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

While We were Away…

I thought the experiment with the invisible ink went rather well last week. For those of you who missed it, this was Ben the Banker’s report on the previous Jam Session.

Here’s some bullet points from jazz jam on Sunday. Headline: A good jam resulted after a very slow start.
I arrived at 4:15 and no one was there. Glen had already set everything up and had to head down to Hastings to visit his in laws.
4:30 Katerina, a singer from Czech, arrived with her partner.
4:45 Taariq arrived with his amp.
5:00 A piano player arrived. Name??? never seen him before.

Played a good set of music with that line up for 45 minutes. Lots of space, almost civilised (perhaps because there were no horn players or drummers ). I even considered asking Taariq to turn up during this bracket because the bass was so quiet. Katerina’s singing was fantastic.
Japanese girl arrived with trumpet and did a good job of playing some standards.
Deb and Bob arrived and played some tunes.
Melinda arrived and announces “are you running that jam Ben??? in disbelief (no respect). wow you’ve come so far (mocking). Thanks for the support Mel!!
Mel then played drums, in time, for 6 or so songs.
Good Sax player arrived. Name????
Mel sang some songs, Sebastian arrived and we all turned up.
Then a guy arrives with some congas…..it was well and truly a jam by this stage.

Not sure what happened from here on, perhaps Deb or Bob know……was still going at 8:00 when I had to leave!!!!!!!

Clearly the lad has grasped the essentials of reportage, as typified by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers Newsletter

(a) Insult everyone equally
(b) Never let the facts intrude upon your story
(c) Be inconsistent, possibly untruthful, but above all, vague

Now, where was I . . . ah yes, the Lunatic Soup Lounge Jam De Jour, Sunday March 5th (ed: ?? perhaps April) edition. It all went off without a hitch, which is a good thing, as last time we had a hitch no-one knew what to do with it. Ably led by the Captain, and with Doug ”Haircut” Kuhn laying down a solid bass all arvo,we could hardly go wrong… hardly.

Highlights included Keef the Teef back from the dentist and playing the floot… rather well; Bob Vinard on keys, the Hirsh on drums, followed by M. Sebastian, a welcome return from Borthwick the Bass, Harry on bongoes, and a late cameo from the Divine Miss Smith, accompanied by Richard (keys) plus a whole bunch of others, all of whom were young, glamorous, talented and modest, and shall, therefore, remain anonymous.

Stick to the Black keys, they are on special . . .
TW

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!

Al Papa Jazz

As we know Al Papa Jazz, aka Alan White, passed away last Thursday. He has not been forgotten as the large crowd assembled at the Fawkner Memorial Park in Sydney Road attested. He missed his birthday by a few days but his family ensured that all and sundry could farewell him in an appropriate manner. This was duly continued at the Leinster Arms where the taps ran free and surely Alan would have enjoyed himself immensely had he been there. I am told he would have especially enjoyed the free beer!

Once again Alan, this is for you, . . . and the girls Julie and Annie sang Summertime ably supported by Mike (drums), Kevin (guitar), Frank (bass) and John (piano).

We will miss you.

The Melbourne Jazz Jammers

Why Jazz?

This week in our series talking to Melbourne Jazz Jammers, Mike Hirsh and Colin Garrett give us a bit of an insight into what Jazz means for them.

Mike Hirsh
In terms of being a Jazz musician the reason I like jazz music is because it commands the best technique that a performer can give in both exploring and practicing ones  chosen instrument.

To me, Jazz music playing epitomizes not only the techniques to master, but also contrives people to communicate in a way that only progressive and improvising musicians can do, which can be both inspiring, enjoyable and educational.  I also believe Jazz jamming is a great way to form long lasting friendships, which I believe is an essential element of our interpersonal social development, from which groups and ensembles can be encouraged to perform to our local audiences and indeed to audiences around the globe.
Mike Hirsh,  Drummer Producer   

Colin Garrett
Tell me why you like jazz?:  I like most types of music but jazz offers far more variety of sounds and rhythms and I enjoy the emotions that can be transferred through improvisation when either listening or performing.

Why do you like the jam sessions?: Another outlet for  playing and the challenge of playing new pieces that are presented by performers each week. Apart from playing, I get heaps out of the social involvement with both the players and the listeners. Life was quiet dull before getting involved.

What you are planning this year?: To continue to work on becoming a better player and particularly improve my reading skill. Will attend three jazz festivals (Halls Gap, Inverloch and Merimbula) where lots of great things musically can also happen.

Favourite players?: My favourite players, singers groups has varied over my life time. Currently favourite saxophonist: Joe Henderson , locally Peter Mitchell
pianist Keith Jarrett , locally Andrea Keller
male vocalist Kurt Elling, Locally Hayden Jones
female vocalist Renee Marie, Locally Kristin Barradi
Colin Garrett