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 →

Castlemaine Jazz Festival

https://www.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au/

The website has, at last, plenty of information on the bands playing and the venues. It all happens this weekend, and whether you are thinking of going for the full four days, or just dipping in to see the highlights, including Nubya Garcia, who has already sold out her MIJF dates (the Age, Tuesday 5th June), it is about time to saddle up the nag and head North. 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 →

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 →

What’s on, Friday

The Royal Standard Hotel: Possibly the best session we have had to date. And that is from October 2016 if anyone is interested. Susy sang better and better, the Captain insisted on playing Bernie’s Tune, and Neil (guitar) seemed to enjoy having a solid rhythm section. Not a huge turnout but an appreciative crowd.

Donna and Steve Bray are featured this week, with Ivan, meself and the Captain dodging the brickbats. All rehearsals have been error free so far, so I am looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Donna sings, Steve drums, with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 14th July 2017

Jam Session goes well

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?
TW

The Leinster Jam: One last Hit Out

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.

Toodlepip!
TW

On Council Largesse, and why employing musicians is a bad idea…

One of the special joys of inner city living is lying in bed listening to the rumble and clatter of the garbos at about 6 o’clock in the morning.

The other one is getting the rates notice. It is about at this point that you realise you are not just lying in bed listening to the rumble and clatter of the garbos at about 6 o’clock in the morning – you are also paying for it.

And you may console yourself, humble jazz musician, with the thought that at least Councils are major employers of musicians – Stonnington, Yarra, COPP and others all have programmes of jazz, generally free.

We recently carried out a Feasibility Study for an all-day Jazz event in Melbourne. Great site, good location, lots of pluses. We did a survey of live music prices, and similar offerings elsewhere. We looked at higher priced bands as well as a volunteer/low cost model. Whichever way we cooked the books, the proposal would not, could not, stack up.

And the reason? All those “free” concerts, jazz in the park etc. etc., mean that no commercial operator will go near a jazz festival – unless there is a substantial grant of public money. And so we have the edifying spectacle of professional musicians bemoaning the lack of opportunity, whilst complaining about their lack of earnings, and trousering the Council pay that ensures there can be no other commercial opportunities.

Council largesse could kill the music scene.
TW