Author Archives: Geoff Tobin

Nick Polites Turns 90

Nick Polites , a much loved Melbourne clarinettist turns 90 on the 2nd of July 2017. Born in Melbourne in 1927 Nick started playing alto saxophone at 14 years of age and took up the clarinet at 16. As he wrote recently with the advent of World War 2 “ Because so many older musicians had been called up for military service, I was sought after to join bands well before I had achieved any sort of proficiency “.
Nick commenced his recording career with the Frank Johnson Dixielanders in 1951 , since then he played regularly with the Allfrey Street Stompers , the legendary Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band in the late 1950s – early 1960s and with the Louisiana Shakers for the last thirty years and currently at their Sunday afternoon gig at the Clyde Hotel in Elgin Street Carlton where no doubt there will be much celebration next Sunday.
The Victorian Jazz Club will also celebrate Nick’s remarkable contribution to Australian jazz on Wednesday the 19th of July between 7.30 and 10.00 pm at the East Malvern RSL with Nick and the Louisiana Shakers. . In the front line Nick will be joined by Joe Pryke on trumpet , Les Fithall on trombone & vocals, Andy Symes on banjo, Peter Grey on bass and Kevin Bolton on drums – some of Australia’s most experienced musicians who will be joined no doubt by many surprise sit ins.
You don’t have to be a member to attend, everybody is welcome. Victorian Jazz Club members $15.00 and visitors $20.00. Seats are still available but bookings are advisable on 9874 8870 or on 0425 735 428.

Nevill Sherburn OAM

The contribution to Australian jazz of Neville Sherburn was recognised today in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours when it was announced that Neville has been posthumously awarded an Order Of Australia Medal for services to Jazz.
Known affectionately as Mr Swaggie Neville purchased the Swaggie label from the Graeme Bell Band Co-Operative in 1954 and immediately began issuing Eps and 10” LPs of Australian jazz and from 1960 onwards he released 12” and 7” 33 & 1/3 RPM albums known as the Jazz Collector Series. These recordings were renowned for their high quality content of sound reproduction , art work and detailed cover notes and are treasured by collectors today.
As Sydney writer Bill Haesler OAM wrote shortly after Nevill’s death “ Without Nevill Sherburn there would have been very little Australian jazz recorded during the 1960 – 1980s “. This is particularly apt as major record companies lost interest in producing Australian jazz whereas Nevill continued to release Australian and overseas jazz on CD. Despite being seriously ill for a number of years Nevill continued to manage Swaggie Records culminating in the issue of two major restoration works titled Ade Monsbourgh – A Vintage Selection and Roger Bell & His Pagan Pipers – A Vintage Collection which were released just weeks before his death on the 16th of October 2015. Australian jazz is very much indebted to the unstinting work of Nevill Sherburn and it is fitting that he is recognised today.
Bill Armstrong of Bilarm Music has recently taken over the distribution of the excellent Swaggie Record CD collection which are available from Thomas’ Records in the Melbourne CBD and from all Readings Bookshops.

Andy Baylor back in Melbourne Wednesday 21st June.

Andy Baylor & His Southern Swing Band at East Malvern – Wednesday 21st June
Just a reminder that the next night of Jazz presented by the Victorian Jazz Club for 2017 at the East Malvern RSL will be on Wednesday the 21st of June between 7.30 & 10.00 pm with Andy Baylor & his Southern Swing Band on stage.
It’s been far too long since well known guitarist and violinist Andy Baylor has been a guest at the Victorian Jazz Club and on the 21st of June we will make up for that when Andy will be returning to Melbourne to play a special hometown show with a fine swingin’ band.
Andy cut his musical teeth playing old time western swing with the Dance Hall Racketeers and was the in demand guitarist with bands such as Steve Grant’s New Orleans Five, The Karl Hird Trios, Ade Monsbourgh , Allan Browne and the legendary Bob Barnard Jazz Parties amongst others.
Andy will be digging deep into his bag of Western swing classics, hot jazz instrumentals, beautiful standards and some boogie woogie and blues. The band will feature Andy on guitar, violin & vocals, Michael McQuaid tenor sax, Sandra Talty drums & vocals, Sam Lemann guitar & ukulele, Steve Teakle piano and Steve Temple double bass ( & occasional trumpet ).
A great night of jazz , western swing, ballads , rhythm & blues and boogie for dancers and listeners, not to be missed !
Come along , enjoy the jazz and spread the word !
Everybody is welcome. You don’t have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club to attend.
Admission : Victorian Jazz Club members – $15.00 , visitors – $20.00.
Bookings are advisable . Bookings & Enquiries : 0425 735 428 or www.vjc.org.au.

Julie O’Hara & Bopkick at East Malvern – Wednesday the 17th of May

Julie O’Hara & Bopkick at East Malvern – Wednesday 17th May
Just a reminder that the next night of Jazz presented by the Victorian Jazz Club for 2017 at the East Malvern RSL will be on Wednesday the 17th of May between 7.30 & 10.00 pm with Julie O’Hara & Bopkick on stage.
Formed in 2002 Bopkick combines the talents of some of Australia’s best and most experienced Jazz and Rhythm & Blues Musicians and pays tribute to the jump blues style of dance music which was so popular in the late 1940s and early 1950s with songs of some of the artists of that era such as Ella Mae Morse, Ruth Brown, Amos Milburn and Wynonie Harris. The band also plays their own original compositions reflecting the inspiration of these great performers.
The ever swinging Julie O’Hara will be fronting the band on vocals. On guitar will be Peter Baylor along with Dean Hilson on tenor sax, Dale Lindrea on bass , Danny Bourne on piano who will be propelled along by veteran drummer Lynn Wallis. A great night of swinging jazz and Rhythm & Blues for dancers and listeners, not to be missed !
Coming up at East Malvern as part of the 2017 VJC Jazz series will be on Wednesday the 21st of June – Andy Baylor & His Southern Swing Band – Hometown Stomp with Andy Baylor back in town from Sydney for one night only. Andy will be on vocals, guitar & violin, Michael McQuaide on tenor sax, Sandra Talty drums & vocals , Sam Lemann guitar & mandolin, Monique di Mattina piano & vocals and Steve Temple double bass ( & occasional trumpet ).
Wednesday the 19th of July – Nick’s 90 Night – with the Louisiana Shakers – a special night of jazz to pay tribute to Nick Polites , one of the greats of Australian jazz.
Come along , enjoy the jazz and spread the word !
Bookings are advisable . Bookings & Enquiries : 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428.

Jen Salisbury & James Mustafa – a new Melbourne CD

Melbourne singer Jen Salisbury has just released a superb new album of love songs called Unspoken Rule. She is accompanied by a stellar group of Melbourne’s finest young jazz musicians , James Mustafa trumpet, Trent Howard tenor, Aaron Rodriguez baritone, Sam O’Halloran Guitar, Selene Messinis piano, Hiroki Hoshino bass & Tim Clifton drums. Well worth a listen to . Already had a sold out launch last night at the Paris Cat and you can catch this band at Dizzy’s Jazz Club on Saturday the 10th of June.

Peter Gaudion’s Blues Express – East Malvern RSL 19th April

Only a week to go to see one of Australia’s great bands ! For one night only ! Peter Gaudion trumpet & vocals, Ashley Gaudion saxes and vocals, Jackie Gaudion voacals, Bob Sedergreen piano, James Clark bass & Rod Gilbert drums.

Everybody welcome. You don’t have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club or the RSL to attend. For bookings call 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428 or you can book online at www.vjc.org.au .

 

Michael McQuaid’s New CD – Diaspora

Last Saturday night was a fantastic opportunity to hear one of Melbourne’s best bands – Michael McQuaid’s Late Hour Boys in full flight. Absolutely fabulous small group jazz reflecting the influence on Australian Jazz by the great Ade Monsbourgh. Michael McQuaid on trumpet & reeds, Jason Downes on reeds, Doug Rawson piano , John Scurry banjo & guitar, Richard Mander bass and Sandra Talty drums & vocals playing rarely heard Australian compositions such as Kelly’s Deal, Stomp Miss Hannah and the pop tunes that Ade loved such as We’ll Gather Lilacs.

A great opportunity too to purchase a copy of Michael’s brand new CD called Diaspora. Recorded in London in January 2017 Michael plays clarinet with American born Andrew Oliver who now resides in London on piano and Londoner Nicholas Ball on drums. The trio format really allows all three of these very talented musicians to stretch out individually and as a group on a great repertoire of jazz classics, some lesser know ballads and two of Michael’s own compositions Black Spur and the title track , Diaspora. Highly recommended and available at any good gig featuring the talents of Michael McQuaid.

Michael McQuaid’s Late Hour Boys – Saturday 25th March

A rare chance to hear some great small group jazz with a real Aussie flavour tomorrow night starting at 8.00 pm at the Clayton RSL , 163 Carinish Road, Clayton when the Victorian Jazz Club present Michael McQuaid and his Late Hour Boys.
Leading the band will be Michael McQuaid on reeds & trumpet, Jason Downes reeds, Doug Rawson piano , John Scurry banjo & guitar, Richard Mander bass & Sandra Talty drums.
You don’t have to be a member of the Victorian Jazz Club to attend , everybody is welcome. Bookings on 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428 or online at www.vjc.org.au.

Wednesday Night Jazz At East Malvern RSL

WEDNESDAY JAZZ AT EAST MALVERN RSL
Just a reminder that the next night of Jazz presented by the Victorian Jazz Club for 2017 at the East Malvern RSL ( 1 Stanley Grose Drive, East Malvern ) will be next Wednesday the 15th of March between 7.30 & 10.00 pm.
On stage will be John Hawes and Graeme Davies presenting Seven Up – a captain’s pick of dancing jazz from the great eras of jazz with John Hawes trumpet & vocals, Graeme Davies trombone & vocals, Cam Robbins clarinet & tenor, Chris Somerville piano, John Scurry banjo & guitar, Mike Zutenis bass and Ron Sandilands drums.
Wednesday the 19th of April – Peter Gaudion’s Blues Express with Peter Gaudion trumpet & vocals, Ashley Gaudion alto & tenor saxes & vocals, Jackie Gaudion vocals, Bob Sedergreen piano, James Clark bass and Rod Gilbert drums & vocals.
Wednesday the 17th of May – Julie O’Hara & Bopkick – Julie O’Hara vocals, Peter Baylor guitar, Dean Hilson tenor sax, Dale Lindrea bass & vocals, Lynn Wallis drums and piano – TBA
Bookings & Enquiries : 9874 8870 or 0425 735 428 or online at www.vjc.org.au.

Tony Standish

TONY STANDISH 1931-2016

 

Lifelong champion of traditional jazz

Tony Standish, who has died aged 85, was a lifelong devotee of blues and traditional jazz who inspired many local record collections.

 By Rick Sjolund and Peter Haby

Tony Standish, whose lifelong enthusiasm for traditional jazz and blues inspired many a local record collection and who is remembered as a mentor to many, has died aged 85.

He was born in Richmond on December 7, 1931, the only son of Jack and Enid Standish. His early years were spent in Aspendale and he attended school at St Bede’s in Mentone.

Tony Standish, enthusiast for traditional blues and jazz Photo: Supplied

His interest in jazz began in the 1940s and he became friends with trumpeter Bob Barnard, whose band played at the Mentone Lifesaving Club. In 1949 Tony was a founding member of The Southern Jazz Society and contributed articles to Australia Jazz Quarterly. He also recorded the Alfrey Street Stompers in 1952 that featured the brothers Bob (trumpet) and Len Barnard (drums) and Nick Polities (alto sax), who would all go onto world acclaim in the field of traditional jazz.

In the mid-1950s Tony left Australia and travelled to America. After working in Canada to finance his travels, he and his friend Jim Hanna bought a car and travelled through the US and Mexico and eventually arrived in New Orleans.

Tony’s time in New Orleans was spent with some other jazz enthusiasts seeking out the bands associated with the “New Orleans Revival”. An American jazz enthusiast, Bill Russell, had started recording the traditional jazz bands still playing in New Orleans, and his recordings had aroused interest in the continuing jazz tradition.

Tony spent a lot of his time photographing the brass bands, places of historical importance to jazz history and general life in New Orleans. Many of the photos are now in the Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University in New Orleans. He also sent articles to Jazz Journal.

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Tony then travelled to England. In London, he landed the dream job for a young jazz fan with journalistic ambitions, becoming assistant editor of Jazz Journal, England’s premier jazz magazine. Tony’s interviews with visiting blues and jazz musicians, such as Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and members of the George Lewis and Kid Ory bands, are still cited today.

In 1959 he set up Heritage Records to reissue blues records from the 1920s and jazz recordings from the early 1950s of the George Lewis band from New Orleans.  He reissued titles by Charlie Patton, Memphis Minnie, Papa Charlie Jackson, Blind Blake, Blind Lemon Jefferson and Ramblin’ Thomas. He also issued albums by Joel and Lightning Hopkins, The Black Ace, Snooks Eaglin and Buster Pickens. These later albums consisted of tracks recorded by researchers Mack McCormick and Chris Strachwitz in Texas and New Orleans during 1959 and 1960. These records were very influential in the English blues and jazz scene of the time and today they are highly regarded and very collectable.

In 1960 Standish also led the way when he co-published Eureka – The Magazine of New Orleans Jazz with fellow jazz historians Bill Colyer and Graham Russell.   It featured many articles by Standish and photos taken on his initial journey to the birthplace of jazz.

In 1963 he returned to Australia with his wife Barbara, who he met in England, and their daughter Kate.

Tony opened his Heritage Record Shop above Frank Traynor’s Folk Club in Little Lonsdale Street. It was only open on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, but soon became a meeting place for devotees of traditional jazz, blues and folk music.

For young enthusiasts, it was a slightly intimidating first experience as all the customers standing around talking seemed to know much more about the music.  However Tony was keen to pass his knowledge on and his recommendations helped form the start of many record collections. It was a great place to meet and after closing time, many of the customers went with Tony to the Continental Hotel to continue conversations about music, football, cricket and politics.

Tony was keen to pass his knowledge on and his recommendations helped form the start of many record collections

Tony started a jazz club in the Continental Hotel. The band featured Frank Turville on trumpet, who had recently returned from a successful tour of Europe as a member of the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band.  Turville’s international reputation inspired Melbourne’s Yarra Yarra Jazz Band and Geoff Bull’s Olympia Jazz band in Sydney.

Standish recorded the Bull band in 1971.  His last release on his own label Heritage, now highly prized by collectors, was by the bluesman Smith Casey, an inmate at Clemens State Farm, Brazoria, Texas, who recorded for the Library of Congress in 1939.

During this time Tony’s day job was assistant manager of Ramsay Surgical Medical Bookshop. He was promoted to manager and in 1975 decided to open his own medical bookshop with two of his colleagues. The bookshop, Standish Prideaux & Pye, opened just two doors down from the Ramsay shop in Berkeley Street, Carlton, very close to the Melbourne University Medical School. The shop became very successful and expanded into library supply.

Tony had friendly relationships with many medical librarians around Australia, contributing greatly to the success of the business. In 1995 he sold his share in the business to his remaining partner, Michael Prideaux.

Tony retired to Mount Martha and started a small mail-order record outlet, Standish & Co. This enabled him to re-establish his many contacts with traditional jazz collectors, and he imported many CDs that customers were having difficulty finding elsewhere. The internet also enabled him to contact his old friends from England, Europe and the United States.

Tony’s other great love was gardening, and he spent much time tending the native plants he was so enthusiastic about. He was also a long-suffering Richmond supporter who longed for a resurgence in the club’s fortunes.

Tony passed away on December 17, and is survived by his wife Barbara, daughters Kate and Jane, and son Marty.

His passing was acknowledged by many overseas blues and New Orleans jazz collectors.