Carruthers plays up…

“I don’t like it, Carruthers, its, its just too damned quiet….”

Carruthers has, apparently fixed that, and now the jams are almost too damned noisy instead. Last week saw a mixed bag of trophies pinned to the ancestral walls of the mouldering pile, and we will skip, figuratively, over the opening salvo – a piping hot set with Sam Izzo at the keys – and get to the guts of the matter, which was the sight of Il Duce twinkle toeing across the dance floor to tell the five, read it and weep, five saxaphones to shut the f*** up. Messrs Chaos, Cardinal Calamatta, Alan West, Tony and Laurie Savage were the guilty parties.


A piping hot set: Haircut, Savage, De Wang and Izzo – who departed after this, leaving the others to go downhill all afternoon Continue reading →

Sunday Arvo: Kylie Minogue a no-show

Ho, hum, and rattle. A strange Jam session this one – a good rhythm section ably driven by Doug ”Haircut” Kuhn, a coupla good singers: The Debster, Anne Hayres, Eithne (see below) and The Divine Miss Smith, looking as Smith as ever, but quite divine as well for the time of day; POCKOTL in the house, and Noel, the Captain, Peter Cole and Keef on saxes, Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse on guitar, Chico in fine form, as inscrutable as ever, Lisette amazing on keys, Bruce and Christine doing their thing later in the day…

And yet, it never really hit the heights. Avid readers of this august journal will have discerned by now that the drummers have not been mentioned. They were, in the main, a noisy lot for much of the afternoon, so whether any jazz got played is highly debatable. We could all see fingers twitching on the rattly saxy bits, strings plinking away on the basso profundo de stick and geetars, lights glowing on the piano, andtonsils quivering; but quite what was being played, other than drums, remains in large part a mystery. Volume is a poor substitute for musicianship, but you have to run with what you’ve got.

Fun, nevertheless.

See ya this week?

Done and Dusted – It has been a busy week: Bette turns 85 in August!

The Leinster Arms Sunday Arvo Jazz

Going through the John Curtis gig book was a challenging start to the jam. Not your usual charts in not your usual keys. Sebastian (Drums), Ben (guitar), Taariq (Bass) and the Captain (Tenor) were gallant in their effort to make numbers like “African Flower” work. Once through that stage we were joined by Don (guitar), Jassin (Guitar), Trent (Alto), Danilo (Drums), Simon (Drums), Bob, (Piano), Ali (Alto), Richard (Piano), Aaron (Baritone), Alex, (Alto), Keith (Tenor) and Trevor (Harp). Lisa, Rose and Debbie provided great vocals. As Ted was attending the Castlemaine Jam there was a lot more Bebop played than usual. There was a great rendition of “Mercy Mercy Mercy” with all the saxophonists joining in.

Effort of the day was provided by Taariq who played great bass non-stop for almost four hours.

What was learned?        6 Saxophones make a lot of noise and that there are words to Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”.

 Not your usual correspondent. 

The Grand Hotel, last Friday: Shock and Awe. Dean on drums, Doug Kuhn on bass covering for me on piano, the Captain on occasion and Julian on trumpet. All sounded pretty good, though I say so meself. So where was the shock and awe, you ask. Alright, you didn’t ask, but you might have done.

Shock: The Debster! Absolutely on song from the word go! (possibly not the ideal way to count a song in..) Sang a great set, thoroughly entertaining, and drew a good crowd – including Deb’s mum which was kind of cute.

Awe: Shucks, Risa can sing – didn’t miss a beat, from the moment she sang Sukiyaki with John Curtis at the piano, just like the old Dizzy’s days, through the exquisite Lullaby to expecting the band to keep up with her on Tokyo Boogie Woogie as a finale. Would probably beat the Bullet Train for pace… She is booked for a full session on September 13th because Bette turns 85 on that date….

….in about 40 years from now. If you can find a seat, be there! If you can’t, just stand – it will be worth it.

Castlemaine: Ken introduced it as “Castlemaine’s longest running Jam Session” (their third). It was  just as busy as the last, maybe with a better standard of music. Totally different to the Leinster Jams, the audience outnumbers the musos, and expect to be entertained. Possibly with music.  When I walked in 15 minutes before kick off, there were 60 people already waiting. Featured singer Rebecca Morton fired them up with a fine opening set, and later in the arvo, the Divine Miiss Smiff fanned the flames for good measure. The Captain and hopefully John Curtis will be at the next one. That should fix it…

With all that going on, ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids!