa entertain a goodly crowd at short notice, this week sees a double header: Chelly Parisi is singing the early set, and Sevil Sabah takes over around 7.00. Kip Dale on bass, James on drums, Ben Stewart soloing on guitar, and meself on piano. Jazz and Latin to start, followed by swing tunes and some soul tinged numbers. Rather looking forward to this…

Catchya round the trapzzz

Who is doing what, with what, to whom, and wherefore, if not after

The Grand Hotel: The Radiant Risa is back, with her usual line-up, and a bunch of Japanese songs done Anglo style, a galimaufrey of Anglo songs done Japanese style, and the whole lot put over  Risa style – if you have seen her before, you will be back, if you haven’t, dust off ya tap shoes and get on down…

 The Grand Hotel, corner of Spencer Street and Flinders Street, Friday 27th September, from 5.30 – 8.30pm.

Next week at The Grand , Chelly Parisi will be swinging her way through her favourite Jazz Standards, before dashing off to a gig and then leaving the floor to the stylishly smooth Miss Sevil Sabah.

Buddy Love is singing at Kojo Brown on Saturday, with the entire and indefatigable Buddy Love Orchestra in attendance, well some of them anyway…. Grand Final bah humbug, get on down for some croonin’

Kojo Brown, Saturday 28 th September, Bridge Road,  Richmond  (opposite the Town Hall Clock 7.00pm – 10.00pm 

The Sunday Arvo Jam Session: Cookin’ up a storm

In a teacup of course… Captain Chaos himself admitted to being knackered by the end of a four hour session that featured 21 musicians. See, we can do irony in the Newsletter after all…

Actually, some of the music was damn good, and the rest , as is usual, defied description. Got some lovely feed back from a couple in the audience, who declared it an excellent afternoon’s entertainment, and that they would be back. Well, there was I thinking that the room was fool of people with a modicum of taste in music: beggars can’t be choosers..

To pick out highlights would be invidious, and as I still don’t know what that means, I will not. But I do recall bassists Stan, Andrew and Doug providing some solid rhythm, another elegant performance from Bob on piano, The Curtis in fine form, Ann Hayres performing a song wot she wrote, La Smiff doing her chatty thing, Chelly singing as good as ever, and Celeste knocking off a coupla numbers, for only one of which she handed out charts in two different keys…not that it made any difference; and newcomer Robert on guitar – absolutely good. Of course, he probably now realises that the three years of studying music really wasn’t necessary for this sort of thing, but he said he would be back. Hope so…

 Sam Izzo dropped by with Elliott and Cardinal Pell – may remember The Pellster as a bass player, (or a smarmy Catholic prelate of dubious moral fibre, but I am fairly sure it was the bass player version) anyway, where was I, as Hortense used to say when she couldn’t find her underwear in the morning, ah yes, Cardinal Pell – rather fine guitar work from AP, certainly enough to keep Ben (I’ve got a new guitar) Stewart on his toes.

Cooking up a storm indeed.! See ya next week, when no-one will be there, nothing will happen, and it will all be a disaster. Or not, as the case may be. Familiarity breeds content…

The Brilliant but Essentially Modest Trio of Pianists hit Town

The Lunatic Soup Lounge returns to its usual self…

Probably for another 150 years, by which time, we may well have got Little Sunflower down to less than eight minutes..

Unlikely as that would seem, judging by efforts over the past few years.

Last Sunday’s Jam session started very quietly, which is what happens when no one has got their instruments out of their cases, but even so, it really looked like a dud afternoon was in prospect for a while.

The lack of musicians was soon forgotten, as more and more of the jammers turned up – tuned up and turned on.. and ended up being a particularly refined afternoon of music making. Strangely, we didn’t play Summertime, or  Autumn Leaves for that matter, but the rhythm section  (Mr T, Danilo, John, Sebastian, Anton and others) got its act together and the Captain headed a bevy of soloists (the ever improving Ali, Ann on da floot amongst others,) and Chelly headed up the tonsil section until the Divine Miss Smurf rolled in.

Mercifully, the standard was leavened by a few of the usual cock-ups, and the whole shebang was held in check by the trio of brilliant, but essentially modest pianists (Gentleman John, Bobbbb and meself). A young pianist (whose name completely escapes me, so it was probably Houdini or something like that) rather ruined the batting average by playing particularly well, and set a challenge for the guitar department who rose to the occasion and drowned him out to save the rest of us any embarrassment.

So… we are going to do it all again this Sunday, and  hope you turn up too!

Jammers play real music: audience now seriously confused

The Lunatic Soup Lounge went mildly well last Sunday. Due to a misunderstanding, the not inconsiderable number of musos that turned up started  well and then got progressively better. I accept that not everyone gets as much pleasure out of a comprehensive cock-up as the more seasoned jammers, but our patience was not rewarded. Even the Captain could not conjure up some chaos, it would seem.

Props then to Julian (flugel) (1) and Sir Roger De Coverley (sax)(2) for a memorable opening competition on I’ll Remember April. (3)

The somewhat debonair Mr Curtis did the tinkly bits for a while, followed by the rather more percussive Jude Russell de Bendigo. We ‘ll glue the notes back on later, but it was fun while it lasted..

Some gentle drumming from Danilo, followed by Jacopo. What is it with Italians and drums?

Sewing Machines: Chelly (the evening’s bop version of My Funny Valentine) and Melinda (murdered Don'[t Go To Strangers, ably assisted by John C) and an experimental bracket from Jude, which was quite fun. Frances got up and, despite the best efforts of the rhythm section, sang briefly and beautifully.

Et ceters: Lots of other people: playing lots of other instruments (Ben, Yassin, Trent, Bob, etc.etc. And probably half a dozen bassists. And a few woolly headed etceteras that I can’t remember. I have tried taking notes, but the other pianists don’t like it.

Anyhoo, all in all a really good session. So the next one will probably be back to normal. Ity normally is.

Explanatory Notes
(1)        Apparently this is a sort of horn, not a treatment for coughs and colds

(2)        I think that is how he spells it, you can never be sure with de Coverley, the cad.

(3)        Which I can never remember.

(4)          (Reserved for futute use?)


Olympics Week at The Leinster Arms – Gold Street deserted

So, it had to happen, eight  singers front at up at the Gossip Shop for a twirl of the tonsils, after last week’s all instrumental bash. Hardly surprising, and a fine selection of songs from the utterly gorgeous Risa, effervescent Melinda, Chelly in hot form as she gets nearer to her Grand Hotel debut, Sandro, Ashley, Sam(?) providing the male voice choir, and newcomer Liz sang fearlessly on debut, but has promised to come back and stuff it up next time. I should think so… I didn’t get the eighth singer’s name, but she was pretty good too..

A smaller audience than usual, but nevertheless some fine music making, and one of the Captain’s more nuanced efforts at creating mayhem, I thought – the usual drill, dancing around waving four or five fingers, elevated to an incomprehensible art form and resulting in the inevitable trainwreck ending…marvellous stuff. Taariq stood out from the crowd, being the only one of us capable of sticking to the form on Milestones whilst the front line spluttered and died. He should know better by now…

Madge, you may be relieved to hear, is out of town, having elected to attend a Reunion of the Bairnsdale Sporting Mens Social and Amateur Dramatics Club. Not everyone can lay claim to such a theatrical exit as young Madge made from that august establishment, sinking as she did through the splintered stage floor as the inevitable consequence of an over enthusiastic jete, in a cloud of dust or dandruff, I forget which. A fitting end to her ballet career. Madge of course retired to Refinery Terrace in West Altona, about the time that the numbers of able bodied seamen in the Australian Merchant Fleet began its rapid decline. Could be a coincidence.

Madge is an occasional attender at the Gold Street Gossip Shop, whereas Hortense, not to be outdone, flits more regularly through the nether regions of the back bar. Actually, the ethereal Miss H is more often out than done these days, but that is a different story altogether.