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?

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.


The Leinster Jam: flirting with Reality.

I am indebted to Captain Chaos for this opportunity to write a brief review of last Sunday’s jam session, for parts of which I was in attendance. I am advised by the Captain that there were 24 musicians turned up. Certainly the musicians I saw were of a pretty lively standard, with a smattering of new faces.

Tunes played probably included Summertime, Autumn Leaves and Georgia. Taariq is convinced he should have a dollar for each time they get played. He could be onto something.

There are now only two ways in which aspiring jammers tend to find us – Google and Word of Mouth, and examples of both were on display- we had new drummers, a trumpeter, hot pianist, and a couple of guitarists. And there were the usual 6 saxes in attendance. We have no idea what we would do without them, as they have never given us the chance to find out.

See ya Sunday?

Where are we?

The Leinster Jam started quietly last Sunday. Only John and Lisette for the keys. Michael and Dan to drum and Noel and myself with our Tenors. Lisette used the keyboard split to more than adequately make up for the lack of a bass player. Ivan eventually arrived and played bass for the next 3 ½ hours except for a small break provided by John Curtis who jumped at the opportunity to exhibit his multi instrumental status. Ted was the next to come in and did a short stint on the keys. He was followed by a plethora of Saxophones …..new comer Jeff (Alto), Laurie, (Tenor) Paul (Tenor), John Calamatta (Tenor) Keith (Alto), Will (Tenor) and Peter (Tenor). Vocalists Julie and Cloe also appeared to break up the wailing of the Saxes. Vlad later filled the vacant guitar space with his purple guitar which looked as if it belonged in a heavy metal band.  Glen and Bill augmented the drum role and Richard did a late stint on the keys.

Highlights……Paul and Jeff’s version of Now’s the Time. Lisette singing spooky backed by herself on keys and Paul, Glen, Ivan and Vlad.  Julie’s very spelt “Valerie” with harmonies from Lisette and an excellent  solo from Vlad.

Jam Session 1.01: start here…

Winter already. Time to burn the furniture, and race to the back bar of the Ludicrous Arms. Some may claim to have been lost, others would have walked into the Leinster under their own steam. Whatever, another pleasantly diversionary jam session was in prospect, with about six saxophones to one of anything else.

As it should be… Yet again, the assembled incognoscenti failed to recognise the full Garrett protocol, which, as an opening gambit, leaves little to be desired, and even less to speculate upon. The good Captain, dispensing with such dreary conventions as following the form, conducted a lively rampage through Morning, or at least parts of it, before L Savage tackled Yesterdays, beating it also to a satisfying pulp. Noel confounded the Captain by playing well in tune; and Paul, Gentleman JC and the troops threatened real music for a while, before descending to the level to which the rest of us aspire.

Several peeps, Chaos one of them, remarked on the lack of competent singers. Others remarked upon the lack of competent anything, and were it not for the fact that we were all having a good time, one might have been tempted to call the whole enterprise something of a schemozzle.

I must own up to staying until less than stumps, pleading exhaustion and a surfeit of pills. A fun afternoon, nothing got broken and nobody died.

And the band played on – ’til well past the hour.

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

Jamming at the L: A Touch of Class, or something

Upon reflection, probably something. Another fine arvo of cocking up all the good bits, and enjoying the dross. This was a remarkably busy session – mainly because we had five bass players ( Colonel T, Ivan, Matthew, Chris and Pony Tail Pete) and only three saxophones .(Captain Chaos, Luis, and Peter Cole). Continue reading

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.

It was just one of those things…

Strange little jam session last Sunday: started with lots of casual sax, only one bass player all arvo, a coupla singers, three drummers, and the usual complement of guitarists and pianists. As the good Captain remarked, there were times when it almost sounded like music… which is another way of saying there were times when it didn’t.

Hortense, I am almost certain, was not there – she has been much distracted of late Continue reading

Captain Sensible Sharpens the Quill…

With several regulars at the Inverloch Jazz Festival it was a slow to start to the day. Geoff was first up on the keyboard followed by Noel who was road testing his new ear plugs. Taariq left the bass to take over the keys for quite a while and did a great job until Don and Kay arrived to continue his good work. This allowed him to Continue reading