The Jammers Bit: An Experiment

What an appalling day for a jam session: buckets of rain just when we were arriving, and surely not many musos would be so desperate as to arrive in this downpour.

Never underestimate the depths to which a musician in need of a blow will sink, say I. We had a quorum well before 4.00, and by the end of a very long day, had 30 musos get up and trip the light fantastic, metaphorically, of course.

The Experiment: Just to make sure no-one knew what we were doing, we tried using a clipboard – wrote down everyone’s names as they rocked up, in the mistaken assumption that we would then get everyone more or less equal playing time in the order in which they arrived. Sort of. Didn’t work entirely to plan, of course, partly because we hadn’t got the plan in the first place, and partly because musicians tend to arrive in ones and twos, and not, as would have been most helpful, in band – sized chunks.

Dream on! We will try it again. Let’s face it, we did manage to get through all 30, and still get home in time for a brief snooze before breakfast. We are saving time – necessary as numbers increase, by cutting down on solos, (one or two per tune, but not the eight we had the previous week) while still trying to give all (and not just a few) soloists individual playing time.

Gilbert, cool as ever, waiting his turn

Sound: The sound system worked well from the start. This is always ominous, as the only way to go is downhill from there, which it did. Next week, we will pay particular attention to the vocals , if not the vocalists themselves. The foldbacks, however, worked well, which was a strange experience for all of us.

Highlights of the day? For me, Will, Satsuko and Guy (sax/sax/tpt) put up a hot set. Malcolm managed to stick with the PA/foldback speakers – first time he has played without the Roland amp, but really, the sound was better, and better balanced.

Will, Guy and (?) Satsuko put up a hot set

Lisette played her usual immaculate self, with a touch of suave, if not an arpeggio or three.

John Perri seems to have hit a purple patch and again drummed beautifully. Mac and Hussein not far behind him.

There were far too many vocalists for the Captain’s liking (I wonder how many he does like?) but he persisted and got them all up. Newcomers Fiona and Anne the Second were terrific. Gilbert and Yuko in particular copped a dodgy mic channel, which the brains trust attempted to remedy by adjusting, then disconnecting the Bass channel. I cannot imagine why this wouldn’t work…but it surely didn’t. Sorry chaps, will do better next week.

All About the Bass: Ivan played most of the arvo, never missed a beat and was pick of the day.

Definitely a bigger and better jam – the standard of the music was consistently higher than usual.

Inverloch Jazz Festival news

E mail below, received from the Inverloch Committee – click on the link to get to their website. Inverloch has a well earned reputation as a friendly and well-run Festival – Jam session attendees playing at the Festival will include Roger Clark, Annie Smith, and a bunch of others. The Captain, meself, and Ivan the bass will be playing for Katerina Myskova

Hello all you jazz lovers,
I have attached some information about next year’s Inverloch Jazz Festival in the hope that it could be passed around to those who may be able to join us for some great jazz over the March long weekend in 2020.All the information jazz enthusiasts need is now on the Inverloch Jazz Festival website:

Cheers,Carolyn Nield

Inverloch Jazz Festival Committee

The Gold Street Sheltered Workshop for Indigent Musos

We have never quite managed to work out what makes a jam session “tick” And even if we could, we probably wouldn’t, on the basis that there is always another perfectly good jazz toon waiting to be mangled beyond recognition.

Whatever, this one was an absolute peach. Took a bit of time to come to the boil, but when wasn’t that the case? Once we had a drummer slotted in, and Ivan the terrible had unwrapped and tweaked his basso profundo, this was as good a session as we can remember (admittedly we prefer not to remember too much these days) – a smaller roll call than the last few weeks, but class all the way.

The opening stanza bubbled along, with a welcome return by trumpeter Peter Dann, a desperate attempt (unsuccessful) at a latin beat by meself on drums failing to disrupt the debonair JC, tickler of ivories to the gentry, and a bit of a reed lick by the Captain and Tony. Mr Hirsh esq. was cajoled into taking over the percussion department. Things livened up with Ribdig De Feene (she asked me to spell her name right, what was she thinking) trotting out Some Other Time, and then Besame Mucho sung in Spanish, which finished in an extended drum solo by the Hirsh, possibly also in Spanish, defying all attempts by Keef to join in.

Taleb took over on drums, followed by Il Duce, I think, and Jason Chalmers wandered in and blew up a storm, but in a good way, and by the time we got to Mercy Mercy Mercy, the joint was jumping fit to bust, and even the 21st Birthday party in the Atrrium (Glen’s spelling, so it must be right) wandered in to enjoy the chaos. Kids these days!

There followed some mighty fine keyboard work by David Lol, the ever smooth Alex Jarosh on guitar, in walked Cardinal Pell, the Izzo and a coupla others before I left, well surprised at what fun it had been. They could be going hard at it still.

And if you are at a loose end next Sunday, will we see you at the Gold Street Sheltered Workshop for Indigent Musicians for the next one?

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