Monthly Archives: July 2012

Des Camm back @ The Elephant & Castle, Geelong

AN ADDITION to the jazz calendar in Geelong: the Des Camm Jazz Band returns to the Elephant and Castle Hotel, 158 McKillop Street on Sunday 5th August from 3.00pm to 6.00pm, and every second Sunday thereafter. Phone 5221 3707 for more info.
This is not a new residency for the Camm band – they played at the Elephant for 20 years, starting in 1984 – but it’s great to hear that they are back again, hopefully for another 20 years! If you’re in the district or fancy a drive down the Bellarine Peninsula, drop in and support Des and the boys.

Here’s the band playing at another fine watering hole, The Rosstown in Carnegie, in April 2012.

Barry Wratten’s Crescent City Serenaders @ The Rosstown

IF you’re in Melbourne or surrounds this Sunday (July 22) and wondering what to do jazz-wise, you couldn’t do better than lunch at that good old jazz pub, The Rosstown in Carnegie and listen to Barry Wratten’s Crescent City Serenaders.
Barry’s natural ability on clarinet refined by years spent playing in the Crescent City itself and elsewhere has made him an undisputed master of the New Orleans style of jazz. His knowledge of the genre is also phenomenal. On Sunday he will be supported by the cream (a cliche I know but true) of local musicians – Michael McQuaid on trumpet, Rob Moffat on trombone, Richard Mander on bass and sousaphone, John Scurry on banjo & guitar, and Lynn Wallis on drums.
Lunch is served from 12 noon; music is from 1.30pm to 4.00pm. It’s wise to book on 9571 1033. The hotel is on the corner of Koornang and Dandenong Roads, Carnegie a few steps from the Carnegie station and there is on site parking.

As a matter of interest, the clarinet on the poster above is the same model, an American made Harry Pedler, silver plated Albert System clarinet, on which George Lewis first recorded his “Burgundy Street Blues” for William Russell in July 1944. Here is a rare picture of Lewis with his metal clarinet which he played from 1943 to 1944, changing to a wooden instrument for its lighter weight and ease of carrying.

In the 1920s all New Orleans jazz clarinetists played Albert fingering system instruments. With the coming of the Boehm and other systems many changed, but some like Barry Wratten believe that the original New Orleans sound requires the original instrument. Famous clarinetists who played Albert System clarinets included Jimmie Noone, Barney Bigard, George Lewis, Louis Cottrell, Omer Simeon and Johnny Dodds. The system may be harder to play but it is thought to offer a richer, more open tone and lends itself to a slower pace (three cheers!)

Here Barry plays Louis Cottrell’s lovely song “True” with Des Camm’s band at the Rosstown. Barry tells me that they did an even lovelier version at the Moe Festival a few weeks ago but we don’t have a video of that performance, so we’ll have to take his word for it!

And to close these ramblings, Louis Cottrell plays “Tin Roof Blues” on his Albert System clarinet.

Chris Tanner Trio @ Charlie Scott’s in Copenhagen

IF you want to know what Chris Tanner is up to these days, one of his gigs is on Tuesday evenings playing with his Trio from 5.00pm to 8.30pm at Charlie Scott’s, Copenhagen’s No.1 Jazz Club. Here’s a clip of the Trio at work, with a special guest Tom McEwan on an unusual instrument.
Mads Søndergaard is on piano and Jens Kristian Andersen on bass.

That’s a Zydeco or Washboard Tie. If you must have one, they are available through eBay, Amazon and other sources.

Find out more about Chris Tanner from his website

A Virus is a Virus is a Virus: The Great Bradburys are once again Virus

John Scurry

JOHN Scurry’s breaking news is that after much consternation and a minor identity crisis the band formerly known as Chris Tanner’s Virus, then The Great Bradburys (albeit briefly), is now back to The Virus Quintet.

Given that we’ve been playing weekly at various residencies around Fitzroy for more than a decade it was a fruitless task changing our name as people know and refer to us as Virus.
Our identity now intact the band still has the same fire and regular line up: Julien Wilson on reeds, Eamon McNelis trumpet, Andy Ross bass, Lynn Wallis drums, and John Scurry guitar.

We are still playing at Grumpy’s Green,
125 Smith Street, Fitzroy every Saturday afternoon 4.30-7.30 pm.

I don’t have a current clip of Virus, but here they are in an earlier incarnation playing “Body and Soul” for the Victorian Jazz Club at the Oakleigh Carnegie RSL on 11 October 2008.
The lineup on that occasion included most of the current crew: Eamon Mcnelis on trumpet, John Scurry on guitar, Andy Ross on bass, and Lynn Wallis on drums. That’s Chris Tanner on clarinet and vocals, and Shannon Barnett on trombone. Trevor Lourensz took the video. The attenuated picture is because the aspect ratio was wrong when Trevor uploaded the film to YouTube. They are not really so slender!


BY THE WAY, I understand that Andy Swann and his Voodoo Crew also feature at Grumpy’s Green, this time on a Friday night from 9.00pm. The style is described as “kicking blues, funk and soul and everything in between. Swanny always has some of the best Melbourne musos playing with him. Bring your dancing shoes. Happy hour prices from 6-9. $10 Jugs!”

Ultrafox @ The Boite’s World Music Cafe, Box Hill on Bastille Day Eve


PETER Baylor’s superb band, Ultrafox will play Parisian Gypsy Jazz of the ‘30’s on the eve of Bastille Day (Friday 13 July) at The World Music Cafe, Box Hill Community Arts Centre, 470 Station Street, Box Hill starting at 8.00 pm.

The lineup on this occasion will be Peter Baylor and Jon Delaney on guitar, Steve Grant (joyfully back from overseas) on accordion, and Kain Borlase on bass. Julie O’Hara will do her magic on vocals. In addition French Polynesian singer, Alfred Harua brings a versatile repertoire of French diaspora songs.

The World Music Cafe is one of the arms of The Boite, an organisation founded in 1979 to present music from many cultures. The Box Hill Community Centre is one of four Boite venues which present local, interstate and overseas artists in intimate, acoustic, audience friendly concerts from March to November. The seating is concert style with a raised stage. Drinks and nibbles are served in the foyer before the performance and during the interval.

There is a large and faithful following for The Music Cafe’s varied music programs. Even on cold and wet winter nights booking is essential, and the sooner the better. Telephone: 9417 1983. Tickets $18. Concession $12.

If you haven’t heard Ultrafox before, here’s a taste of their music. The band plays “Arabia”, one of the tracks from their recent CD, at the Uptown Jazz Cafe, 177 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. The visuals are a bit murky but the sound is good!

Wondering where the name Boite comes from?
Basement jazz clubs in Paris were known as Boîtes (literally boxes). The name travelled from France to Greece, where Boîtes made space for the music of the disaffected in the 60’s and 70’s. They were the venues for the Greek New Wave music movement that touched expatriate communities on Australian shores.