Yippee! The Jam Session Update

The sheer bloody relief of having a sound system that works, and works well – after weeks of struggling to find enough positives in the sessions to outweigh the negatives… I got to the Post at around 3.45, having already been there in the morning for the sound set up. Well, it was a niceish sort of day, not much else to do, might as well drop in for the usual social lubricant, bit of a chat, that sort of thing…

The Captain looked somewhat ill at ease – turns out this was because he didn’t need to change a thing and already had 10 bucks on the outcome.

Started quiet as usual – couple of drummers (Alan Richards and Michael Findlay, Hussein and John Perri) and not too many bass players. That didn’t last long – we had Lisette for the opening stanza, Jess and Jane up for some vocals – and the whole damn shebang… at last… started to sound pretty good.

John Perri and Ivan

Photo by Michael Findlay

The regulars fronted – Jane, Yuko, Annie, Gilbert, on the tonsils, Alan , Laurie and Jeff joining Capt. Chaos on the saxophollicles (although Jeff switched to floot and played up a beauty), Fermin and Yemow on guitar, and relative newcomer John Bell on trumpet/flugelhorn.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Having a good time
  • Lisette Payet on keyboard
  • Great singing from seven different singers – I think Yuko shaded Susie for most improved, but they were all good.
  • John Bell (trumpet) starting to hit his straps.
  • A saxophone section kept busy all afternoon
  • The pub jumping, with a lot of family groups enjoying the music, and a packed sunny courtyard
  • Having more of a good time
  • Devon too busy in the kitchen to get out and sing
  • The bar staff clearly enjoying the music
  • Vlad winning a prize for most colourful jacket

25 musos on the day, all good – ya wouldn’t be dead fer quids!

Vlad and the famous coat…
John the trumpet, Jeff and Yuko

The Jam Session: Up a Bit, Left a Bit

It has been a busy week…

Friday: publish the latest edition of the Jammer’s Email Newsletter. It gets 103 views on Friday, 290 for the week. Relies on avid readers having nothing better to do.

Saturday

For the sixth year in a row. The Box Hill Anglican Church Fete, starts around 10.15 with the often-played Variations on a Feedback. Settles down, Huich (violin) gets better and better, Steve Bray, the Captain and meself should know what we are doing, but do it anyway: Jess looks good, sings good, moves good and sets up a good rapport with the audience, which ranged from One Small Child (lost) and a dog, to an all classy bevy of sausage eaters, vicars, parishioners and the like, and a fan waving dance troupe in red. Topped it all off with a classy take on Peel Me A Grape

Sunday

Committee Meeting for the Newport Festival. Reports on Venues, Marketing, Finance – welcome back to Julian, the four month globetrotting absentee, just in time to start spending money. And lots of discussion on how to get the name of the Festival and website address we want

Ashley turns 60, invites some of the jammers, resulting Post Jam Session as classy as all get-out – coincidence surely, although we would like to see the ageing Ashley again some time.

Meanwhile, back at The Post, yet another change to the sound system, skilfully avoided by the Captain (at the Ash bash). Again, once it had settled down, this week’s layout worked half well, with a positively pleasing sound in the rear Courtyard. We started with everything but the singer too loud, turned everything down and were rewarded with the saxes (Alan and Laurie) playing beautifully, and at the right vol. Nice one!

Flamenco Dancers. Much to everyone’s surprise, only the one Flamenco dancer turned up (Natalie), turning a normal afternoon into an egregiously good one.

Singers: Jane, Carol, Yuko, Debster, Kevin, Chantelle, Silvana (walk in) Rachel Camarino and Nurul all sang. This is, apparently, what singers do.. If I had to pick one this week (I don’t) Carol gets stronger and stronger.

Drums: set up by Michael Findlay and Alan Richards, with a surprise visit from Sala (now from Castlemaine) and Chantelle finding out she doesn’t find latin rhythms that easy.

Bass: Ivan in absolutely top form, played all arvo. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou..

Guitar: Fermin comped and solo-ed all arvo. Filled the sound nicely.

Recorder: again, only one recorder player turned up – Marion the mention, as good as ever… and she is now on a promise to put a band up for the looming Festival.

Piano: The Debonair Curtis and meself took turns in tickling the ivories, at least, in John’s case, to great effect. Eventually the piano disgraced itself due to the bodged up stand failing, and we finished off on a table. We played an inordinate amount of latin because the Flamenco thing was such fun, but there was plenty of other stuff – Deb picked out a typical Deb-style obscure ballad, which turned out to be (a) different, and (b) fun to solo on.

Alan, Fermin, Ivan, Rachel, Sala, TW    Photograph by Michael Findlay

The Next Jam

It will be at The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday October 13th. Last week’s comment about a 3.30 start to allow time for fiddling with the sound system proved satisfyingly accurate, but was only meant as a joke. Next week we will start at 4.00 on the dot, promise, or the Captain will stand everyone a beer.

Wanted: around 25 thimbles. Must be waterproof, and clean

See ya there?

The Newport Jazz Fest – up a bit, left a bit more,

We are still scouting venues – on a “the more the merrier” basis, and are starting to talk seriously to bands (seriously? another first!)

Volunteers: We have had several people rash enough to volunteer their services. Frankly, the number of volunteers needed to run this sort of event can be staggering – at a rough count we are looking at between 24 and 48 volunteers (24 only if they all agree to do a shift both days)

That said, we are tremendously encouraged by the offers we have had to date – we will just need more of them!

Q and A -some questions, new Festival Details, and few answers

Twenty Eight? Musos, that is, making this the second busiest Jam Session since 2008. Apart from Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Titch (60’s popster nerds get on down) who might have been there, Uncle Tom Cobley and all who weren’t there, and Kylie Minogue who could have been there but her people didn’t confirm, there was a record number of Japanese there, a record number of singers (10), a record number of baritone saxes (2) and even the lights were smokin’. And not a bad session, to boot…

And not a bad session, to boot

Singers: Jane, Carol and Kay early starters, with John Curtis on keys having way too much fun. Kay even forgot to sing One Note Samba as a swing tune, or some perfectly good Lennon McCartney classic as a bossa. And sounded all the better for it.

one note samba: the official chart

Jess (see the Other Newport below) sang a brief set of three, Yuko swung it, Aimee treated her friends to a complete re-ordering of the form on at least two songs, but with her trademark warm tone; Kev ducked into the Captain’s take on Besame Mucho, and Brian stuck resolutely to the blues – not that we minded, he sounded pretty good. As the arvo wore on, Gilbert got up (“I like to sing Sinatra songs”) and duly sang Sinatra songs including asking for a switch in keys in the middle of Fly Me To The Moon. I can honestly claim cock-up of the day on that one (“What, again?”) and Malcolm closed it all out by accompanying Brisbane singer Leena Salim on Girl From Ipanema, followed by Fever. And a good version of Moondance heavily obliterated by having too many soloists all at once. Probably having three singers (Susie joined Leena and Kay on that one) didn’t help either.. John got up for the epilogue. Sweet.

New Bari: Who’s a lucky boy? Jeff tried out his shiny new bari, and it has to said, we couldn’t keep him off it – but it sounded pretty damn good. Laurie probably a tad smoother on his used-to-be shiny silver Bari.

Bass lines: Piers grooved along, Dave stretched out on Brian’s blues, Eiji the pick on his stick, with Yuko and others, Anton funking it up (but gently) at the end.

Guitar: Fermin back for a hit out, all the way from the cultural backwater of Kew. Good to see him again.

Drums: Larry for starters, Steve, Alan all good, Alex back for a second hit, Michael Findlay in the groove.

Q and A Given the numbers, the Captain did well to get everyone (well almost everyone) up for a play or a yodel. Will the layout change next week? Why stop now?, although the sound was adjudged as a bit muddy by those that know. Are we approaching full house on the Jams? Can we cock it up enough to avert that crisis? Of course we can!

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman,this Sunday 15th September 4.00pm start. Do hope you can make it!

The Captain Does a Runner

Well, not really, but he and Malcolm spent the afternoon in a tin shearing shed up the bush, listening to the rain. For reasons which escape me. The barest rump of a Jam Session in their absence: an afternoon with only one saxophonist, no drumsticks and, for a while, no drummer, (see the big secret below.) other than the estimable John Curtis who sat in and made do before a goodly session on keys.  – and yet, the afternoon had much to commend it.

Bass for starters: Dave NN repeated his stint as a more than competent bass player, this time driving the rhythm section nicely, followed by Piers who did much the same. And followed by Anton who we all know is good.

Saxophones: Laurie fronted with his Baritone, and played out of his skin all afternoon -one of the best sax sessions we have had at the Post.

Guitar: Just as well we were all on our best behaviour, because next up was Ray “lounge” Hood, who has embarked on another of his world tours (the Lounge Lizard and Annique at La Niche). Usual ridiculously good standard of music, although in the interests of accuracy (hah! Who would be interested in that?) we should mention that Annique had a first class go at blowing up the PA . Props to Dan for fixing it. Fermin, (Dindi) for the first time in a while, got up to take over the guitar department. Quite like old times at the Junk..

Recorder. Marion, but by that time we had settled to a groove and couldn’t be arsed to play some obscure bebop number, obliging her to play All of Me, and a bunch of other toons… con gusto….

Rose, Marion on recorder

Drums: Great to see John and Alex, not sighted since the Laika Bar days. Alex played drums, properly, for the first time all arvo..(See below for the big secret…). Later on Mack and then Andre took turns on the drums. (see also below for the Big Secret)

Singers? What Singers?. I haven’t mentioned the singers – they are all too shy and modest to be mentioned anyway, other than Kay, Aimee, Rose, Deb, Yuko, Jane, and Annique. Despite our best efforts, they dominated the afternoon, and mighty fine they were too.

Debs on the turps, a happy bar

The Big Secret Curiously, people kept commenting all afternoon on how good the three drummers were, (Mack, Alex and Andre) and how they weren’t making too much noise. It wasn’t until we were packing up that we realised there had been no cymbals, no snare, one ride – we will never get away with that again, but they were good…

Finally, props to Kay who wrangled the musos nicely – might get her to do that again. . We called stumps due to fading light somewhat after 7.30, at which point we all went home older, but none the wiser.

It had been a good afternoon – see you next week?

The Next Jam

The Post Hotel, corner of St Kilda Road and Inkerman, next Sunday 8th September 4.00pm start. This is going to be a special session as we will be announcing details of the Jazz Festival to be….possibly.

Sunday Jazz : a pleasant afternoon in St Kilda

The Captain writes…

Four regular jammers were not in attendance as they had gone up the Calder to perform at the Castlemaine monthly jam (see “Moonlighting” below). A couple of others may have been seen at the Ringwood Soiree. Despite this, the Post Jam went ahead at full steam with 16 musicians taking part.

Due to the absence of a regular pianist it was decided to rearrange the stage which was universally found to be acceptable. Then the music started. Malcolm H, Peter G and John C played the keys. Peter and David put in the bass notes and Sala and Maged caressed the skins and belted some brass.  Jeff H played soprano sax and clarinet (not at the same time). Laurie S and myself were on tenor with Alan West on alto and various percussion devices. Laurie, Jeff and Alan Alan did a great version of Chitlins Con Carne.

Marion Lustig appeared towards the end of the session and played some magical recorder. Her rendition of Louie Armstrong’s Melancholy Blues was a stand out on the afternoon/evening. With only 2 vocalists, Jane L and Kay Y with able to perform more than the normal number of tunes. Jane’s God Bless the Child was special and Kay, s up beat version of What a Wonderful World got the loudest applause of the session.

Footnote: Alan West has found a great way to get a lift home. He experienced an acute attack of vertigo at the end of last week’s session which resulted in an ambulance being called. He ended up getting a ride home via the Alfred Hospital. It was also noted by several males who were present when the ambulance arrived, that, if the two young female paramedics  were typical ambos then they would consider  trying Alan’s strategy themselves.. Seriously, all’s well that ends well. Thanks must go to Marion Lustig and Bette Nash for the care and attention they gave Alan.

Kay and Dave on bass                                         Pete (bass) and Jane                                           Alan, sitting down

Moonlighting at The Maurocco

Ah, a meeting of like minded, or feeble minded, I’m not sure which, Melbourne moonlighters at the Maurocco Bar. A cold afternoon’s jaunt up the Calder. It was a packed house, (around 100 people there, maybe more) and some fine music played. The monthly Jam in Castlemaine seems to have settled to a great afternoon’s entertainment. Hard to believe that Mauro (landlord) resisted it for so long. Hard to believe the jam once sank to just six people in the original Comma bar.

Miss Smiff, Mr Hirsh, Ade, and Alan Richards all started moonlighting before I did. Greeted by Gwynn at the door, Hannah at the helm, and a wet afternoon in the Big C. Queuing for drinks, a fine collection of secondhand armchairs fully loaded, so a standing arvo and a chance to catch up with some Castlemaine stalwarts, Norm Gray on flugel, Don de Halls Gap and Christian on bass, Valiant and Maggie on keys, and the pick of them, (if you had to pick, which you didn’t) Howard on guitar.

I have been trying to find a suitable time to get up to Castlemaine for the jam session there – thanks to the Captain and Malcolm for arranging it – a fun afternoon and a credit to Hannah, Ken Turnbull, Gwynn et al for a fine session.

Hannah at the Mic                                                                          Sax and Norm on Trombone                                
Don on Bass

The Pre Christmas Bash

As ever, good fun all round, followed this year by a rather pleasant dinner for the die-hards. 28 musicians got up and boogied, Captain Chaos led the whole shebang with his usual flair, Santa Claus (looking suspiciously like Jack Morris) came to town, and the wardrobe Mistress (Annie) excelled herself with silly hats and lots of tinsel.

The Jammers, in a fit of absent mindedness, attempted some jazz tunes, very nearly succeeding on occasion.

That is it for a year which saw us relocate, and flourish at the Junk, where the standard of music making lifted considerably.

Awards:

The following prizes are not awarded, because we are mean bastards as a rule, but go out and buy yourself some chocolates

Most improved bassist: Pony Tail Pete, with Dave NN snapping at his heels. Ivan sweetest sound on that enormous double bass.

Most improved sax player: Either Keef, or possibly Laurie with a late lunge at the line. John Calamatta best sound. Captain Chaos for expanding the range of toons.

Guitar: Neil, and one sublime session with Neil and Fermin together. Ben Stewart when he turned up.

Drummers: Bill, Michael F, Malcolm, Russell Salah all good. Mike Hirsh best extended drum solo, John Perri for his technical prowess, Steve Bray for his knowledge of drums. Andre a find.

Pianists: Special mention to Malcolm, who packed up the gear every session,and otherwise fiddled excellently with his organ.  

Most singers in one session: 10. Seriously…

Best violinist: Huich, just

Best Flootist (and gets better every week): Julian

Next Jam, this Sunday 13th January, 4.00pm start,

The Junktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on the corner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley Park Road, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops off Fenton Street from High St, Kew.

Sunday at the Junk: Gossip, Jazz,

The Jam Session: We foregathered so early that the Junk wasn’t even open, convened a meeting on a nearby park bench… kicked around a few ideas for a proposed jazz party that will hopefully come to fruition some time in the New Year. Not saying which New Year as we haven’t got that far.

The set up was much aided by Debbie, directed by the Captain, a few cables plugged in by meself,  Fermin set up the guitars and amps, and Russell re-assembled the drum kit, although he subsequently averred it wasn’t up to (his) standards.

A pleasant and diverse afternoon of ballad mangling ensued, with contributions from Salah then Bill Swannie on drums, a welcome return from PT Pete on bass after his Uni exams, songs from Jane, Debbie amongst others, Neil and Fermin on guitars, the Captain opened the batting for the saxophone brigade, followed by the immaculate tones of Cardinal Calamatta, and we may have persuaded Julian (floot and abacus) to join the putative Committee. Hopefully he won’t be too busy to play floot. Huich on violin. Volker back on sax.

Singer du jour was Michelle Gigliotti, in a tight set, accompanied by Kip Dale on electric bass, Bill on drums, and meself tickling the ivories. She sang a second set with Malcolm struggling with some of my dodgiest charts – my excuse is that I never used charts on any gig with Michelle anyway… and we knocked out 80 or so in years past.

Pony Tail Pete back on bass

Rod and Bette de Singapore dropped in, as you do, POCKOTL was there, and there were a pleasing number of locals in the audience. More musos than last week, and more fun too…

Featured Singers this Sunday 25th November

This next one is going to be a bit special, as Debbie and Ashley de Wang will be singing some duets – swing tunes in the main. I have heard some of their material and this should prove a real crowd pleaser

Next jam, this Sunday 25th November, 4.00pm start,

TheJunktion Hotel, 99 High Street, South Kew – the Hotel is on thecorner of Kew Junction. Public parking is available on Studley ParkRoad, or behind the Mercedes dealer/behind the High Street Shops offFenton Street from High St, Kew.

Jazz at The Junktion Hotel . . .

. . .  every man and his dog rocked the Junktion this week. And what a session it turned out to be – 26 musos in attendance, and joining the regulars, were the likes of Sir Roger, Rick, bassist Andrew, Kay (piano and mellodica), John Hunter (blues harp), Malcolm (drums) and Margaret (violin). And Brigid Deneefe having a ball whilst Sir Roger blew out the windows to celebrate his award for attending Merimbula for 27 years.. An audience of over 50 enjoyed a variety of jazz styles. Continue reading →

The Junktion Hotel : so far, so good, and more to come

The three week trial has run its course – and has been outstandingly successful. 15 musos first week, 24 musos the next week, and for the third week, Sevil Sabah sang two short sets with her favourite quartet, (Tom Doublier, Doug Kuhn, Neil and meself) to an enthusiastic crowd of around fifty people, jammers and locals.. Of course, Dave the Boss had already said he would like us to continue, and with Castlemaine and Merimbula both on this week, it should all go pleasantly pear shaped from here on out… Continue reading →