Monthly Archives: June 2012

Harry Manx at the Caravan Music Club: once the VJC’s home ground

Harry Manx

A COUPLE of years ago we were lucky enough to hear the amazing Harry Manx at the Thornbury Theatre. Harry is a Canadian blues/folk singer guitarist whose mixture of western and eastern music has entranced me since I first heard him on radio maybe a decade ago. He plays many different guitars and banjo, but most fascinating is his use of the 12 stringed Indian slide guitar, the mohan veena.

Born in the Isle of Man (hence his stage name?) Manx grew up in Canada but has lived in Europe, Japan and India (where he studied the mohan veena for 5 years while touring with his teacher).

He is a consummate performer who holds the audience spell bound. Often playing and singing his own compositions, here Harry performs Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” on the mohan veena. Isn’t that magic!

All this is leading up to the announcement that Harry will be playing at the Caravan Music Club (at the Oakleigh-Carnegie RSL – once the venue for the Victorian Jazz Club’s Saturday night gigs) 95-97 Drummond Street, Oakleigh this coming Thursday, 28 June at 8pm. Call 0411 569 180 for further information.

And so as to convince you of Harry’s enormous talent, here’s one of his own compositions – “Bring That Thing”. I’m not so sure about the video clip, but then you can just shut your eyes.

They all laughed when I played the kazoo: but how about Andy Schumm on comb and newspaper

ONE of the best, (if not THE best) jazz blogs in the world , Jazz Lives, had a recent post about multi-instrumentalist Andy Schumm making possibly his first public performance on the comb and newspaper. Here Andy plays “Girls Like You Were Meant For Boys Like Me” at a Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival in Racine, Wisconsin in March 2012.

Some of us may have been wise, lucky enough to hear Andy and drummer, Josh Duffee during their highly successful Australian tour in April 2011. Under the banner of The Hot Jazz Alliance, Andy and Josh together with four local talents – Michael McQuaid, Jason Downes, John Scurry and Leigh Barker – visited 3 states and the ACT. Melbourne’s share of the goodies was at the Paris Cat on April 7th and the Bix Lives concert at Melba Hall, University of Melbourne on April 8th. I haven’t got any footage of either of these gigs, but here’s the group playing “Somebody Stole My Gal” on Wednesday 20 April at Club Cursley, near Cobargo, NSW.

Lineup: Michael McQuaid, clarinet; Andy Schumm, cornet; Jason Downes, alto sax; John Scurry, guitar; Leigh Barker, bass and Josh Duffee, drums.

Bell Memories from Lew and Mary Green

Lew and Mary Green

LEW and Mary Green of the Original Salty Dogs are pictured here at the Clayton RSL during their visit to Melbourne in March/April 2011. Lew sent the following tribute to Graeme Bell and some favourite photographs.




Jane,     Thank you for letting us know about Graeme’s passing. He was a great guy and good friend. I’ve attached a couple of recent pictures and a few others of interest. Lew Green

Graeme with Mary Green

Lew Green with Graeme, Coogee 2011

Graeme Bell Painting of Roger Bell

Portrait of Graeme by Pat Qua

Bell Band returns to Sydney in 1948 after their triumphant European tour

Graeme Emerson Bell, AO, MBE (1914-2012): the King of Australian jazz is dead but the legend will live

GRAEME Bell died today, 13 June 2012 at the age of 97. Recognised world-wide as the founder of the jazz revolution in Australia, Graeme Bell and his Australian Jazz Band was acclaimed for its distinctive Australian style and the danceability of its music.

Turn to the index of any book on Australian jazz and you will find more entries for Graeme Bell than anyone else. The prestigious jazz awards presented every year to recognise excellence in Australian jazz are named after him. The Doubly Gifted Committee’s annual lecture on Australian jazz are The Bell Lectures.

While mourning his passing, the jazz community will not forget the musical debt it owes to Graeme Bell. Thank you Graeme: rest in peace.

Here’s one of the first recordings many current jazz fans had in their collections: The Graeme Bell Australian Jazz Band playing “South” recorded in London in 1948.

The ABC News on June 14 published this report on Graeme Bell.

Tom Stuip, Dutch banjo player, Down Under

THE other day I received a message from John and Brenda Withers from up north in sunny Noosa  – (lucky dogs…it’s the traditional Melbourne winter down here)  –  with a YouTube video of their friend, Dutch banjoist Tom Stuip.    Here is the said video clip of Tom playing “Love Song of the Nile” with Jim Mazzy, assisted by Ad Houtepen on a wonderful bass sax and Hans de Bruijn on piano.

In passing John and Brenda mentioned that Tom had been in Australia a few times. Through the good offices of Ginny Luetje (who lives in St Louis, Missouri), Tom got in touch with me and gave me the story of his time down under.

In October 1934 there was an air race between London and Melbourne as part of Melbourne’s  Centenary celebrations.   One of the 20 contestants was a KLM DC2 passenger airliner called “Uiver”.   Uiver came second overall but won on handicap after some excitement over Albury where an electrical storm had pushed the plane off course.   The good burghers of Albury turned out in the rain to line the race course with their car headlights to enable the plane to make an emergency landing, and next morning pulled her out of the mud into which she had sunk.

AND NO, Tom wasn’t here in 1934, but he was fifty years later in 1984 to celebrate this great aeronautical achievement by the Dutch national airline. He visited three Australian cities: Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra with the Dutch Dixie Machine. I couldn’t find a video of the visit, but here’s a sample of the DDM in Nagasaki, Japan in 1987, but without Tom.

Now to close, another video of Tom, playing this time in Budapest, Hungary in 1992 at a Banjo Camp.

Tom has visited Australia since 1984, but to go scuba diving not to play.

The Frilly Knickers @ The Astor

Next Saturday, June 16th, from 12 noon onwards, Friends of the Astor are holding an afternoon of jollity at the Astor Theatre in St. Kilda:
1 Chapel St, St Kilda VIC – (03) 9510 1414

The event is part of a campaign to protect this wonderful art-deco theatre – the last single screen cinema in Melbourne – which has been in operation for almost 80 years.

There will be free popcorn, the film Labyrinth starring David Bowie, tap-dancers,

and  THE FRILLY KNICKERS JAZZ BAND will be playing!

What more could you ask?
See you there …

N.B. Frilly Knickers Jazz Band is now on Facebook at:
Find out more about this lively band, future gigs, personal info., etc. You’ll like them.

“If I Had You”: a classic jazz standard which has had more covers than manholes in Brooklyn

TOM Lord’s Jazz Discography lists 553 recordings of that romantic love song “If I Had You”, and I’m sure Tom’s missed a few.

My favourite Irish singer who lives in Boronia, Tony Feehan, does a lovely version. Here Tony sings it at the Caulfield RSL with the Moonee Valley Jazz Band on Friday 4 November 2011, the last night of jazz at that establishment.

Wondering about the song’s origins, I find that it was written in 1928 by “Irving King” (James Campbell and Reginald Connelly) with Ted Shapiro. It has become a mainstream jazz standard, and continues to be performed and used in movie soundtracks into the 21st century.

The first recording listed in the Lord Discography was by the Ray Miller Orchestra in Chicago, September 1928. The next year Sam Lanin’s Dance Orchestra recorded it with that hopeful young crooner, Bing Crosby on vocals. The Dorsey brothers were sidemen.

While we’re on a 1920s kick, here’s Rudy Vallee in 1929.

Practically every other artist of note has had a go at it, including Al Bowlly. Nat King Cole, Bob Crosby, Jimmy Durante, Roy Eldridge, Judy Garland, Georgia Gibbs, Benny Goodman, Earl Hines, Diana Krall, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, Carmen McRae, Les Paul, Oscar Peterson, Johnnie Ray, Pee Wee Russell, Artie Shaw, George Shearing, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra (he’s done it four or five times!), Teddy Wilson, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan.

Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli were early recorders of it.

Benny Goodman in Yokohama in 1980.

Another gypsy version, this time the Wawau Adler Trio with Wawau Adler (solo guitar), Holzmanno Winterstein (guitar), and Panscheli Lehmann (bass) filmed in Karlsruhe in 2010.

And finally here’s a banjo trio of Juergen Kulus (in the middle, Germany), Dick Martin (left, USA) and Tom Stuip (right, the Netherlands). More about Tom Stuip in another post to come soon.

A Few Gigs This Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend

WHILE many lucky musos and fans are off at the Merimbula Jazz Festival (and some less lucky are having trouble getting through the floods), here are a few jazz events on in Melbourne to keep the rest of us warm and happy. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is still on until Sunday 10 June, and you can find the program on their website.

Saturday 9 June: MICHAEL McQuaid’s Red Hot Rhythmakers, “Hop Off”, at the Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria Street, Brunswick. 9.00pm 9388 0830.

Cover Charge: $10 online from  or $15 at the door.


Sunday 10 June:: STEVE Purcell’s Pearly Shells at the Mentone Hotel, 95 Beach Road, Mentone.
Later time of 5.00 – 8.00pm. 9810 0088

Sunday 10 June:: ROSS Anderson’s New Melbourne Jazz Band at the Royal Hotel, 1208 Burwood Highway, Upper Ferntree Gully. 1.00-4.00pm. 9758 2755



Sunday 10 June:: SMITHY and Guests (Trio), at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel, 649 Bridge Road, Richmond. 12.30 – 3.30pm, 9246 1200

Andrew Nolte and his Orchestra: authentic flapper dance music

Essie Davis as Phryne Fisher

SINCE the delectable Phryne Fisher hit our TV screens, the flapper age (the 1920s) has become a focus of fascination – the clothes, the music, the cars, the casual sex.

Well, Andrew Nolte’s Orchestra plays the sort of music that Phryne would have danced to. With a dedication to authenticity and musical brilliance being a primary focus, the band makes every attempt at breathing new life into what was some of the most exuberant and sophisticated music of the 20th Century.

Andrew Nolte Orchestra

You have the chance to hear Andrew Nolte’s 7 piece orchestra on Saturday 16 June at OPEN STUDIO, 204 High Street, Northcote. Doors open at 8.00pm and there is a $10 cover charge.

Andrew Nolte with his tenor banjo

Andrew is a long-term aficionado of pre-bebop jazz, with a particular interest in the hot dance bands of the 1920s.

His playing shows great energy and a true understanding of the idiom, whether on his 1929 Paramount tenor banjo or his 1930s-style acoustic guitar.

Andrew carries his obsession through to his authentic 1920s-style suits, hats and of course, his car – a 1926 Ford tourer.

Nolte with car

To get some idea of the sound of the Orchestra, here is a clip from YouTube taken at a Victorian Jazz Club gig at the Clayton RSL. They play Black Bottom which was a very popular dance in the 1920s.

As well as leading his own orchestra, Andrew is a member of Michael McQuaid’s highly successful Red Hot Rhythmakers who will have their next “Hop Off” gig on Saturday 9 June at the Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria Street, Brunswick. Special guests: Ian Smith, Eugene Ball and Sandra Talty. 9pm to 11.30pm.
Book on line at for $10. At the door, $15. To book for a delicious meal, ring 9387 6637.

Victorian Jazz Workshops

Under 25s Workshop


THE Jazz Improvisation Workshops for young aspiring jazz musicians began on 24 March so students are well into the swing of things by now. Here are a few of the class of 2012 with one of their tutors, drummer extraordinaire Brian Abrahams. Saxophones are obviously popular this year.

Come Saturday 7 July, it will be the turn of the more mature aspirants. The Over 25’s Workshops will be held from 1.00pm to 4.00pm weekly between 7 July and 22 September at the Victorian Jazz Archive headquarters, 15 Mountain Highway, Wantirna. Total cost of the course is $220 which includes a $40.00 membership of that wonderful resource, the Victorian Jazz Archive.

These workshops are open to students of all ages. Applicants are required to be proficient on their instruments, able to play scales and arpeggios, and most importantly, be interested in learning how to improvise. All music is provided; just bring yourself and your instrument.

For further information and booking contact:
Marina Pollard, Workshop Coordinator
9781 4972 or 0409 064 753
or by email to,

This is an opportunity to make the music you love, not just listen to it.