Well, That Was Kind of Comfortable

Audience confused, of course, but the regular jammers set down for a regular jam, playing around with some fairly standard songs, with predictable results. Like a pair of old slippers, it was all decidedly comfortable – saxophonists (there were three) leading the charge in a born to rule kind of way, pianists (two remarkably good ones dropped in on the regulars (Curtis, the Don, and meself), and Findlay whacking away at the drums to the point of exhaustion, whereupon Il Duce took pity and spelled him for a bit. Matt Berg took over later on, played beautifully.

As has been the case in recent weeks, Bass players were a bit thin on the ground, with Ponytail Pete and Colonel T shouldering the load. Fermin, Brian and later on Chico all slotted in some nice guitar work.

It is afternoons like this that give you time for a yarn with a few old friends, the occasional social lubricant, and some light banter with a slightly manic Colonel T of the Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd), who took it upon himself to direct proceedings from time to time. The results were predictable, although perhaps the rendition of Black Nile was a bit special, as it was spectacularly shredded, demolished and stomped into the carpet. Musicians who were there will know what I mean, and the funeral will be announced once the pieces have been gathered up and bagged.

The late Miss Smith turned up at her usual hour, and lifted the mood considerably – still basking in plaudits from her Friday night session. And Ponytail Pete got booked for his first session at the Royal Standard Hotel this week, so at least some of us are progressing well.

Kind, comfortable, what more could you want. Don’t answer that Hortense…

Melbourne Jazz Jammers – a bunch of musos getting together to play random toons. Sometimes we all play the same tune at the same time. Doesn’t make much difference.

Second opinions will be sought at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 4th March 2017, at 4.00pm.

Port Fairy Jazz Festival

February 10th – 12th

This is coming up very soon – and promises to be a huge event. Amongst the regular jammers who can’t get a proper gig that weekend, will be…

The Ade Ish Trio/IshAllen Project

Anne Craig Duo

Anne Hayres with John Curtis

Annie Smith and the Bossa Boys

Breakout (Col not in a suit)

Christine Manetta with Black Pearl

David Ruiz Prado trio

G and T Jazz

Port Phillip Showband (Col in a suit..)

And Doug Kuhn in almost everything …Annie & the Bossa Boys, G&T Jazz, Not Quite Right

All the rest (around a hundred bands) are absolute rubbish, or not as the case may be. Should be a fantastic weekend.

http://www.portfairyjazz.com.au/

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 Fifth Stage: Jam Session de luxe

The development of jazz, from its earliest stages through to the demise of the postmodern CD cover is often described in four categories: Early Jazz, Swing, Be Bop and Post Bop. Not that the jammers had a great regard for that this week. Adopting their habitual fifth category, they systematically demolished almost every toon suggested by an increasingly demented Captain Chaos.

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Pride of place must go to Messrs Curtis, Chaos, Peter the bass and Michael on drums, for a particularly fine effort in destroying Mr Mingus’ bebop Round Midnight. Who would have though it was possible to drop bars before you have even started? Continue reading

The Laika Bar Gets busy, and we are going for a Saturday

The Laika Bar gets busy, and we are going for a Saturday

The gorgeous Jen Salisbury had another busy one last week – it is getting busy down Fitzroy Street.

This week the bouncing Katerina de Praha will be cruising through a bit of latin, and few standards and several songs in far too many flats. All class, brought down to earth by her regular rhythm section (who said irony was dead?) of the Haircut, Ben the Banker and meself..

Katerina Myskova, from 8.00pm Saturday 12th November at The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda,

The Ludicrous Arms Jam Session: ptwang, ptwang

Smooth As – what’s with all the geetars?

Managed to make it for a jam session – in the Captain’s continuing absence I even got there a bit early to help Il Duce set up. All a bit quiet for starters, but the main course soon wandered in, clutching an assortment of instruments and by about 30 minutes late we had even started kicking the ball around the paddock with a toon or two.

Early disasters (it didn’t take long) were entirely down to Sir Roger De Coverley, who had polished up his tootlefloot for the occasion, which, as it transpired was not so much an occasion as an extended set of directions for the hapless Il Duce, culminating in Sir R de C the cad, ignoring his own tempo and coming in late. Fair enough, nobody else was following his instructions either… although when they did get started, it all sounded pretty good to me.

The arvo wore on (japanese fashion label). Even Ali (sax) had a dip; and by the time Alex Yarosh, Tom McGlinn, Elliott Joe and  Chico had worked up the guitar solos, one would be tempted to say there were some fine solos going on.

Resisting the temptation, The Debonair JC, Gerald, Don and meself had a fine old time on the piano, with honours going to JC who played the rather tricky When I Look in Your Eyes without getting lost, and without giving away the fact that it had been put into a mildly easy key.

The late Miss Smith sang up a storm, Chris Manetta belted out a coupla bluesy numbers, Bruce drummed, Anton played every note he could think of, and Colonel T was in such an affable mood on bass and drums that he missed the new Doctor Who episode. Devotion to the cause or what? Meanwhile, Ivan the terrible swung the five-string basso profundo, and we all had a good time.

A quieter jam, but smooth as, and a high standard of music all made for a spiffing afternoon. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked where the Captain might be (Kyoto as it turns out) I would be richer by $4.35 cents.

The Sunday Jam, every week at the Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Colliwobble, from 4.00pm until we knock off around 7.30. See ya this week?

I wouldn’t have a clue

Sunday Arvo: Jolly Japes at the Juggernaut Arms

As I was in Castlemaine for the day, I can honestly say that I have no idea what was going on at the Leinster Arms last Sunday. It was is quite possible that no-one else had much of an idea either, in which case, normal service was maintained.

Gentleman John Curtis assures me , and I quote, that he was not all there either… or perhaps he just left early, I can’t remember. Whatevah, I am led to believe that Dave Taylor played bass, the Hirsh and Monsieur Sebastien played drums, Bob tickled the occasional ivory, Richard turned up late and played a bit, Ben Stevens got let out for a twang, and Is Don Is Good was there on guitar. Rachel Camerino rocked up for a bit of tonsil work, and Colonel T of the Fourth Light Punjab Cavalry topped it all off in fine style.

The aforementioned Curtis assures me that Jazz was played, which just goes to show you can’t neglect these things for a week without it getting out of hand. Spiffin!

25 Jammers New and Old

The last Session of the Year was the longest I can remember, with over 25 Jammers new and old wandering in throughout the day and rocking the joint for a mere eight hours.

Glen (Il Duce to those in the know) went all out with a great set-up (he even put in foldbacks fergawdsake), opened up the Atrium and the Beer Garden to the street, and got blessed with a really fine day (the Gods must be tone deaf)   After a fine light luncheon (nobody died) around 25 musicians swapped and chopped all day long, ably mustered by Captain Chaos hisself, who did, it must be said, look a little stuffed by the end.

The singers – Anne Smith, Anne Hayres, Sonia Davoine, Melinda Traves and Sevil Sabah , Marita and Lehma, amongst others, really turned it on. Doug Haircut Kuhn drove that stick bass all day long, Matthias, The Hirsh,  Sebastien, and others rattled the skins, The Captain, Jason, Keef, Peter, Dennis, Kepler, Marion, and I can’t remember who else soloed, Ben and Ray Hood (the original Lounge Lizard) on guitars, Blonde Bob, Gentleman John Curtis and meself, amongst others, tickled the plastics, and there too was the invisible trombonist, Jack Morris.

A great end to a fine year of Jam Sessions – there were four people there who, to the best of my knowledge, have been going to the Jams for over 23 years. And still can’t get it right. Makes you wonder..

We will be back on 18th January.

Hortense and Madge from Altona send their regards.

Toodle Pip!

There was a Jam, wasn’t there?

Due to both the Captain and meself being otherwise engaged on Castlemaine Jazz Festival matters, I have relied on both Madge from Altona and the ethereal Miss Hortense for the following reports of proceedings…

Madge, as is not unusual, may have been soundly asleep in a corner of the back bar, having indulged in a light breakfast of three Winnie blues, some cold chips and a chipped mug full of ersatz instant coffee, before preparing herself for the afternoon with several cartons of Carlton daft and some cask port laced with brandy, which seemed like a good idea at the time, and probably still does..

Having thus attained a mood of somnolent imperturbability, she proceeded to snore somewhat rhythmically for the several hours of music to which she had subjected herself. The tempo, if not the volume, of the snoring was generally held to be a vast improvement on some of the more usual drummers.

Hortense, on the other hand, had a splendid afternoon of eightball in the front bar, followed by several hours spent picking up green baise cloth and sticking it back down with a glue stick, before attempting to light the gas log fire with the considerable amount of kindling she had generated. If anyone would like to purchase an empty cue rack, pop into the  Lunatic Soup Lounge next Sunday.

I am reliably informed by Glen (Il Duce to those in the know) that it was a quietly pleasant jam session, Gentleman John Curtis in the chair, so none of the above may be true. I can honestly say that I have never heard music played better, in the circumstances, and look forward to normal service being resumed next week.

And the Captain? You may well ask, but he has put his hand up to do the Castlemaine thing all over again, as have I, John Hannah, Doug Kuhn, Brett Willis, and five or six others from Castlemaine. Experience, they say, is recognising your mistakes when you make them again, so we can look forward to some real purlers come June 6th 2015….

Cheers

Ted

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain falls over.