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 No 1,034 goes according to plan

One can never be sure, when sauntering into the Gold Street Gossip Shop, watering hole to the gentry, quite what the plan will be. Will the jammers, in the spirit of inconsistency, play some jazz? Will Madge from Altona run amok, or sit out the back with a house port, a sailor, and a catering pack of Winnie blues? Will Hortense get lucky, always assuming she will be there, which she might be?

Last Sunday’s not so little jam session (it was crowded again), provided none of the answers, of course. It had promised to be a run of the mill affair, Continue reading

Jam Session News: Madge, where have you been?

I saw Madge from Altona the other day – and am pleased to report that she is remarkably chipper, having taken to amusing herself by giving wildly creative answers to door knockers, phone pollsters and shady politicians, all of whom appear to remarkably keen to hear Madge’s opinion on a wide range of subjects, ask her a startling array of questions, and then leave none the wiser, assuming they didn’t really want to know about alternative uses for the Pigeon Fanciers Gazette.

And Hortense, you may well ask? She may have been Continue reading

The Jam Session Review: One would think not…

Captain Chaos, scourge of the Calder, lead footed back from the Castlemaine Jazz Festival Committee meeting, in time to acquire fond memories of the jam session: which was , as ever, spiffingly inconsistent, prone to outbursts of music in between the trainwrecks, and populated by the usual crew of competent, incompetent, delusional and maladjusted musicians, all of whom had a triffic time, welcomed the occasional nervous newcomer, danced on the tables, indulged in outrageous and occasionally malicious gossip, all of it untrue, except for anything to do with Hortense, about whom one can never be certain, according to Madge, anyway.

If anyone has gained the impression from the previous para that I might not have been there, they would be right. Probably accounts for the reported high standard of music.
TW

An Extraordinary Jam Session – or much the same as usual?

Madge, scourge of Altona West and substitute Lollipop Lady when it suits her, is, as the several readers of this august organ would know, quite the philosopher: and can turn quite reflective after polishing off seven snags, two matelots and a packet of Winnie Blues for breakfast. This habitual start to her day, generally partaken around 4 pm, leaves her in a reflective mood until such time as the sun sets and the roads around Refinery Terrace grow strangely quiet.

It was in such a mood that she remarked only the other day how a Jam Session can, on occasion, reach extraordinary heights of musicality and creativity: taking jazz to another level. She may have been quoting Nietszhe again, but it could have been a head cold.

Extraordinary? The Sunday Arvo Jam could not have been so described: when the usual suspects turned up, tuned up and took to mangling innocent toons with a languid degree of gusto. It went on for, as Hortense might have said had she been there, hours. No heights were scaled.

The guilty parties included The Captain, meself, a tireless Colonel T, Hirsh, Constable, Peter on trumpet, Noel on sax, Marion on recorder (good to see ya!) Ben the Banker, Monsieur Sebastian, Ali, the Debster, Kay De Darwin, Mrs Constable, and quite possibly Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all. Punishments will be awarded later.

Extraordinary? Probably not, but sometimes it is good to celebrate the ordinary, quaff some social lubricant and just have a good time. So we did. And at the end of it, all the bits got put back in the box and nobody left with a burning desire to get to Monday early, so I daresay we will do it again.

TW

Dropping like Flies

Madge from Altona tells me that Hortense is going in for a grease and an oil change, and to have her gear box looked at, or something like that. Not to be outdone, the Debonair John Curtis has booked himself and his best pair of pyjamas into Hospital and will be out of action for as long as it takes for us to hunt him down and stick him back on a piano stool. Get well soon, JC… TW

Blimey, I nearly missed it.

It has been dark and cold in Refinery Terrace, Altona West, of late. Madge has, it would seem, taken to roaming the streets of Nether Colliwobble, with an eye for the main chance. It has been a while, and we all know what that means… Enough to strike fear into the souls of the most artery-hardened denizens of that industrial wasteland, who have, in terror quite possibly, taken to the Gold Street Gossip shop in increasing numbers of late, prepared to withstand the aural assaults of the Sunday Arvo jam in preference to the blood curdling screams of a slow runner, caught out late with Madge about.

They have started liking the jazz in the front bar. Good grief!

Now, where was I, ah yes, the jam session. Nothing out of the ordinary really, just the biggest line-up yet (31 musos, and I refuse to name the guilty) and an ever higher standard of musicianship. Poor old Captain Chaos looked, well, stuffed by the end of it, and so he should be – cattle prodding that line-up is hard work. Mr T no better, having played bass without a break for nearly 4 hours by the time I left.

Who done what…

So, a few mentions, just because. Chelly got up and nailed it convincingly, as did Lisbeth – the cruise ship contingent (clari and trom) blew us all away, Bob played Satin Doll as only Bob can, with Melinda trying to keep up, props to Bruce C from Sydney for turning up after his night at the Grand, and a welcome to Adrian from the Elwood RSL Blues jam, sadly no more (the jam, not Adrian).  Six drummers, six saxes, five singers and everyone you could think of turned up except….  

The Invisible Man:

I dare not mention Jack of course, who is never there, not even slightly, or so he tells me. I would not care to argue the point with a man wielding 14’6” of brass piping. 

Train Wrecks

Yup, mangled a few, for old time’s sake.
TW

Reeding, Writhing and Rhythmatic…

Reeding, Writhing and Rhythmatic…

Madge from Altona had a busy day. Taking her usual bus from Altona West over the creaking Westgate and on into the seamier parts of Collywobble, where all the men are one eyed, and their womenfolk have less  than three teeth, has always been an exhausting adventure; but this Sunday she  found the Gold Street Tearooms and Gossipshop so full that she could not even get a seat, ( the double doors to that august establishment offering  no easy passage to someone of her stature.)    So, sitting outside, wreathed in the acrid fumes of a rollie, she contented herself with listening to the strains of what could pass for jazz on a dark night, wafting from the Tea Room Orchestra.

She perceived some discontent amongst the orchestral assembly, there being no fewer than 22 changes of personnel as the afternoon wore on. Finally, as the red glow of her 15th rollie arced across the street, she rose from her now severely deformed chair, and with barely a discernible indentation in the tarmac, remounted her bus with every intention of returning it to Altona West before the indigent Altona Bus Lines staff had noticed it missing. Which they hadn’t due to three of them being unable to count, and the other 14 not giving a rat’s in the first place.

So, the busiest jam in a very long time, and some damn good music: eight sax players, two pianists, two percussion, three bass players, a flute,  mellodica, guitar  and three singers – even the Captain admitted to being tired at the end of it all.

Props to The Captain (six bar fours anyone?) Keef, Ali, Rod, Jeff, Peter, Aaron and Roger the Dodger for some the sax battles; Rob Murray for some great piano, Louis the Fly for his usual eclectic mix of mellodica, Stan, Taariq and Kariss for playing bass with some very dodgy charts and in some cases, no chart at all, Don (guitar) and Natalie (flute and small child) , Fred and  Danilo on percussion,  Nicole, Julian and Lisbeth for singing, and meself for remembering at least that many names.

Which means I have forgotten Al Papa Jazz. No easy task, but he was in a class of his own again. . At least he turned up looking resplendent in his second best outfit. Somewhere in Moonee Ponds there is a beige Datsun 120Y with no seat covers.

A number of people have asked after Hortense. It would be more  sensible to ask before.
TW

Now, where was I?

Jam Sessions:

Jam sessions, that was it. Well, we have missed writing up the last three or four sessions, including the 6 hour -make – sure – she – comes – back Noriyo bash, so props to Captain Chaos, Keef the clarinet, Peter, Ari, some other dude whose name I forget (saxophones), Don, Frank, Ray “Lounge” Hood and some other guitarist, Taariq (loser of the password variety), Avi and possibly Luke on bass, Tom, Danilo, Fred, Al “papa” Jazz, and Glen the occasional (all background noises), Jack the T, Annie H, Miss Smiff, Jo, Melinda, Kay, Ebony, (tonsil artistes) Bob, Noriyo, Curtis the John, meself (all sensible pianists, mostly) and anyone else who turned up, tuned in, dropped a beat every now and then for the sake of consistency, and generally obliterated any sense of musicality that those tired old jazz standards once possessed.

 

Having fulfilled my promise (with mildly sincere apologies to all those I have left out), to name 26 musos in one sentence, I  will leave the rest of this brief missive to news of Miss Hortense and Madge from Altona.

 

The News from Altona West:

Autumn creeps imperceptibly into  the West Altona Municipal Park and bottle drop. Certainly, the trees turn a bright orange colour, but that is mainly due to the smoke and flame belching from the oil works at the business end of Refinery Terrace. Hortense, who has been feeling a little low of late, has taken to pondering the lack of inebriated and generous gentlemen who are slow runners. When the wind is in the west, Hortense can still hear the callow screech of Rotten Ronnie Junior’s 2nd sax, emanating through the cracked window of the Altona West Country Women’s Association Hall; where Madame Trixie La Belle persists with her Academie de Danse, despite having no student under the age of 73, and not many over it either. Miss H tried Trixie’s tap session once, on Madge’s exhortation one particularly drunken night at the Strangled Ferret, but gave it up, saying there was too much bump and not enough grind.  Poor Hortense has never gotten over Rotten Ronnie, although she would still like to, every now and again.

One does wonder if it would have all turned out differently, but for the outcome of the Nineteenth Century Balkan Conflicts, and the disappearance of the Vicar’s bicycle. Along with the Vicar’s wife and that snake hipped smooth tongued slicked back Italian bicycle salesman whose name I forget. It could all be a coincidence, like 2% of all scientists not believing in man-made climate change, and 2% of the population being certifiably barking mad.

And what, you may ask, of Madge? Well don’t – it does not bear thinking about, although you may have noticed the sun setting sooner these days. Madge is deeply concerned about Climate change: she has noticed that the sea level in Port Phillip Bay rises sharply every time she goes down there for a swim. Madge has her eye on those three bulk carriers anchored off the Altona West beach: Madge is not averse to a bit of bulk, and three ships full of deeply traumatised sailors is right up her… alley.

Don’t Turn Up Next Sunday!

At last, an exhortation that someone might take to heart. We are all off for Easter, so the will be no Session at the Leinster next week. The standard of music will remain the same. So toodlepip and see you at the Leinster on Sunday 15th.

Cheers
T