Castlemaine Jazz Festival 2015

Probably…

By the time you read this, we should have an elected Committee for the 2015 Castlemaine Jazz Festival, with a number of volunteers from the last bash already putting their hand up to do it all again.

If you would like to be involved, and the authorities are prepared to let you out of the Institution for the weekend, we are looking at June 6th – June 7th – the Queen’s Birthday Weekend. Drop an e-mail to melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com

The Umbrella Bar: A class act

This week, Anne Hayres will be singing, accompanied by Daniel Pickard (bass), meself (piano) and the Captain, on an assortment of saxaphones, clarinets and possibly bagpipes.

You may be thinking that Miss H is way too classy for a joint like this, and you may be right, but we are all looking forward to swinging the tits off her favourite toons and generally having a good time.

Which we undoubtedly did last week, when Angela Strickland vocalled up a storm in front of a smallish audience, and Jason weaved some wonderful lines on his tenor. Scarey good!

Anne Hayres at The Umbrella Bar: Friday Night Captain Chaos Sessions: 338 – 340 Glenhuntly Road, Friday 26th September, 7.30pm – 10pm,

Melbourne Sunday Jazz? Nah, Noisy, Footy in the street

Had Hortense got up and danced, as she has been known to do, the odd flamenco on a busted table in the corner, it could have hardly lowered the tone of the Sunday Arvo Ballad Manglers weekly get together, at least for the first hour or two: a succession of cacophonous solos (in saxaphone-speak apparently, that means not less than two of the little darlings competing for attention) followed by some ill-judged attempts at a few jazz standards, with the occasional vocalist thrown to the wolves to liven things up. All metaphorically of course.

A fine day for it, and of the 19 musos  who fronted, at least half were at some stage  standing outside, to avoid the noise and watch the street footy for a while. Apparently there is something in Carlton Daft that encourages grown men to run barefoot in the street, whilst rearranging panelwork with a dusty old Sherrin. But as evening drew near, and the cold forced us all back inside, there was no escaping the dreadful racket. It had not gotten any worse, only louder. By the time Bob and I left things had got a little better, but I am reliably informed they got much better after that, and the remnant crew had a fine old time to well past eight.

Apart from the usual idle banter, malicious gossip, gentle character assassination and occasional social lubricant, it was good to see Peter Cole blowing the rust out of his sax, Kevin crooning, Gerald, Chico and the lads having a dip, Doug Kuhn (wooden bass) reduced to exhaustion, and some lively singing from Cee Jay.

So, we will probably do it all again. Except  the Sherrin bit, a cricket ball is so much more effective. Summer is coming! Yay!

 

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain falls over.

The Sunday Jam Session: Don’t play You Are The Sunshine of My Life until you have checked the weather forecast.

If, as seems very unlikely, Will (guitar), Daniel (electric bass), Bob (piano), Gentleman John Curtis (piano), Paul Phillips and Spike Tiernan (drums), Colonel Taariq (everything),  Chico (guitar), Christine Manetta (vocals), Bruce (drums), Col (chaos), The Divine Miss Smith (vocals), Sonia (vocals, but in French), Chelly (vocals but not in French), Jason (saxaphone and hat), Nicholas (Chilean saxaphone), Tina (piano), Doug (double bass and haircut) all turned up to hear me play piano, they were mainly disappointed, as I hardly got a look in with that lot all playing.

Which was a good thing, because the standard of music they produced was remarkably high, and intermittently consistent…

With one glaring exception: an absolutely splendidly cocked up version of Stevie Wonder’s You are The Sunshine of My Life. People a good deal more sensible than the assembled jammers would have called it a day at about the third bar in, retired hurt, resorted to strong drink and sought medical advice.. Fortunately they persisted, and gave us a most memorable trainwreck. Sheer bliss from start to debacle, and the audience’s collective faith in humanity restored.

Nevertheless, if Jam Sessions were all about good music, this would have been one of the best.

Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain falls over.

The Umbrella Bar: Angela Strickland tries to keep up…

After last weeks Full House (every table booked) for a swinging little night of Kay Young standards, Angela has a task ahead of her. She will be ably supported by Jason Chalmers (sax), Daniel Pickard (bass), Simon Atkinson (drums) and meself and Col trying to keep up.

The Umbrella Bar is getting an increasing number of regulars, and if you feel like a night of vocals ranging through standards, ballads, blues and pop, casual sax and chaos out the back, drop in .’twill all be fun…

Angela Strickland grooves The Umbrella Bar: Friday Night Captain Chaos Sessions: 338 – 340 Glenhuntly Road, Friday 19th September, 7.30pm – 10pm,

The Sunday Jam Session: Four and a Half

Bob and I arrived about half past four, to find Ivan and Andy Moon averaging four and a half strings per double bass, The Captain calling fours somewhere between four and five beats in, the Curtis deftly avoiding the drummers of lesser ilk, Spike, Monty and the Phillips all playing drums with panache, Chico really good on guitar, and Richard taking over the evening keys after four and a half pints. Or thereabouts.

The numbers were, as befits Fathers Day, somewhat down on recent weeks, but by the time Gerald stepped up to the piano, it was setting for a session of some musical deftness. No, Hortense, I said deftness… oh, never mind.

Had the Captain and Ali not sung, all would have been disturbingly good, but character must re-assert itself at some stage, and their vocal performances left the audience remarking on what fine saxaphone players they are. The impeccable Chris Le Bon showed them how it should be done – scatting The A Train in fine style.

I amused myself by booking everyone in sight for a session at the Umbrella Bar – other than singers who were entirely absent (see previous para).

A pleasant afternoon, made exceptional, I would think, by the complete absence of train wrecks. Yard Bird Suite was so good, someone asked for it again. Or maybe they didn’t recognise it the first time, and it wasn’t so good after all?

So, four and a half hours later, they all packed up and went home, suitably refreshed to face another week in the corporate saltmine, or whatever floats your boat.

We will do it all again next Sunday, of course; and it will, of course, be predictably unpredictable.

I may be there. The Captain may be there, We may stick to the black keys (they are cheaper) and you should consider being there too.

Sunday Arvo Jam Session, The Leinster Arms, Gold Street, Collingwood every Sunday, 4.00 until the Captain falls over.
TW

Da Festivals is Coming!

Wangaratta Jazz Festival

Avid readers of this august journal will know that, for the last two years, Captain Chaos has organised a “fringe” event at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (October 31st to November 3rd)- an opportunity for anyone to get up and boogie in a couple of different venues. The Captain, who, sensibly, refuses to learn from past experience, is doing it again. We already have a rhythm section organised and if any jammers (soloist, singers, drummers, whatever) feel like throwing their hat in the ring, send us an e-mail (melbournejazzjammers@gmail.com)

The other Festival we should mention is the Castlemaine Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Melbourne Jazz Jammers, with meself and the Captain currently responsible for 50% of the cockups, but in a good way… Queen’s Birthday Weekend June 6th – June 7th 2015. Of which, more anon.