Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Wombats bite the dust – hopefully to rise again

wombat sad
THE much beloved Wombat Jazz Band has been a fixture at the Elsternwick Hotel on the third Monday of the month since 1997, with a passing parade of regular personnel and visiting sit-ins, and a repertoire heavily weighted on the side of Australian compositions.

Very sadly we have to announce that this residency is no more as of January 2014. But knowing the energy and resilience of Judy Taylor’s and Bill Kerr’s group we can only hope that some clever publican will recognise the special place the Wombats occupy in the hearts of their existing loyal followers, and their potential to create new audiences for the lucky pub/venue which provides a new home for them.

While we keep up our spirits waiting for the happy return of The Wombats, here’s a sample of one of their boisterous tracks – BACK TO BALLARAT – from their CD Are You Having Any Fun?. Click on the CD cover to hear it.

wombat fun

Forty degrees, and the remote control won’t work

THIS has nothing to do with jazz, except that it may save the sanity/health of some jazz musicians and fans who are suffering through the current record heatwave in parts of Australia.

Our Panasonic airconditioner’s remote control died during the night and replacing the batteries has been a long and frustrating ordeal. In desperation I turned to our friend Google who led me to a superb and simple video by a former fellow sufferer named Paul, who cracked the code and then videoed it for others. The Good Samaritan Medal of the year to Paul!

If by chance you have, or may have in the future, the same problem, here’s the solution:

Coolly yours

A Little Night Music @ The Queen Vic Market

THE Queen Victoria Night Market will run every Wednesday night from 5.00pm to 10.00pm until 26 February 2014.

In addition to the joys of food shopping, eating, and treasure hunting, there’ll be a little night music supplied by a variety of musicians sprinkled about in various strategic locations. Some you’ll recognise as well known jazz groups:


The Syncopators will be performing on the Queen Street Stage on 5 February.

The Irwell Street Swing (sometimes String) Band will be playing on the E Shed Stage on 12 February.
Usual lineup is Andy Baylor, Leigh Barker, Hetty Kate, and Sam Lemann

La Mauvaise Reputation will be performing on the Peel Street Stage on 26 February.
This gypsy swing trio is made up of Jon Delaney, solo guitar; Paul Gillett, rhythm guitar and vocals; and Enzo Ruberto on bass. They have a fairly regular residency at the Espresso Cafe/Bar in Sydney Road, Brunswick.

Click here for the full program, and for stage locations.

Chris Tanner in Town: a few opportunities to see him

CHRIS Tanner is back in town, visiting from his now-home in Denmark, and fortunately he has a few gigs lined up during January where fans can catch up with him.

Sunday 5 January: Virus with Chris Tanner, Pinnacle Hotel, 251 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North. 4.00 pm-7.00 pm

Thursday 9 January: Hoodangers with Chris Tanner, Pinnacle Hotel, 251 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North. 8.00 pm-11.00 pm

Friday 10 January: Hoodangers with Chris Tanner, Bar Open, 317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. 9.00 pm-11.30 pm. 9415 9601.

Sunday 12 January:Four Scoops with Chris Tanner, Pinnacle Hotel, 251 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North. 4.00 pm-7.00 pm

Sunday 19 January:Allan Browne’s New Rascals featuring Chris Tanner,  Ballarat Jazz Club, Ballarat Golf Club, 1800 Sturt Street, Ballarat. Meals from 12 noon. Music 1.00pm-4.00pm. Bookings 0439 700 219.

Saturday 25 January: Chris Tanner & Virus, Victorian Jazz Club, Clayton RSL, 163 Carinish Rd, Clayton. 8.00 pm – 11.00 pm. Entry VJC members $13, Non members $18. Bookings: 9583 5247. Bistro bookings 9544 1035.

Here’s Chris playing with the Oz band, Ragstretch, at the Copenhagen Harbour Jazz Festival in July 2013. (Ingelstam from Sweden is the only ring-in.)
Chris Tanner, clarinet; Shannon Barnett, trombone; Björn Ingelstam, trumpet; Craig Fermanis, guitar; Sam Anning, bass; and Rajiv Jayweera, drums.

Age Entertainment critic, Jessica Nicholas, wrote about Chris and Virus playing at The Laundry in Johnston Street, Fitzroy in 2002. Not much has changed since then:

How does Tanner do it?…..of course, there’s the music itself, interpreted with such enthusiasm that it’s almost impossible to remain immobile while listening. Tanner’s whole body exudes his passionate commitment to classic jazz, his clarinet swooping through the air as it pounces on a melodic line; his voice growling playfully as he gives the lyrics a swaggering, percussive momentum.

And how about that Shannon Barnett. Go girl!

By the way, I note that Jessica Nicholas has reviewed a few jazz gigs recently in The Age. Keep it coming.

69th Australian Jazz Convention comes to Swan Hill!

THE 68th Australian Jazz Convention in Goulburn, NSW is barely over, and planning for the 69th is already underway!!

The fair City of Swan Hill on the Murray River is about to take its maiden voyage into AJC music and madness, and it looks like a perfect location. Small enough to keep the intimate nature of the Convention, wonderful surroundings with the river and all its delights, history in the Pioneer Village, great produce, outdoor activities galore, and even the Giant Murray Cod!

More details as they come to hand -let the dust settle from the 68th first! But the news is all good after last year’s hiccup (hiccough?) when Goulburn came to the rescue of our grand old institution.

By the way, I’ve heard from a number of Conventioneers that they have already booked their accommodation in Swan Hill, so if you’re planning to go, you can’t begin too soon.


Help with rare Julie Wilson CD

BILL Haesler, renowned jazz scholar, is trying to locate a copy of a rare, limited issue CD. Here’s a copy of his email received today. Can you help him track one down?

Dear Jane,
The following request came via the Dixieland Jazz Mailing List several months ago and has just been re-posted, so obviously the initial request was unsuccessful:

Joe Licari, who produced the rare “Julie Wilson in Dixieland” CD that was recorded live at the Algonquin Hotel in New York with his jazz group, is desperately trying to locate a booklet from the CD that he can copy for a reissue. The company which released it in Australia is no longer in business. He has the actual recording and just wants to copy the booklet and notes. If anyone has it, can you contact me privately. Thanks.
Alan Eichler

At the time, I attempted to locate friends with the record, including Kate Dunbar and Bill Armstrong but drew a blank.
My research revealed that the CD was released in 2009 and was an exclusive, limited release, Australian production.

“Julie Wilson in Dixieland” – Julie Wilson. Showtune Records CD 0005.

Attempts to contact Showtune here failed, and its site is inactive.

Neither the Victorian Jazz Archive nor NSW Jazz Archive have a copy.
Perhaps, a subscriber to your wonderful and informative Jazz Ramble site can help.
A Very Happy New Year.
Keep up the good work.
Very kind regards,

Incidentally if you’re interested in becoming a member of the Dixieland Jazz Mailing List – fascinating world-wide conversations on “traditional” jazz – here’s how to go about it:
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