Jam Session No 1,034 goes according to plan

One can never be sure, when sauntering into the Gold Street Gossip Shop, watering hole to the gentry, quite what the plan will be. Will the jammers, in the spirit of inconsistency, play some jazz? Will Madge from Altona run amok, or sit out the back with a house port, a sailor, and a catering pack of Winnie blues? Will Hortense get lucky, always assuming she will be there, which she might be?

Last Sunday’s not so little jam session (it was crowded again), provided none of the answers, of course. It had promised to be a run of the mill affair, Continue reading →

The Castlemaine Jam Session: Free beer at bar prices!

It quite escapes me why we are promoting this – Ken Turnbull seemed keen, and why not are the main reasons that come to mind. The Castlemaine Jazz Jam, originally promoted by the Jammers to provoke interest in the Jazz Festival, is on its way to becoming a local institution in its own right.

You might like to consider a jolly up the Calder on October 2nd – the first Sunday of the month, and a quick polish of the chops with the local musos. Tends to get more of an audience than the Melbourne Jam, and plenty of playing time. You can always come back to the Lunatic Soup Lounge and Gossip shop the following week, and tell us all about it.

https://www.facebook.com/jazzforeveryone

gets you all the details.

Jam Session, cheap booze and Broken Promises

Last Sunday’s Jam was the third biggest turn out of musos we have ever had. Props to Rod and Bette back on a brief trip from some sweaty dive north of Borneo) for dragging so many through the door, and sorry you had to shout all afternoon to maintain the constant banter to which you are accustomed.

So, about those loud saxaphones and rattly ol’ drummers. No point in telling either to turn it down, as they are all industrially deaf. Can’t imagine why… Continue reading →

A Busy Day at the Ol’ Leinster Basement De Blues

Quite what has happened to the Jams of late is likely to remain a mystery. Suffice it to say that, after a few weeks struggling out of the doldrums of mediocrity, last Sunday’s session was positively frenetic, with previously unheard of things going on, like really good pianists turning up, and the entire ensemble making noises that even the cognoscenti would begrudgingly recognise as somewhat jazz… Continue reading →

JAZZ GENRES EXPLAINED

It is high time someone explained the different genres in Jazz. Meanwhile…

THE BLUES  Probably the most basic influence on jazz, comprised of no more than three chords and the perfidy of women. All of it sung with a fake sincerity, often in a fake American accent to make it sound authentic. Apparently.

JAZZ STANDARDS The term is an ironic one, describing the constitutional inability of your average muso to play the same thing twice. There are actually few standards amongst Jazz Musicians, and all of them are low.

Jazz standards use four or even five chords, and were written some time between 1933 and1948, a time when most sensible people would be staying home to watch the advertisements on pay TV. The genre is defined by the use of walking tenths in the bass line, or staggering quarters if the bottleshop will still give you credit; and by the soloist swinging – preferably from a rope attached to the rafters, but I digress.

BEBOP  Another ironic term, describing the constitutional inability of your average bebop muso to play the same thing once. If you slow it down and play Bebop backwards, it doesn’t sound any worse. Spooky, or what!

POST BEBOP  This genre cannot be called ironic at all, as most adherents struggle with words of more than one syllable. It does not refer to jazz music that has been learnt by mail order. No one has ever listened to the end of a post bebop composition – because it doesn’t have one, it just fades away when the jazz club goes broke.

FREE JAZZ  Jazz that is so dissonant and repetitive that no one will pay for it. The entire enrolment of University Jazz Courses is said to be working on extending this to the point where people will pay for it (on condition that it stops immediately.) If successful, they will be able to go and get a job teaching trombone in a High School one year earlier than the previous intake (see note below). Progress is a wondrous thing.

SHOWTUNES  Ah, the most sublime music of all – saccharine romantic ballads. Showtunes have a timeless quality, at least when played by the Jammers, and we only pick them to see if we can get Colonel T off the stage.

Footnote: The enrolment at a University is called an intake. Each year around Melbourne about 100 Students are taken in by Jazz courses. Only to discover that there are no jobs at the end of it, other than teaching trombone in a High School. Far better to have studied Accounting or Quantity Surveying. There are no jobs in those disciplines either, but at least the pay is better.