“the more things change, the more they stay the same”

Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Well, he never turned up at a Jam Session anyway. It has been some time since I last wrote for the Jammers Newsletter, being rudely interrupted by the need for a little light surgery. Wandered in to the Gold Street Gossip Shop , exhausted after a long (for me) waddle down Johnston Street, at 4.00pm sharp, to be greeted by a guitarist (1), a keyboard, the good Captain with his saxophone, no drums, no bass and an exceptionally good drummer (2).

Greetings to Glen (3) at the bar, a sip or two of Carlton Daft, idle gossip with Noel (4), a few minutes spent resetting the piano to normality whilst we secured suitable things for young Alan to hit, then the motley bunch decided to set to.

There followed a delightful hour of ballads and blues… and a coupla quiet solos (God Bless the Child) from the Captain that were as good as any I have heard from him, a fine version of All Blues, possibly due to the absence of instruction from Colonel T, all lapped up by an appreciative audience.

This couldn’t last of course, and once the three saxophonists who came later had amused themselves by all playing at once to see who could play loudest, it didn’t. And as they had no bassist to interfere, and there was limited sport in to be had drowning out a neophyte flautist (sorry) left us wondering if they could match the tone of Calamatta instead. They could not. Peter Garam (piano) led a lively set.

There was a real happy vibe to the joint, nevertheless. Everyone got in on the music making, with the duet by Noel and trombonist Mark capping off a session which was by this time starting to descend towards evening. Steve Bray turned up with a drum kit (and played damn well). Naturally the Glen called it off at 7.00pm, but not before another rendition of All Blues with Malcolm’s organ.

What I learnt from all this is

1) We need to provide more space and opportunity for individual soloists rather than them getting in each others way, 2) That the best sessions often have the weirdest combination of musos 3) That live music is best aimed at entertaining an audience

I rather think the motley bunch had more fun, by turning up early and playing regardless. Hope they all come again, next week, when the music may be dreadful, dubious or different but will definitely be fun.

Nice to be back: toodlepip! TW


1) Guitarist Neil played most of the afternoon. He is a better guitarist than he thinks he is. 2) Indefatigable Alan Richards collected a cowbell, maraccas, a chilled wine stand and a metal chair. 3) Glen, purveyor of fine drumkits to the gentry, who is closing the Leinster in September 4) Noel, pianist and saxophonist, who knows more than all of us about music, other than Colonel T perhaps.

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