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

Sevil Sabah & The Webb St. Band

Sevil returns to Castlemaine. She has been one of the outstanding singers of the previous Festivals, and this year brings a new band, covering the songs of Bill Withers, Erika Baydu Jill Scott and others, maybe a couple of Jazz standards.

Soul and Jazz – a great combination.

Sevil Sabah Vocals
Joel Lukes Bass
Tom Doublier Drums
Billy Mathieson Keys

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Last Sunday at the Arms

With winter approaching, 22 musicians sought out the warm environment of the Leinster Arms last Sunday to escape the oncoming chill and to make music.

The melting pot of musicians included Laurie, Tony, Colin, Keith and Peter on Saxophones. (It is written that too much sax is never enough.) Marion added a much needed different lead sound on jazz recorders and Keith chimed in at times on the clarinet. Vocals were provided by Annie, Kay, Kevin and Brian. Ivan and Peter took over the bass from Tariq who continued on guitar with Fermin and Lewis. Sam played some tasty keys in the early part of the jam and was followed by more tasty keys from John and Peter G. Rhythm was provided by Michael, Glen, Andre and Andrew. Three listeners threatened  to come back with their instruments next time. They must have thought we were having fun.

Tony was on a quick visit from Thailand, Kay Young finished up her visit from Darwin and Andrew Howard just happened to drop in from Canberra.

Highlight was a set conducted by Tony and Paul (The Chicken, Chitlins Con Carne and Body and Soul) ably backed by John, Andre and Ivan and one of the guitarists. It was also the lowlight because it was just a tad too loud.

Our thoughts go out to Ted who is in hospital with some mysterious affliction.

Please note      No Jam Next Sunday

Not your usual Correspondent
CC

It’s that time of Year.. The Gossip Shoppe goes Autumnal

Autumn, it would seem, is somewhat late this year, but upon us nevertheless. As I ambled through the doors of the Gold Street Gossip Shoppe at the unusual hour of 4 o’clock last Sunday, there was the palest glow of feeble sunshine, the first chill breeze of the season, and stuff all going on inside.

A quiet session seemed in prospect, starting with pianist/drummer Gentleman John Curtis as gentlemanly as ever, and the McCue de Bendigo getting better and better on the ivories. It took a while for the joint to fill, but fill it did, and by the time 24 musicians had turned up, tuned up and joined in, it would be fair to say that this was one of the busier sessions. And not a little musical from time to time, although the habit of playing real jazz on a Sunday afternoon sets a dangerous precedent and is to be discouraged…

There were plenty of good moments in between the occasional debacle. Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) absent mindedly played bass rather well. Fortunately such an experienced old hand will not let that put him off his game, and he will surely be back to stomping on the ground so hard the floor shakes in no time. No time being the operative phrase. Anyhoo, he got things moving along rather nicely. Possibly because there was also a very good bass player, Matthew Birtchnell, who started rather hesitantly, and by the time Katerina got up and ripped the joint apart with Summertime and All of Me, was absolutely flying. More please.

Lewis, the guitarist for whom 1000 notes is never enough, was back, and in great form, Ben “Twang” Stewart produced some fine solos, and Luis (soprano saxophone) played some ace bossa.

Brian, Kev, Vlad and Kay all sang: Brian’s Ab chart for That Old Black Magic a ripper, Kay as entertaining as ever, Kev making it look easy, and the rhythm section playing Killing Me Softly in totally the wrong key for Vlad.

Michelle, Bill and Andre drummed, Julian flooted and presiding over it all was a benevolent Captain Sensible. Who, in a spirit of consistency, decided not to call fours, and therefore failed to produce his customary 5 bar magic. Stolen Moments was fun, although pianist Kay stole the show on that one.

So… a really enjoyable afternoon of ballad mangling, and by the time Landlord Glen produced the party pies, I think everyone was well mellowed.

Autumn is a good time of year…

And we will do it all again, especially the debacle bits … at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 2nd April 2017, at 4.00pm.
TW

Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2017

June 9th – June 12th 2017

Bands: By the time you read this, Band registrations will have closed, although I dare say you can plead your case with Captain Chaos, who is wrangling the musos.

There will be around 60 bands registered – which means that the musician reimbursement should be better than last year, provided all sixty bands persuade all their relatives to buy tickets.

Venues: The Committee has confirmed 7 venues, with a much greater concentration about the middle of town – should increase the “buzz” around the place. The Criterion is back after two years, the Anglican Church and the Theatre Royal are new, and the Cumberland, Gaol and Faulder Watson Hall are continuing. I heard a dynamic set from Ruby Rogers at the FWH last year and loved it. The Gaol and Mess Hall would be my favourite two venues even if it is a bit of a hike, and both Amy Jaulin and Sevil Sabah sang really good sets at the Cri in year 1, so fond memories of that one too.

And there is word of a dinner dance on Sunday night for the locals.

As ever, the Committee is finding organising a Festival no easy task, and a few boxes still need to be ticked, but things are shaping up for an exciting weekend.

Musicians: Melbourne representative and Musician Co-ordinator Captain Chaos can answer any queries you may have on 0422 568 537. Col Garrett has the same number, so he may answer the phone…

http://2017.castlemainejazzfestival.com.au/

Hush!

In light of the buzz around the joint the previous week, it was only reasonable to expect things to be a little quieter – and in that expectation, those of us who wandered into the Gold Street sheltered workshop at 4pm on the dot were not disappointed.

The afternoon would evidently start with three pianists and a saxophone… Izzo, Curtis, and meself, debating as to who should stuff the first stanza by playing drums. We opted for Curtis – Continue reading

Melbourne Jazz Co-Op Editorial

Sadly, today, 20th January, is both a designated Day of Action (and Mourning) because it marks the last day that ABC Radio National will air ‘The Daily Planet’, ‘The Inside Sleeve’ ‘The Live Set’, ‘The Rhythm Divine’, ‘Soundproof’ and ‘Jazztrack’. While “Jazztrack” will continue in digital format, the other shows have been “decommissioned” (an ABC and naval term for ‘terminated’, or sent for scrapping).

As the MJC has explained to our Minister for the Arts, this represents the greatest case of (post-indigenous) cultural vandalism in our history, and will cause irreparable damage to independent Australian music. Continue reading

From Henry Manetta

Dear Tripsters….


HENRY MANETTA AND THE ADAM RUDEGEAIR TRIO
FRIDAY JANUARY 13TH
PARIS CAT JAZZ CLUB
6 GOLDIE PLACE, MELBOURNE, CITY
9:30PM
BOOKINGS: www.pariscat.com.au
Searing blues/jazz vocalist Henry Manetta returns to The Paris Cat, with the Adam Rudegeair Trio.
Back To The Cat featuring a slew of original compositions and some special gems written by Wendy Saddington, Gil Scott-Heron, Laura Nyro and Leonard Cohen. Special featurette a remake of Patrick O’Grady’s ‘Harum Scarum’ from the album ‘Shiver.’
“They came in tall ships, sails like ballerinas on heat, there was once no street so to speak, blueberries of love to become strange fruit in another space.” (Monkesque Part One}
Genre – Jazz/Blues/Soul
Performance Room – Basement

All Bashed Up…

A spiffin’ little light luncheon followed by no less than 40 musicians getting in on the act – making this the busiest jam session since the mid 19th century Balkan Wars, or possibly even before that., I wouldn’t know.

How sensible of Il Duce to arrange some nice weather so we could sit outside, gossip over an occasional social lubricant, and completely ignore the annual Bash going on inside. And there was plenty to ignore – 40 musicians got in on the act,

Due to the usual misunderstanding, about 39 of them appeared to be behaving quite inappropriately by playing music that could be misconstrued as jazz, if you weren’t paying attention and had more pressing matters on your mind. Splendid!

Highlights included Annie Smith handing out silly hats, wearing one herself and behaving decorously, as she always does…

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and the Captain in fine form – he managed to ring the changes so smoothly all afternoon. And the rest of us just had fun. Hopefully…

It is hard to sum up the Bash – certainly the biggest so far, and musically one of the best yet – but the music isn’t only what it is all about. Perhaps it is worth considering that there were at least seven people there who attended the original Dizzy’s Friday night sessions 22 years ago – The Princess of Cool and Keeper of the List, Rod, Bette the stateless one, Mike H the world’s quietest drummer, Gentleman John C, Col T of the Fourth Light Punjab Horse (retd) and meself.

The First Jam Session of 2017

We are planning to start up again on January 15th 2017…. by tradition, nobody turns up for the first session, so about five of us get together and have a ball. Feel free to rock up and ruin it for us…. or make it even better.

TW

The Year in review: stop laughing, this is serious

It has been, as ever, an interesting 12 months – started brightly with several good jam sessions, then hit a sour note with the passing of Bob Vinard, although the session with so many of his mates was a beauty. Several jammers went to Inverloch, Halls Gap, and Ballarat for the Australian Jazz Convention. The extra 3B copy boy (ed: aka Ted)managed to join the cardiac club and we had to give up the Laika residency. Colonel T (retd) took the newsletter in a somewhat surreal direction for a while. Gill and Tina started to sound good. The middle of the year saw us all toddle off to Castlemaine – the usual suspects, plus debutante G and T sounding very good. Katerina singing up a storm, Il Presidente Doug on top of everything and still managing to play sessions, the Captain grinning from ear to ear all weekend as he should.

Come August, the newsletter fell in a hole as both Editor and extra 3B reserve copyboy went to Europe, and we had our smallest ever session with just 8 peeps turning up. About 8 weeks later, we had our second biggest session ever… and I seem to recall some hot sessions with the Clark mob, Ade Ishs and a few other monsters after that.

So …

The Most Indefatigable Award: Colonel T for playing a whole session – twice. We also considered him for playing the same solo more times than anyone else – 16 bars single note, 16 bars playing in octaves, and pull a face on arrival: played over bossa, bebop, swing, blues, and in every time signature and tempo.

Most Improved Drummer: Bruce. Have you been taking lessons?

Most Improved Singer: Katerina, but only because Annie was already good

Biggest Train Wreck: close run thing between the Curtis/Chaos Round Midnight debacle, and Annie Smith for whatever that godawful tune was. We’ll wait for the drug tests and award this one later.

Noisiest Saxophone: Laurie’s is bigger than Tony Wharton’s, so maybe this one goes to Laurie by a whisker. I am sure we will be able to enjoy Tony’s solos once he gets to Bangkok. At least they both play damn well.

And a big thanks to whoever gets all the gear set out, and also packs it up at the end of every session, along with wrangling the pack in between. I think his name is Col.