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…

Bass:
Colonel T Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd)
Drums,
Michael Findlay,
Bill the beanpole,
the Hirsh (pleads not guilty)
Saxophones:
Captain Chaos,
Roger De Coverley’s distant relation,
Jeff
Noel
(will plead not guilty if we find a chart for it)
Singers:
The Late Annie Smith,
Manal,
Brian
Pianists:
Malcolm Hornby,
meself,
Richard,
Trevor
Guitarists:
Neil,
Fermin

In summary “A curate’s egg”…not the greatest Jam Session by any means, the occasional trainwreck, the occasional triumph – society is to blame

At least that all bodes well for next week .

See Ya Sunday?

Twas brillig...Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Rugby School, 1846

A Curate’s Egg ┬áThe origin of the phrase is the George du Maurier cartoon “True Humility”, printed in the British satirical magazine Punch, on 9th November 1895.

 

Jam Session: Brilliant solos, flawless performances

But that was somewhere else. The chill days of winter are upon us, and the same log in the Leinster fireplace as last year is burning cheerfully. Given the gloomy old day, the Chopper Read Ballroom took a while to warm up. Curtis, Happysnaps Findlay, Noel, the Captain, Neil the G and meself opened the batting and it went downhill from there. Continue reading

Carruthers thinks it is too quiet…

And he don’t like it when the natives get restless. Interesting session at the Gold Street Gossip Shop last Sunday – around 20 musos turned up, gentle ballad mangling was the order of the day, and a rather pleasant afternoon ensued. Col T of the Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd) was in particularly good form – he even sat out for a while – probably needed a break from piano to recover, but it is reassuring to know that every key on the Roland works. Continue reading

It’s that time of Year.. The Gossip Shoppe goes Autumnal

Autumn, it would seem, is somewhat late this year, but upon us nevertheless. As I ambled through the doors of the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe at the unusual hour of 4 o’clock last Sunday, there was the palest glow of feeble sunshine, the first chill breeze of the season, and stuff all going on inside.

A quiet session seemed in prospect, starting with pianist/drummer Gentleman John Curtis as gentlemanly as ever, and the McCue de Bendigo getting better and better on the ivories. It took a while for the joint to fill, but fill it did, and by the time 24 musicians had turned up, tuned up and joined in, it would be fair to say that this was one of the busier sessions. And not a little musical from time to time, although the habit of playing real jazz on a Sunday afternoon sets a dangerous precedent and is to be discouraged…

There were plenty of good moments in between the occasional debacle. Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) absent mindedly played bass rather well. Fortunately such an experienced old hand will not let that put him off his game, and he will surely be back to stomping on the ground so hard the floor shakes in no time. No time being the operative phrase. Anyhoo, he got things moving along rather nicely. Possibly because there was also a very good bass player, Matthew Birtchnell, who started rather hesitantly, and by the time Katerina got up and ripped the joint apart with Summertime and All of Me, was absolutely flying. More please.

Lewis, the guitarist for whom 1000 notes is never enough, was back, and in great form, Ben “Twang” Stewart produced some fine solos, and Luis (soprano saxophone) played some ace bossa.

Brian, Kev, Vlad and Kay all sang: Brian’s Ab chart for That Old Black Magic a ripper, Kay as entertaining as ever, Kev making it look easy, and the rhythm section playing Killing Me Softly in totally the wrong key for Vlad.

Michelle, Bill and Andre drummed, Julian flooted and presiding over it all was a benevolent Captain Sensible. Who, in a spirit of consistency, decided not to call fours, and therefore failed to produce his customary 5 bar magic. Stolen Moments was fun, although pianist Kay stole the show on that one.

So… a really enjoyable afternoon of ballad mangling, and by the time Landlord Glen produced the party pies, I think everyone was well mellowed.

Autumn is a good time of year…

And we will do it all again, especially the debacle bits … at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 2nd April 2017, at 4.00pm.
TW

Getting Your Wordsworth on…

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.

Well, That Was Kind of Comfortable

Audience confused, of course, but the regular jammers set down for a regular jam, playing around with some fairly standard songs, with predictable results. Like a pair of old slippers, it was all decidedly comfortable – saxophonists (there were three) leading the charge in a born to rule kind of way, pianists (two remarkably good ones dropped in on the regulars (Curtis, the Don, and meself), and Findlay whacking away at the drums to the point of exhaustion, whereupon Il Duce took pity and spelled him for a bit. Matt Berg took over later on, played beautifully.

As has been the case in recent weeks, Bass players were a bit thin on the ground, with Ponytail Pete and Colonel T shouldering the load. Fermin, Brian and later on Chico all slotted in some nice guitar work.

It is afternoons like this that give you time for a yarn with a few old friends, the occasional social lubricant, and some light banter with a slightly manic Colonel T of the Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd), who took it upon himself to direct proceedings from time to time. The results were predictable, although perhaps the rendition of Black Nile was a bit special, as it was spectacularly shredded, demolished and stomped into the carpet. Musicians who were there will know what I mean, and the funeral will be announced once the pieces have been gathered up and bagged.

The late Miss Smith turned up at her usual hour, and lifted the mood considerably – still basking in plaudits from her Friday night session. And Ponytail Pete got booked for his first session at the Royal Standard Hotel this week, so at least some of us are progressing well.

Kind, comfortable, what more could you want. Don’t answer that Hortense…

Melbourne Jazz Jammers – a bunch of musos getting together to play random toons. Sometimes we all play the same tune at the same time. Doesn’t make much difference.

Second opinions will be sought at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 4th March 2017, at 4.00pm.

The B Team smashes it

Wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Society Tea Roomes last Sunday with every expectation of there being no one there, and a seriously quiet jam session in prospect, given that so many regulars had made the odyssey to Port Fairy for their first Jazz Festival (see the Captain’s report below)

The session started quiet enough, but musicians of all calibres kept arriving all afternoon – and what transpired was one of the most enjoyable jams in a long time. Could I have a dollar for every time someone said “I thought there would be no-one here…”

We started with a classy little set from Katerina Myskova, Continue reading

The troublemakers are all in Castlemaine, Il Duce goes awol, and a Gentlemanly assembly keeps itself nice at the Basement di Bungle.

No kidding:- Col, Kev and Sir Roger De Coverley’s ageing roue descendant all hit up the Castlemaine Jam (which was a good one by all accounts), a lot of jammers were away furiously arranging a Port Fairy set list or three, in the hope that they could fool at least some of their audience into thinking they know what they are doing; Il Duce, who quietly sets up the room each week, was in Queensland, and we had everything shipshape and Bristol fashion by about half an hour late…when a gentlemanly rump fronted a very quiet Leinster Arms for the obligatory afternoon of doing things differently.

And how different they were… Peter Garam produced the first firework of the day Continue reading

Trombones, and La Manetta goes all quiet…

Fun little session last Sunday, much enlivened by newcomer Joel on his slush pump. I can only remember three trombonists in recent years, and one of those would be Elliott Joe on his green plastic technological marvel, so a bit of a treat, and some harmonious little duets with the Captain ensued.

Whatever, a quietish sort of a jam where 19 musos got up, nobody kicked the dog, and nothing got broken. Plenty of variety in the toons on offer, and lots of bebop as Colonel T was AWOL. Continue reading

Precocious Brats, Ageing Reprobates and All Blues…

Things are getting out of hand – The good Captain collared a coupla kids, aged about 5 and minus 3 and a bit, and had them playing the drums before we started. Their sister, we were told by Proud Mum, was dying to play the piano. Naturally we agreed on the usual condition Continue reading

The more things change . . .

A pleasant little toot up the Hoddle Strasse, followed by the sounds of a Bavarian Brass Band playing Moanin’ as I wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Ladies Tea Roomes for yet another afternoon of indulgence.

Or so I imagined. Quite by mistake, I fronted first and had, instead, the fun of setting up the various bits of hardware, sackbutts, viols, contrabassoons, contrafagotti, cromornes, double bassoons, fifes, fipple flutes, flageolets, flugelhorns, funk band instruments, hautboys, heckelphones, hornpipes, and spittoons that are apparently the necessaries (see note 1) of a jam session. Continue reading

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