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Salt and Pepper

Jam session review for Sunday 12th November 2023

It is with some trepidation that we embark on the Weekly Drivel. Madge, who was out fishing for kippers in her wellies and winceyette at the time, denied all responsibility for the rather unexciting lockdown of the entire Optus 'phone network, preferring to point the finger at Hortense, who clearly does not know how to drive a backhoe; or perhaps to the Altona West Pigeon Fanciers Club, who first raised the issue of rising birdseed cost that may have been at the bottom of the entire debacle.

As ever, perhaps, I digress. Last week's Jam Session, I hear you ask? Well, it was a salt and pepper affair, lurching from the bland to the hot – and back again several times over, with some well seasoned musos in attendance. .. Another session somewhat given over to the singers – first up, Ruby, with Girl From Ipanema in a key that only a mother could love – for the record, Jobim wrote it in Db, Stan Getz popularised it in F, and it was one of those songs that pops up in C or Eb from time to time, but E major, dripping in sharps?

Kevin counted the other singers and left. Which is a shame because he was clutching some readable charts, and singers who can count are to be treasured. Elly sang Everybody's Talkin'. She insisted on not being mentioned in the same sentence as the words trainwreck, debacle, fiasco or disaster. Well, I'm lost for words.

Then Rose essayed The Thrill is Gone. It certainly had, but for the record, she ironed it out totally the following day.

Most of the singers struggled to be heard at times, but turning the vocals up only results in the guitars, drums, bass, piano, and saxophones all playing louder. Nevertheless, Lisbeth showed what a good blues voice she has, and gets better and better. Then newcomer Paul, who played some sax for warm-ups, got up and sang hot – the two of them the best of the singers on the day.

Of the others – Charley came all the way from LA to play drums, San scorched a coupla toons on guitar, as did Rob Broatch. Neville (newly appointed Band Master pro tem for the Gypsy Djangos) as smooth as ever. The Hirsh managed to mutilate Georgia, before entirely redeeming himself by singing On The Sunny Side of the Street . Followed by Monsignor Perri in fine form. Aaron played an extended bass session – and drove things along nicely, as a good bassist should. The ever debonair Mr Curtis (piano) got to accompany lots of singers, saxophonists Jane and Ian play better every time they come, Mike Holt good enough to score a mention, and the Good Captain headed the band with aplomb. No, I don't know what that means either, but it all sounded good..

Sound: 4/10

Musicianship: 7/10

Sitting around drinking beer and gossiping: 9/10



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