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

What’s on, Friday

The Royal Standard Hotel: Possibly the best session we have had to date. And that is from October 2016 if anyone is interested. Susy sang better and better, the Captain insisted on playing Bernie’s Tune, and Neil (guitar) seemed to enjoy having a solid rhythm section. Not a huge turnout but an appreciative crowd.

Donna and Steve Bray are featured this week, with Ivan, meself and the Captain dodging the brickbats. All rehearsals have been error free so far, so I am looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

Donna sings, Steve drums, with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 14th July 2017

The Royal Standard Hotel: Susy V is back

As promised, Susy V is back for another session, this time with Dave Taylor,(bass), Alan Richards (drums), meself (piano) the Captain (Belgian nose floot) , and Neil (guitar) soloing.

Susy V with the Captain Chaos Quartet, The Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William St, 7.00pm to 9.30pm, Friday 7th July 2017

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?
TW

Back to Normal

It would seem that the jammers have spread themselves all over the state, what with Castlemaine, Merimbula, Mornington and the rest.

So it was with a sense of coming back together that the stalwarts presented for the Gold Street Tea Roomes weekly bash once more.

The afternoon started innocently enough, with young Roger alternately sucking and blowing on his black satin finish medium sized saxophone. He looked positively Adonis like in his bebop with tight jeans. Of course, Adonis has been dead for around 2100 years, so it is not necessarily a good look after all.

Enough of the shenanigans, we all thought, and on with the ballad mangling.

Of which, although numbers were low, there was plenty to be had.

Jeff the pick of the saxes, Chloe and Susie singing, Brian providing a fine take on Georgia, the rest of us just mucking about really. A pleasantly relaxed jam session, nothing got broken, and nobody died.

Spiffin! See ya this week?

TW

Meanwhile, back at the Royal Standard Hotel…

Miss Joys will be singing this Friday, with Kip Dale on bass, Michelle Morrison on drums and meself on drugs. As we haven’t played together for quite a while (Ms Njambi keeps jetting off for lush gigs in Bali or something) , this should prove an interesting evening, as a pre cursor to the Festival.

Toodlepip!

Joys Njambi, Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, Friday 26th May, from 7.00pm.

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The Royal Standard Hotel: Joys Njambi…

Singing this Friday at the Royal Standard Hotel.
Last week, Nadira absolutely wore us (Dave Taylor, Greg Appleton, “Twang” Stewart and meself) out, flying around the playlist like a lunatic, but, hell, it was fun.

 

This Friday, Joys Njambi is back, with another set of old and new toons: probably the most experienced of the singers to have done the RSH thing, and a lot of fun… if she remembers her microphone. And a lot of fun if she doesn’t…singing anything from Bessie Smith to George Michael.

Kip Dale (bass), Michelle Morrison (drums), meself and Captain Sensible (saxophone) will be making up the orchestra.

Friday Night Live at…
The Royal Standard Hotel
333 William Street
North Melbourne
7.00 pm – 9.30pm Friday 31st March

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

Well, That Was Kind of Comfortable

Audience confused, of course, but the regular jammers set down for a regular jam, playing around with some fairly standard songs, with predictable results. Like a pair of old slippers, it was all decidedly comfortable – saxophonists (there were three) leading the charge in a born to rule kind of way, pianists (two remarkably good ones dropped in on the regulars (Curtis, the Don, and meself), and Findlay whacking away at the drums to the point of exhaustion, whereupon Il Duce took pity and spelled him for a bit. Matt Berg took over later on, played beautifully.

As has been the case in recent weeks, Bass players were a bit thin on the ground, with Ponytail Pete and Colonel T shouldering the load. Fermin, Brian and later on Chico all slotted in some nice guitar work.

It is afternoons like this that give you time for a yarn with a few old friends, the occasional social lubricant, and some light banter with a slightly manic Colonel T of the Fourth Punjab Light Horse (retd), who took it upon himself to direct proceedings from time to time. The results were predictable, although perhaps the rendition of Black Nile was a bit special, as it was spectacularly shredded, demolished and stomped into the carpet. Musicians who were there will know what I mean, and the funeral will be announced once the pieces have been gathered up and bagged.

The late Miss Smith turned up at her usual hour, and lifted the mood considerably – still basking in plaudits from her Friday night session. And Ponytail Pete got booked for his first session at the Royal Standard Hotel this week, so at least some of us are progressing well.

Kind, comfortable, what more could you want. Don’t answer that Hortense…

Melbourne Jazz Jammers – a bunch of musos getting together to play random toons. Sometimes we all play the same tune at the same time. Doesn’t make much difference.

Second opinions will be sought at The Leinster Arms, Gold Street Collingwood, Sunday 4th March 2017, at 4.00pm.

Captain Chaos goes bush

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Ben the Bouncer in full swing – Michael Findlay and Peter Ryan
are hiding in this photo, but they were still guilty…

And some of us fall for it… so there we were, at Captain Sensible’s bidding, dragging the dusty out of a motley collection of shooting brakes, charabancs and pickup trucks, taking over a muddy old corner under the trees at the Stables. Which is, as you would expect, an open air pizzeria in Malmsbury, set back from the old Calder, these days little more than a Boulevarde of broken drains… Continue reading

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

The Year in review: stop laughing, this is serious

It has been, as ever, an interesting 12 months – started brightly with several good jam sessions, then hit a sour note with the passing of Bob Vinard, although the session with so many of his mates was a beauty. Several jammers went to Inverloch, Halls Gap, and Ballarat for the Australian Jazz Convention. The extra 3B copy boy (ed: aka Ted)managed to join the cardiac club and we had to give up the Laika residency. Colonel T (retd) took the newsletter in a somewhat surreal direction for a while. Gill and Tina started to sound good. The middle of the year saw us all toddle off to Castlemaine – the usual suspects, plus debutante G and T sounding very good. Katerina singing up a storm, Il Presidente Doug on top of everything and still managing to play sessions, the Captain grinning from ear to ear all weekend as he should.

Come August, the newsletter fell in a hole as both Editor and extra 3B reserve copyboy went to Europe, and we had our smallest ever session with just 8 peeps turning up. About 8 weeks later, we had our second biggest session ever… and I seem to recall some hot sessions with the Clark mob, Ade Ishs and a few other monsters after that.

So …

The Most Indefatigable Award: Colonel T for playing a whole session – twice. We also considered him for playing the same solo more times than anyone else – 16 bars single note, 16 bars playing in octaves, and pull a face on arrival: played over bossa, bebop, swing, blues, and in every time signature and tempo.

Most Improved Drummer: Bruce. Have you been taking lessons?

Most Improved Singer: Katerina, but only because Annie was already good

Biggest Train Wreck: close run thing between the Curtis/Chaos Round Midnight debacle, and Annie Smith for whatever that godawful tune was. We’ll wait for the drug tests and award this one later.

Noisiest Saxophone: Laurie’s is bigger than Tony Wharton’s, so maybe this one goes to Laurie by a whisker. I am sure we will be able to enjoy Tony’s solos once he gets to Bangkok. At least they both play damn well.

And a big thanks to whoever gets all the gear set out, and also packs it up at the end of every session, along with wrangling the pack in between. I think his name is Col.