Sometimes less is more: the Gold Street Gossip Shop, Sunday:

What a refined little crew we had for that one – Andy Moon, Doug Kuhn swapping double bass duties, Danilo “ciao” Martelli on drums, the Captain, Ali, Noel, Peter, Phil and Keef on saxes, Lee on the flugel, a slightly recovered Gentleman John Curtis, meself and Bob on piano, Chris and Bruce on tonsils and drums respectively, Chelly and Celeste both singing up a storm, and a coupla young dudes on bass and drums who were damn good, only I didn’t get their names.. Mohawk and Marvellous, I think, but I could be making that up.

We are working on Glen to get him to go back to the old set-up, which works much better: and  if he don’t do it, we are going to get him a jar of Brylcreem for Christmas.

Danilo Martelli Does a Runner

About two years ago, if anyone had asked me, I would have said the concept of an Italian jazz Drummer from Brazil, who sold trucks for a living, turning up at the Leinster was pretty unlikely. For once, I was right, only he turned up anyway.

So, after two years in the Godzone, Danilo has been hauled back to Torino where he will be flogging dodgy Fiats to the masses or something. Knowing Danilo, Europe will be awash with them in no time… and we will miss the Latin passion he brought to his drumming. We probably won’t miss it much: if you keep the windows open, you could probably hear Danilo from here anyway.

Ciao Maestro

Going Down…

The Grand Hotel – Anne Hayres goes out to launch

And what a great night that was.. a moderately jet lagged Curtis, and a sparkly blue Hayres lit up the joint, and Danilo played his final Grand session before returning to Italy to become a truck driver. Good crowd in attendance. Tap the lycra lass for your copy of the CD.

Box Hill: what did they do to deserve that?

Not a lot, apparently, but Sevil Sabah sang with the highly rehearsed MJJ Quartet for the Anglican Church Annual Fair on Saturday. Nice one.

The Sunday Arvo Jam Session: Getting to first Bass

Spiffin’ little jam session, The Captain on the poop deck, and several familiar hands swingin, from the yard arms – Ben, Keef, Rear Admirable Curtis, and others.. Celeste and her sister leading the massed choir of tonsil artistes, Sam Izzo, Elliott and Ruiz turned up, Ali did his saxophone thing, Bob and meself having the occasional foray on keys, Uncle Kevin and Ann the floot turning up later, as they are won’t to do, Danilo, Dean, James and Sebastian on drums.

And then there was Sebastian mark 2, blues piano player – hope he comes again, sang and played a great little set: and a neat little stint from John Martin, purveyor of fine Wertheims to the landed gentry, on drums.

Marg (Princess of Cool, Keeper of the List) turned up and turned 193, or 47 or something in between.

David Ruiz complained bitterly that he had not had a mention in the previous newsletter. We all know what that means…

This week, he was at his finest on trumpet. We have never heard him play better, and I can honestly say he didn’t play a bum note all afternoon. We asked several members of the audience if they had ever heard a trumpet played quite like David does before – they all said no, although one subsequently suggested a label on the trumpet marked “trumpet” could help clear up a deal of uncertainty.

Or not, as the case may be…. actually he sang rather well, having left the trumpet at home.
Trumpet imagesCAZADD2S

Getting to first Bass? We didn’t. Not one of the lugubrious society of Basso Profundi, all afternoon. Society is to blame.


What Happens When . . .

  • What happens when you put 5 pianists, 5 saxophonists, 3 drummers, 2 bassists, 2 guitarists, 2 vocalists and a very smooth flugal horn together in a pub in Collinwood on a Sunday afternoon?
  • Answer………wall to wall jazz from 4.00 to 8.00.

Top of the bill was the very component Adi Ish on keys hotly, followed by Danilo (not the drummer) who has recently arrived from Italy also on keys. They were well supported by John, Bob and Richard. Jeff, the first of the saxophonists to arrive was soon joined by Trent and Adi. Keith joined in a little later. James kept up the meter until he had to leave at 6pm but fortunately the other Danilo arrived 5 minutes later to drum almost to the end when Glen was able to pull himself away from bar duties for a short play. Stan played bass for the first two hours but also had to leave at 6. Great relief when Anton walked in and took over the playing of the low notes. Yasim and Ben shared on guitar. Soaring over the top of all the noise was the impeccable Julian on flugal. Tess and Debbie provided fine vocal relief.

Marg, Buddy and Ivan made up part of a reasonable size audience.

Jeff and Anton were regular jammers in the Ramage, Glasshouse, La Pena and Royal Standard days. Not so regular now but always great to see them return to the fold.

Another satisfying jam was had by all.

  • What would be the odds of having two musicians with the name Danilo and two with the name Adi at the same jam session on a Sunday afternoon at the Leinster?

Not your usual correspondent

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?)


The Grand Hotel: Murphy Rules

Last Friday was one of the very best sessions at the Grand: Tess Murphy singing there for the first time, Danilo a revelation on drums, Stan the Man on bass playing better than ever, and John Curtis, in a brand new but almost entirely tasteless flat cap,  holding it all together as only John can. Tess led them all through an array of tempos and tunes of a high, high standard – and they swung!

This week, the gorgeous Amy Jaulin returns with another collection of jazz standards, blues, ballads and show tunes. Amy has the knack of beguiling her audience with a stunning voice, a winning smile and 3” eyelashes. It is a killer combination…she will be accompanied by Rene Tessmer on bass and meself on Piano. There will almost certainly be a drummer, and I almost certainly haven’t arranged one just yet…

Amy Jaulin Sings! The Grand Hotel, Cnr Flinders and Spencer Streets, Fridayt May 10th from 5.30pm


The Grand Hotel goes off two nights running…

Last week: two great nights, with Juliane singing a scorching set on Friday, in front of a good crowd. Kip Dale on bass and Danilo on drums provided a great rhythm section. Kay topped off the night with a scat duo with Juliane. Triffic.  Saturday saw the GH packed and heaving for Risa’s first session – and audience of around 70, and a great response to a highly polished performance. She is back on the 29th September (Grand Final night). Be there.


This week is SMIFF SMIFF WEEK Gentleman John Curtis is back in the saddle on Friday 24th August, for the first time since his week off.: the break has clearly affected his brain, as he has taken to replying to e-mails in French. Taariq has battled all sorts of changes in line-ups to come up with a Saturday band. The Divine Miss Smiff will be singing both Friday and Saturday, before possibly fronting the Sunday session to do her Kermit the Frog impression.

Next time, bring a chainsaw, ear plugs and a hard hat…

    I have noticed that it is getting harder and harder to move around  the Lizard Lounge of a Sunday afternoon. Either the place is shrinking or the jam sessions are growing ever more packed. Withthat many people playing, some industrial strength jazz ensued. Top stuff, but  I am sure normal service will be resumed shortly.   In  the meantime we may be regaled with the sight of seven or eight  soloists eagerly putting the boot, chainsaw or elbow in, as they struggle to the fore. Mercy, Mercy Mercy!

    Which,. come to think of it, was a highlight of last Sunday’s effort, probably the busiest, certainly the noisiest, yet. Other moments of memorable chaos included Bill on Flugelhorn, Chelly essaying jazz singing to great effect, Jeremy bopping through the    door wearing a foppishly large cloth cap, and carrying his foppishlylarge double bass. Carol, Lisbeth, Mel and Sandro sang, Stan, Taariq, Avi and the aforementioned Frenchman played bass. After a  welcome back session from Danilo, Glen played an outstanding set on drums – if he gets too cocky about it, we will remind him of his    first jazz effort on the electronic drum set, which he will    undoubtedly deny. Bob and then Rod took over on keys, leaving me    little to do but sip on a Guinness and wonder where it was all going    to end. Eventually I started wondering when it was going to endinstead, and went home, as you do…

    I won’t mention the Captain and his big brass/woodwind section  (Keef, Tim, Alex, Ali, Bill, Aaron and Nick), and for the first timein living memory, I don’t recall any fours being called.

    Society’s to blame…