Madge: the news from Refinery Terrace

It has been quiet of late, in West Altona’s leafiest suburban street. What a pity there are no trees to go with it. After the debacle with Rotten Ronnie Junior, of which the less said the better, Madge has taken to her room, with only a cask port and a catering pack of Winnie Blues to sustain her. There may have been the occasional foray to the Strangled Parrot, West Altona’s first and last licensed cabaret venue, but not many matelots get that far these days . . . and even fewer get back.

Hortense on the other hand, has been lurking about the jazz bars and live music venues of Melbourne, generally keeping to herself, or not, as the case may be. She may well have been sitting outside the Gold Street Gossip shop enjoying the music, but that would have been on Easter Sunday.
TW

The Leinster and the Lounge Lizards

Some of you may have noticed that jazz jam reports for the last couple of weeks have been flawlessly written with impeccable spelling, for which we apologise (again).

So, last week’s jam saw a turn out of 19 musos, although this was counted by the good Captain Chaos, so any number between minus 23 and 108 could be more accurate. And a fun time was had by all, mostly. We had the usual spread of good musicians who wanted to encourage the others, good musicians who wanted to push the lesser lights off so we could admire their virtuosity unhindered, fairly good musicians who ruined it by playing over, under or alongside other soloists, but expected others not to, inexperienced musicians who simply wanted to try out, maybe learn a bit, and musicians who managed to have a good time without any of the above.

All musicians though…

Meanwhile, back at Refinery Terrace, Madge from Altona is planning a trip to the High Court to see if she can snaffle a New Zealander having a bad day, and Hortense has now spent a good few hours at the Municipal Library attempting to update her enrolment details with the AEC. Apparently this has been quite slow, although that maybe because she is mistakenly in the Altona West Technology Museum, and Commodore 64’s are not the ideal weapon for updating your age from 40+ to 23. She is going to vote yes, but only because she always says yes to everything.

I really must get to the Jam this Sunday. You too?

Tip of the week: Do not obsess needlessly about playing things right! Playing the right notes out of tune has about the same effect as playing the wrong ones in tune.

It was just one of those things…

Strange little jam session last Sunday: started with lots of casual sax, only one bass player all arvo, a coupla singers, three drummers, and the usual complement of guitarists and pianists. As the good Captain remarked, there were times when it almost sounded like music… which is another way of saying there were times when it didn’t.

Hortense, I am almost certain, was not there – she has been much distracted of late Continue reading

Carrots?

It was always a feature of the Oscar Beetroot Band’s performances in the 1930’s that there would be no soloist, such prominence being unwelcome at a time when loud-mouthed demagogues were apt to assist a performance by hurling carrots at the stage. Why carrots? Nobody knows… 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

Some More Jam Session Terms explained

Part of an ongoing series of one.

Soloist: Can only play one instrument at a time, often quite badly. If talking to a soloist, make sure that you speak clearly, as they are often not good listeners, due to lack of practice. On no account should you mention the presence of a rhythm section, as this might startle them.

Saxophonist: a sub set of soloist. They cannot all put five beats to the bar in a 4/4 tune, but most of them are pretty good at it. Continue reading

Jazz Is Dead?

One sometimes wonders whether a pattern is emerging in the Gold Street Gossip Shop sessions, hailing as they do from the epicentre of cultural alternativeness in the northern wastes of Colliwobble. Most weeks, we seem to start with a bout of amnesia, therefore thinking that we can actually play (and I use the word loosely, as Hortense might say) a couple of numbers in the tempo di dubious from the book of songswotColknows, before settling down to the usual fare of Autumn  66, Summer Leaves and Root something or other… Continue reading

Jam Session News: Madge, where have you been?

I saw Madge from Altona the other day – and am pleased to report that she is remarkably chipper, having taken to amusing herself by giving wildly creative answers to door knockers, phone pollsters and shady politicians, all of whom appear to remarkably keen to hear Madge’s opinion on a wide range of subjects, ask her a startling array of questions, and then leave none the wiser, assuming they didn’t really want to know about alternative uses for the Pigeon Fanciers Gazette.

And Hortense, you may well ask? She may have been Continue reading

Jam Session News: meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Well, the Colonel has gone walkabout, some of us were at Inverloch Jazz Festival, and Captain Chaos was left to wrangle the troops on his own..We had hoped that Madge from Altona might be there, but she was stuck in Refinery Terrace trying to sort out a virus on her computer. Turns out she needn’t have bothered as she could find a virus that would go near it..

Hortense is totally besotted with a Nigerian High Court judge with a money problem and a propensity to ask for her details by e-mail. She keeps sending them, but it turns out the inside leg measurement and a list of her peculiar fancies isn’t what he was after.

Good, but it won’t last…

Miss Hortense has been a little off colour of late, sitting at her window (broken) and staring wistfully at her tattered parasol, acquired from a second hand hairdresser in Altona West, on the off chance that Rotten Ronnie Junior would lose all interest in his saxaphone, and take her for a stroll instead. RRJ, as is his wont, would, of course, do no such thing.

But I digress… what a strange sight greeted the casual observer of the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe and Tea Rooms this week. Aside from a few familiar faces, the joint was populated with a whole bunch of newcomers – Amanda and Andrew Beveridge on guitar, Peter Garam on piano, Shimona the CSP (*) on tonsils, and , all the way from Iceland, George Bjarnason on bass. We were not totally convinced that George had really come all the way from Iceland just to get to the jam, but it could have been the case.

An opening stanza from the redoubtable Gentleman JC, a cameo from Bob, Lisette later on, piano well served. Of course the Captain was there, along with Peter and Keef to sax things up a bit, Lee to add a bit of trumpet minuetto, and the Haircut and Ivan the Terrible attempting to raise the tone a bit on bass… oh, and the Debster bubbled through the door and bounced around a bit, as the Debster does.

All in all, 27 musos fronted for a busy session, and, casting the cares of the world to one side, launched into a fine old afternoon of music making. Colonel T held up the percussion side of things, before reverting to the Ibanez, and singularly failed to cock things up more than just a tad. Even the unmentionable Jack Jack, (**) was to be heard copping a sly trombone solo every now and then. Chrissie warbled, Bruce shuffled, and all was well with the world for an hour or three, as it should be.

Wandered out well stuffed, and satisifed that the Jams, as often before, have suddenly taken a turn for the better…

Which won’t last, of course, but why not drop in whilst the going is good. See ya next Sunday?

The Sunday Jam, every week at the Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Colliwobble, from 4.00pm until we knock off around 7.30.

(*) CSP = Chinese Singaporean Princess. Damn, she was good!
(**) Apparently, we forgot mention Jack last week, so he gets a double mention this week, or he is threatening to sulk. Again.
TW

Another Sunday, another Jam Session

There have been around 1,100 jam sessions since the Dizzy’s days. We ought to get it right soon. One might surmise that several peeps turned up for this week’s Jam, played several toons quite well, murdered a coupla standards as you do, in honour of the lugubrious Belgian’s 100th birthday, and then left with that sinking feeling that betokens another Monday fast approaching. One might be right, but as I wasn’t there, I could not say..

Brussel’s answer to the sprout, Adolphe Saxe did indeed turn a hundred this week. He has much to answer for, but has done very little of late, on account of being dead.. He could have had the decency to stuff Eric Dolphy’s soprano sax with pate de foie gras before he shuffled off the mortal coil, but singularly failed to do so. Amongst his many achievements, he managed to send Belgium’s first hearing aid company broke, by practising on his soprano sax. Sales plummeted, as most customers preferred to be deaf.

Little has been heard from Mme Hortense of late, although she may have hovered briefly in the back bar of the Gold Street Gossip Shop last Sunday. She has recently broken it off with Rotten Ronnie Junior, whose second saxaphone harmonies at Madame Trixie La Belle’s Altona West Academie de Danse have taken on a consequently rather joyful tone, much to Hortense’s chagrin. The Stuffed Parrot remains deathly silent, hardly surprising since in burnt down in 1963, and will not re-open until the West Altona Progress Association consents to its new rooftop terrace, or learns the meaning of irony, whichever comes first.
TW