2014 Inaugural Jam Session: Musicians turn up shock

In a rare departure for Jam Sessions, several real musicians turned up, and people started playing jazz. It is, admittedly, early days, but I can’t see this radical departure from the norm persisting for too long. Oh well, ’twas fun while it lasted . . .

Not one, but two Clarks fronted – Roger and the better looking, much younger one, Rory. And between them, they made a number of others sound pretty damn good.

Props to Bishop Bennett for a long stint on both bass and guitar (not, mercifully, at the same time.) Quite how anyone can carry on a conversation, laugh his head off and still play fabulously is a mystery. The Biennett himself could not explain it.

Alternated with Jess (double bass), who wore her fingers to a frazzle trying to keep up with Chelly Parisi on Devil May Care. Um, who else: Ali of course on his silver sax, a long stint from Glen on drums, Karen deciding she would sing Amazing Grace after all, and did it nicely, Captain Chaos and Eric de Canada swapping saxaphone licks, Dylan (?) from Queensland dropping by to  play guitar, the married Sebastien on drums, Kay from Darwin in fine form, proud owner of a Yamaha Digital Electric Grand, no side car attached, and  welcome back. And Bob, who doesn’t read the newsletter, but I tell him he is mentioned, and that seems to suffice. Surprise of the day was Kevin who looks like he should know better by now, but has a smooth as voice and was a delight to listen to.

Good grief, there was even an audience: POCKOTL, Rod, Bette, and the usual slew of lightly fried locals.

All in all, a spiffin’ little jaunt, and we will do it again, always assuming someone turns up.

The Leinster Arms: Roger sweeps the floor, …

Black sax and boogie. After a willing opening set from the headlining Clark, there were cameo performances from Chelly, some sweet sax from an ever improving Ali, Mr T and Stan on bass, Ben on guitar, Danilo  and Sebastien on drums, latecomers Kevin (nice guitar playing) and Ann da Floot, as well as a first time dip from Celeste, and a lively set from Bob (see below). Captain Chaos in the chair, and all is well with the world.

Hortense was quite possibly lurking in the background. She has been a bit down on her luck of late, but she did think things were looking up – until she went on a blind date last week.  Came home with  the dog..

Madge from Altona has decided to get her driving licence.  The vicar’s wife was most concerned, and impressed upon Madge that you can’t be too careful when driving a Datsun 120B with the windows missing. True to form, Madge wasn’t , and the combination Altona West Bus Stop and Gospel Revival hall was duly flattened in a slightly deviant reverse park manouevre. Luckily only the Vicar was in it at the time as they haven’t had much of a congregation since 1972 .

Stick to the black notes – they’re cheaper


The Leinster Jam Session: It’s getting out of hand

Now listen, Children, this is for your own good. If you persist in turning up to the Jam session in such large numbers, we will have no alternative but to set up another one, to distract the riff raff. A huge turnout this week, and much good music as a result.

Mr T, again:  Amongst the 25 or so players was yet another standout session from Mr T on the bass. I did ask him whether he was, in fact, on drugs as this was the most likely explanation for his sudden penchant for playing in time, with no small degree of musicality, and making the others sound good. Mr T assured me he was not on drugs, so the only other explanation is that he must have given them up.

Other musos included the Captain, Gentleman John Curtis, Tess (vocals) Amanda (blast from past,  vocals) Deb, Bob, Sam, Elliott, Ben, Yassin, Trent, Keef, BendigoLee (tpt) Robert (tpt) Alex (vocals, first time, great), Matthew (?) tpt, Roger the Clarke,  Tim (saxes), Simon, Andrew, Danilo, James and Iacomo (and have I ever spelt that wrong!) all really good on drums.

Such was the turnout, we have broken a record: the most trumpets at a jam session. We don’t break enough records these days, as I am reminded every time I hear Watermelon Man

Re Paragraph One above

Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you: THE INAUGURAL CASTLEMAINE JAZZ JAM SESSION will be held this Sunday May 5th at the Comma, Hargreaves Street, Castlemaine, 3.30pm start. No, I don’t know where that is either, just ask when you get to Castlemaine – you will find the locals enormously helpful, and at least one of the five sets of directions you are offered will be reasonably accurate.

Ruby Rogers will be putting in a guest appearance, along with meself and a few others.  This is part of the ongoing campaign to set up a Jazz Bash in Castlemaine next year. We are hoping for a few locals to join in. Maybe even Igor from Vladivostok, possibly the coolest Jazz muso on the planet.

Melband: http://www.ausband.com.au/modules.php?name=Forums or just Google it, and read the ads under “Musicians Wanted”. We are getting a number of musos from this source at present.

Jack: He doesn’t just play Trombone, you know…
Singing. Every time we hear Jack singing, we can’t help thinking that his singing has never been better. Sadly.

Gossip From Around the Traps:

PA system: Uncle Glen has a new one, and it works mighty fine except when Uncle Glen is making adjustments, which is, on a good day, only about 97% of the time… Just kidding, but it really has made a difference to the sound quality and clarity in the room. Now we can all  hear who is out of tune….

Drum Stuff: Suddenly there is a whole new bunch of bashers and brushers coming along – mainly Tom, Danilo, James, and Fred (percussion) For months all we have had has been the irrepressible Al Papa Jazz, who may not come from a different era, but often comes from a different time… But I digress: we have even had drum and bass extended choruses these last few weeks. Tom and Danilo have both played sessions at the Grand Hotel. It is entirely thanks to the drummers that we no longer have to listen to the kind of rubbish that the rest of us come up with – they have thoughtfully drowned it out…

Saxophonic delights: Captain Chaos goes from strength to strength these days, generally without buying a ticket.  His predilection for changed tempos and plain awkward toons led to a somewhat disjointed start to the Sunday arvo session. Things gradually improved, Frank and Mr T swapping guitar and bass duties, Sir Roger de Coverley (ageing roue from Richmond, and noted sot if you count lemonade) only prepared to play if I promised not to say anything about his close relative R Clark, which I wont of course. Anyway, the rest of us resisted the urge to play Four in 5/4 time, and a good time was had by all.

Pianissimo: We’ll include Shawn in this one, although he also mellodicated on occasion, whilst  Noriyo, Bob and meself all surreptitiously turned up the volume and/or rolled our eyes at the indiscretions of the front line…

Singers: it’s not just a sowing machine: Such of the drumbashers as were present (James and Fred) then combined for a lively chorus of Nature Boy in a key that only a mother could love, and singer Kay, back from two weeks of ******** in the top end wrapped her tonsils around several numbers, to the general delight of the crowd who had by then variously fallen asleep, run out of gossip and resorted to making it up, got confused and left, or were lying prostrate amongst the instrument cases sniffing wine off the carpets… or not as the case may be.

Ain’t life Grand! Well it is on Fridays and Saturdays. Singers Kay  Forever and Ann Smiff have crooned smooth sessions at the Grand Hotel recently , and last week was the turn of Miss Julie Stewart with a slightly funkier bluesier set. Upcoming sessions will feature Kay/Noriyo (Friday)and Amy Jaulin (Saturday) Quite who gets up after that is yet to be determined… but if anyone is prepared to ply Uncle Colin or Miss Kay with honeyed words and cases of fine liquor, I am sure they can be included on the list….

Such fun really – see yez at a jam session soon?