The troublemakers are all in Castlemaine, Il Duce goes awol, and a Gentlemanly assembly keeps itself nice at the Basement di Bungle.

No kidding:- Col, Kev and Sir Roger De Coverley’s ageing roue descendant all hit up the Castlemaine Jam (which was a good one by all accounts), a lot of jammers were away furiously arranging a Port Fairy set list or three, in the hope that they could fool at least some of their audience into thinking they know what they are doing; Il Duce, who quietly sets up the room each week, was in Queensland, and we had everything shipshape and Bristol fashion by about half an hour late…when a gentlemanly rump fronted a very quiet Leinster Arms for the obligatory afternoon of doing things differently.

And how different they were… Peter Garam produced the first firework of the day Continue reading

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.

Friday Night Live at the Royal Standard:

Katerina sang up a storm last week, and will be a hard act to follow…

Which is why we have Joys Njambi singing this Friday. Joys continues to develop her jazz repertoire, and is back at the Royal Standard Hotel – with Omar Cruz on bass, Michael Finlay on drums, TW on piano and Captain Chaos hisself on saxophone. Continue reading

Carrots?

It was always a feature of the Oscar Beetroot Band’s performances in the 1930’s that there would be no soloist, such prominence being unwelcome at a time when loud-mouthed demagogues were apt to assist a performance by hurling carrots at the stage. Why carrots? Nobody knows… Continue reading

Friday Night Live at the Royal Standard rolls on…

Last week started empty, and ended a happy riot. ‘Nuff said, great night.

This week, the stylish Katerina Myskova is back, with, maybe, some new songs in the repertoire, and some old hands (Ivan, The Captain, Bill Swannie, and meself) in the band.

If you haven’t heard La Myskova, it is time you did. A hot night is promised.

Actually this is also a rehearsal for a gig next Wednesday. Just kidding, it’s for a gig next Tuesday…

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Katerina Myskova with the Captain Chaos Quartet, Royal Standard Hotel, 333 William Street, North Melbourne – from 7.30 – 9.30pm. Friday 4th November

A dark and stormy night at the Royal Standard

It was raining so hard when we got there, that one would doubt the band turning up, let alone anyone else – but turn up they did, and the few hardy souls who braved the weather got to hear La Myskova at her best – another night of latin and swing, delivered with panache, with yet another different line up. Continue reading

From Somewhere inside the Leinster Arms

I was out there hiking in the less visited wilderness that is the North of Wilson’s Prom over the Easter long weekend. I don t have to do that again and when the trauma of pushing through 60 km of virgin scrub with 25 kgs strapped to my torso has receded like the tide, then I will be fit and semi sane enough to take on the Grampians during the ANZAC day long weekend.

Meanwhile, the sheltered workshop for the tone deaf, rhythmic dyslexics and do it yourself musical lobotomy patients resumed after the Easter break.

The Jam session started slowly Continue reading

Heartless Treatment of Jammers – He orta be asshamed!

Our more usual correspondent seems incapable this week of dictating his usual drivel to anyone in his team of personal attendants. This unfortunate state of affairs is liable to lead to unforeseen circumstances. It is rumoured that this absence of copy has been caused at least in part from switching his previous imbibulation from the glass to direct intravenous methods. This has left him somewhat more incapacitated than normal if normal is word that can be used in his current situation or even any situation. Mention of his current situation reminds me that he was recently seen swanning around multi-storey accommodation that overlooks Fawkner Park doubtless he was after one of the many suites they have there.

Ah well we will see what happens next week.

Oh! And break a leg Ted.

Ed

At The Laika Bar

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This week, the effervescent Jen Salisbury will be rustling up a few new toons, (and a few old ones), accompanied by Keaton (guitar), Andrew Putnam (the famous Putna Mondrum of Grand Hotel days) President Kuhn on Bass and meself on piano.

The Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street St Kilda, from 8pm on Friday 29th January

At The Laika Bar

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Meanwhile, at the Laika Bar, Shimona will be singing some stylish little jazz no’s, with meself on piano and President Kuhn on Bass. Magic singer. Having said that, the evening will now be a debacle. Or not. Only one way to find out.

Laika Bar, 9 Fitzroy Street St Kilda, from 8pm on Friday 22nd January

The Laika Bar

After last week’s smooth-as but poorly paid session with Sevil, this week Risa Khodani will be singing her eclectic mixture of obscure postwar Japanese Jazz, standards, ballads and whatever – and we will be debuting young jammer Alex on drums – only Grumpy Boris doesn’t know about that, so don’t tell anyone.
Risa Khodani CJF2015

If you feel like dropping in, sitting by the fire with a glass of something, and pretending you know what Risa is banging on about when she sings in Japanese, we would love to see you!

Risa Khodani, Ted Woollan (p) Doug Kuhn (b), Young Alex (d) at The Laika Bar 9 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Friday 28th August, from 8.00pm onwards

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival

The Castlemaine Jazz Festival: Annual General Meeting: Sunday 6th September at the Cumberland Hotel, Castlemaine ,1.00pm

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This should be an interesting opportunity for Castlemaine locals to put their hand up for a role on, beside or beneath the Committee. Doug Kuhn, Col Garrett, John Hannah, Rob Hall and meself have nominated to go round again, and we are hopeful of getting a couple of locals to join us. Anyone from the Jammers is welcome to attend, and members are encouraged to nominate, provided you are prepared to put in around 400 hours, and drive 2,750km for the meetings.

There will be the monthly Jam Session afterwards, at 3.30pm.