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.
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
Spiffin ‘litttle Jam Session last Sunday. New toons, old favourites, and a birthday party to follow. Madge from Altona, doyenne of the wind-blown west, may have been there; and her good friend Hortense was back, with a vengeance, a handbag and a lifetime of regret, in the nether regions of the back bar, or not as the case may be. The Birthday party? After a busy jam, Kay rashly had the birthday at 7.00pm whereupon they all retired to the Atrium for exaggerated compliments and a frisson of jazz. Continue reading
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
Music! Good theoretical concept and as no-one realised this was being attempted, no real harm done.
At least I got there on time, to find Ponytail Pete bassing up a storm, Michael Happysnaps Findlay hitting things in the corner, Glen putting free munchies on the Bar which we ate whilst encouraging the usual flock of self entitled saxophonists to play some more…
Sadly, I had to leave somewhat early, so I missed Kay (piano) Susy V and La Smiff singing, probably missed the usual clear concise and contradictory instructions from Col T as to how each piece should be played, and left the jam to Captain Chaos’ tender mercies.
But we are working on it. This was a medium to heavy session, with a large group of musicians from WA, none of whom got up and played. Possibly didn’t realise we were playing music.
Jeff, sax, gets better and better, Will is starting to sound a lot more fluent, and the rest of us (Peter G, Cathy, Kay and meself on piano, Michael F on drums, Ponytail Pete running hot for a while, Ivan doing abnormal things to an otherwise innocent latin rhythm, Taariq on everything else and Neil (guitar) the pick of them. There were six saxophones there, all put in the shade by Murray’s miniature trumpet. Nice one.
Personal highlight of the arvo was a very nervous Manal getting up and singing with a band for the first time – props to Kevin for guiding her through it, and hopefully she will be back for more.
See ya Sunday?
It must be with a sense of relief that the Committee can finally sit back, relax and then panic all weekend at long last. The Fourth Annual Jazz Festival de Castlemaine kicks off on Friday evening, and keeps going all weekend. Eighty or Ninety bands, eight venues (or is it nine?), Vocals Masterclasses, a jazz parade, a supper club – there is more than enough to keep the most jaded jazzophile occupied.
And if you run out of ideas, I suggest you indulge in some vigorous warm-up calisthenics as the Big C is going to be cold as a witches t*t.
There will be bands from Queensland (stomperoo) and from Tasmania (Nadira F) and just about everywhere in between.
You can purchase a ticket (cash or card) on the day from the Ray Bradfield Room (it should be well signed), and there is a range of ticket choices: all day, evening, all weekend etc. etc. Children under 12 get in free, (children under 3 can get in for $250)
Hope to see you there!
Wandered into the Gold Street Gossip Shop, to find very little going on. After a suitable period of sitting around the Lunatic Lounge doing nothing, we got up and got started. Many thanks to guitarist Ben for calling Wave, and expecting the piano to play the head, comp the rhythm and throw in the bass line for good measure.
At least things could only get better. They didn’t, and we lurched, staggered, dribbled and fell over any number of jazz standards – 22 desperates in search of the lost chord.
A coupla highlights: Vlad (guitar and purple hat) got a spot at the Royal Standard this week – with Joys’ Castlemaine band; and Banjo Joe, played some neat banjo finger pickin’ style, and then sang in an outrageous falsetto – apart from my just enjoying it, there was the additional amusement of seeing some of the more traditional folks choking on their beer. More please!
Phil contributed a lively set on keys – Dinah, Lulu’s Back in Town, and I think Bill Evans’ Waltz for Debby. for reasons that had escaped me by the time they finished. The six saxes were noisy in a good natured way, and the drummmers were, as ever, immaculately well behaved.
This week’s Jam will be run by pianist and singer Peter Garam. As ever when the more pretentious musos are away, the B team will step up and have a ball.
If you can’t make Castlemaine, the Leinster is a pretty good substitute.
Last day of the month of April saw the appearance of seven drummers at the Sunday jam. For a while there was only Sam on keys, Fermin on Guitar and a rotation of drummers: newcomer Russell followed by Michael, Dan and a very smart younger slap and rattle artiste whose name eludes us.
Sam tickled the low keys to play a cool bass line until Taariq arrived to take on bass duties. Noel (tenor and flute) Luis (Soprano) and I added the heads on Saxophones and Kevin warbled some words.
And then… disaster looms!
Sam and Fermin were scheduled to leave at 5.30 so it looked as if the only rhythm would be provided by drums and guitar for the rest of the night.
Disaster averted. ‘Twas a Close Run Thing!
Just as they were about to leave in strolled Peter Garam (keys and vocals), Kay (keys) and Peter Ryan (guitar). They were soon followed by Ivan (Bass) Omar(bass) Bill (drums) Michelle (drums) Annie (vocals), Peter Cole (Tenor), Laurie (yet another Tenor) and another newcomer on melodica, who could have been a distant relative of the young drummer, so we didn’t get his name either.. Glen also had a stint on the Drums.
Numbers varied from an “unusual” version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, through a very cool Black Coffee to a very loud Tenor Madness.
By the knackered end of it, a pretty good session all round.
Not your usual correspondent
Seldom heard such good vibrations as were played at ye olde collywobble corner shop last week.
It is said that that the co-ordination between the musicians Continue reading