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 →

The Jam session: 15 Musos with nothing better to do

The Leinster Arms Hotel
Well, a quiet day for a change, in the Chateau de Leinster, and 15 musos (and you may treat the term with derision if you wish) all neatly lined up to take their turn (hah!) in mangling a fine selection of toons. We even played a Peter Ryan original, but we were getting desperate by then. Continue reading →

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.

Jam Session: Brilliant solos, flawless performances

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 →

Jam Session: All Chips and nonsense

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 →