April starts with a whimper – NO JAM SESSION ON EASTER SUNDAY good lord!

I walked in to the Gold Street Gossip shop, bang on time, to be greeted by a fine selection of old friends – Marg and Mark Allen brung along a table or two, Steve Bray setting up his drums, Land lord Glen in jovial mood and a bunch of regular musos. Seems like the return to form of the jam of the previous week, and then some. Only thing lacking was a train wreck or two, but we can fix that later. Continue reading →

“the more things change, the more they stay the same”

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Well, he never turned up at a Jam Session anyway. It has been some time since I last wrote for the Jammers Newsletter, being rudely interrupted by the need for a little light surgery. Wandered in to the Gold Street Gossip Shop , exhausted after a long (for me) waddle down Johnston Street, at 4.00pm sharp, to be greeted by a guitarist (1), a keyboard, the good Captain with his saxophone, no drums, no bass and an exceptionally good drummer (2). Continue reading →

Jam Sunday 29th Nov from Taariq

What with a large contingent of usual jazz Jammers away at the Grampians Jazz Festival (and possibly also away with the fairies) the army reserve B Team, straight out of a B movie, stood in and ensured that the show must go on at the Leinster Arms Hotel on Sunday.

Such was the low turnout that after Terry sat in on drums, with this scribe on electric bass and then a lengthy stint on piano, Ivan came to the rescue on Double Bass and your humble correspondent even had a chance to brush up on the drums ( yes a drumming pun).

Fermin and Neil rotated on guitar and newcomer Craig also joined in on guitar on songs such as “Milestones”.

Glenn the Publican sat in on drums including a fast version of “Just Friends”. Continue reading →

Jazz Jam report 22 Oct 2017

from Taariq on location

The sheltered workshop for the tone deaf and rhythmically challenged held yet another Jam session on Sunday. A modest turn out on a slightly cool spring day saw many of the usual suspects mangle some of the tried and tested, (sorely tested) material yet again.

This scribe started on piano, albeit a little rusty because you can’t take a piano with you when you go for spring cross country skiing Continue reading →

Jam Session: Brilliant solos, flawless performances

But that was somewhere else. The chill days of winter are upon us, and the same log in the Leinster fireplace as last year is burning cheerfully. Given the gloomy old day, the Chopper Read Ballroom took a while to warm up. Curtis, Happysnaps Findlay, Noel, the Captain, Neil the G and meself opened the batting and it went downhill from there. Continue reading →

Jazz Studies – Individual Tuition

I have a couple of vacant spots in my teaching schedule which may appeal to dedicated students wishing to pick particular areas for focussed study.

  • Where? – I teach at the MLC Music Academy, Barkers Road Kew, and the
  • times available – for lessons of duration either 45 or 60 minutes, weekly or fortnightly –  lie between
  • 4.00 p.m and 5.30 p.m Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

Subject areas can include:

  • Functional harmony – major and melodic minor scales; cadences
  • Other scale types
  • Improvisation and melodic patterns
  • Jazz articulation and phrasing
  • Piano voicings
  • Ear training.

Interested ??- email me – Noel Matthews – at brenol@optusnet.com.au.

More on Stan Getz from Noel

Excerpts from the book “Jazz At Ronnie Scott’s” by Kitty Grime: publishers Robert Hale London
Stan Getz: Ballads intrigue me. I let the mood do what it wants. I never intend to do anything, it just comes out as the piece dictates. You’ll notice that I never even close my eyes, but my mind is on the music. Everything comes from within, no images are conjured up that are based on what I see.

There are some ballads on which I don’t play anything but the melody – Lush Life” is one of those – the melody is so beautiful it says everything for me.

I rarely feed off another instrument in the group, because I never hear just a single piece in the rhythm section. I hear the entire underpinning; piano, bass and drums. When I improvise, I do it on top of them collectively, not individually. I subconsciously work on three levels simultaneously – my inner feelings, the tune and the rhythm section.

Ronnie Scott: During those moving, poignant ballads of his you could have heard a pin drop. And if anyone had dropped a pin, he’d have got a look from Stan’s baby-blue eyes which would have felled a polar bear.


From Noel:

I have yet to see/hear ANY big band (local or otherwise) feature a sax section that does a “Supersax” chorus entirely from memory . . . and it’s no fluke, if you want to go further and check out their take on Four. This band is uniformly good across all sections! And they seem to be enjoying their work at the same time? Don’t miss it!

the Youtube link is http://youtu.be/IbDx1qvbtDA


From Noel: Sometimes I uncover a clip so amazing

Some quite rare Bill Harris trombone from about 9 minutes in is an added bonus . . .
I can’t believe it’s true until I’ve  watched the whole thing myself. It starts with a duet between Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins (which we’ve seen before). Then to pile riches on riches Lester Young pulls up a chair and as if that weren’t enough Harry Edison and Ella Fitzgerald get on the bandstand. To round things out Flip Philips smokes on tenor and Hank Jones, Ray Brown, and Buddy Rich hold down the rhythm section. Can it get any better?


Jazz on the Tube
P.S. Please share Jazz on the Tube with your friends and colleagues. If they like jazz, they’re going to love this.