Category Archives: Sources

The Marvellous Shaye Cohn: Happy Birthday

The marvellous Shaye Cohn

The marvellous Shaye Cohn

THE talented, beautiful Shaye Cohn of the New Orleans band, Tuba Skinny, has a birthday today 24 November, and I am sure all her myriad of fans world-wide wish her a very happy one!

Shaye’s musical heritage is impressive, and perhaps goes some way to explain her extraordinary talents as a musician (trumpet/cornet, piano, violin), arranger, composer, artist, and I suspect, quiet power which holds the band together.

Granddaughter of Al Cohn, saxophonist with Woody Herman etc. and Marilyn Moore, jazz singer, and daughter of Joe Cohn, guitarist etc., Shaye originally trained as a classical pianist. Where did she go wrong/right!

Here’s a sample of Shaye’s piano style – with Japanese band The New Orleans Naughties in 2010, playing “Lily of the Valley”.

Tuba Skinny have just wound up their latest tour of Australia with a 3 day stint at the Melbourne Festival. Number One member of the Australian Tuba Skinny Fan Club (if there was one) would have to be my good mate Bill Liddy, which he demonstrated by attending all 3 performances, standing in the front row each time, so close that he could read the tune list at Shaye’s feet. Nineteen songs each night with only two repeats.

Bill Liddy

Bill Liddy

He spent some time talking to members of the band – Shaye of course but also the incredible vocalist Erika Lewis, and Todd Burdick, the skinny tuba player whom he met on Princes Bridge last year as he and Shaye were walking to their gig at the Spiegeltent,Todd with his tuba over his shoulder!

When Shaye asked Bill which of the three shows he enjoyed the best, he was hard put to choose, bu did nominate their version of “Willie the Weeper” as the best he’d heard.

The Skinnies have just released their latest CD “Owl Call Blues”, a copy of which Bill bought for me, signed by Shaye. How good is that!! The title track is a joint composition by Shaye and Erika Lewis and is available via the Tuba Skinny Blogspot. Click here for details.

Ivan Huke

Ivan Huke

The British equivalent of Bill Liddy must be cornet player Ivan Huke from Nottingham.

Ivan has a blog called “Playing Traditional Jazz” which is very well worth following since it is written from the musician’s point of view rather than the devoted fan. He is a mad, fanatical devotee of Tuba Skinny and of Shaye Cohn in particular. Read what he said about Shaye recently. His comments on Owl Call Blues are also worth a look.

To close, here Tuba Skinny plays “Dallas Rag” at their usual stomping ground in Royal Street, New Orleans. Wait for the piano solo! Magical isn’t too big a word for it!
Happy happy birthday Shaye!

Leigh Barker and The New Sheiks

LEIGH Barker and his New Sheiks are busy as usual – check out some things they’re doing in November 2014.


First are a couple of great concerts in the Morning Melody series on Monday 17 November 2014, 11.00am and 1:30pm at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road. All Tickets: $20. BOOK NOW By Phone: 1300 182 183 or on line.

Titled Jazz, Tap, Swing with the Melbourne Rhythm Project this is an innovative collaboration between swing dancers, tap dancers and jazz and swing musicians. Presenting a program of uniquely choreographed dances set to classic jazz, swing and blues tunes, award-winning jazz ensemble, Leigh Barker and The New Sheiks, will be joined on stage by tap dancers and lindy hop and swing dancers to whip up a storm of jazz, rhythm and swing from the 1920s through to the 1940s. Featured will be award winning vocalist and violinist Heather Stewart.

Heather Stewart

Heather Stewart


Second is a new album launch on Saturday November 15th at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, 25 Bennetts Lane, CBD. $25/20, doors at 8:30pm. Bookings or 9663 2856.

Leigh Barker and his six-piece group, for the last five years touring under the moniker ‘The New Sheiks’ but now equally well known as the musical half of the innovative dance company the ‘Melbourne Rhythm Project’, continue to build on their reputation as one of the most engaging, entertaining and hard-swinging groups currently performing in the Australian Jazz Scene.

Saturday November 15th will see the launch of Barker’s seventh full length release: a CD and digital album titled ‘Flow Like Wine’. Drawn from several studio sources and live sessions during the band’s 2012 and 2013 touring schedule, the album features guest appearances by triple Bell Award winning saxophonist Julien Wilson, piano genius Steve Grant and to top it all off was mastered in New York by the great Rob ‘Wacko’ Hunter, full time sound engineer for all of Branford Marsalis’ various projects. Combined with the regular members Heather Stewart on violin and vocals, Eamon McNelis trumpet, Matt Boden piano, Don Stewart trombone and Sam Young on the drums, this may just be Barker’s most cohesive release to date, says Jason Downes from whose blog I devised, copied, stole! this post. (Thank you Jason)

Ultrafox second CD : Le Bruit des Cabarets (The Noise of Bars)

ultrafxHAVING enjoyed enormously Ultrafox’s debut album (Chasing Shadows), I looked forward with great anticipation to hearing their second CD,Le Bruit des Cabarets. And I haven’t been disappointed!

On this recording the core members of this gypsy style jazz band – one of Melbourne’s busiest and most widely appreciated groups – again demonstrate the level of musicianship that comes from countless hours of playing, and of playing together.

Peter Baylor and Jon Delaney are superb on guitar, sharing the rhythm and solo roles, with Kain Borlase augmenting and driving the rhythm on string bass. They are joined by the amazing Michael McQuaid on tenor saxophone and clarinet, and the ever-eloquent Julie O’Hara on vocals. And as an added bonus, visiting French violinist, Gerard Vandenbroucque brings his elegant and joyous playing to the ensemble. Vandenbroucque is based in Nantes where he leads a quartet, Bleu West.

Gerard Vandenbroucque

Gerard Vandenbroucque

Le Bruit des Cabarets features 16 tracks which range over the many different flavours of the “Hot Club du France” sound. Eight tracks are original compositions by Peter Baylor or John Delaney: the rest are a variety of popular swing tunes by composers ranging from Saranne Ferret to George Gershwin. The original compositions fit very comfortably into the whole, contributing significantly to the overall “mood” of the album. I particularly liked “Pickpocket” and “Brunton
Avenue” by Baylor, and “Sad Song” by Delaney.

The title track refers to a poem by the nineteenth century French poet, Paul Verlaine. On the CD the poem is read, in French, by Christophe Genoux with background music and accompanying “bar ambience”. One English translation of the poem (below) has a Melbourne-in-winter feel about it I think!!

noise of bars

Ultrafox will be launching this new album over the next few months in Melbourne before setting out on a regional Arts Victoria funded tour in August 2014.

To purchase the CD or download, visit the Ultrafox website (I know that downloading is quick and easy, but the physical CD is a thing of beauty in itself, with cover art by Peter Baylor. Who could resist it!)

Before setting off on tour, the band will be playing at the Ballarat Jazz Club, the Paris Cat, Bennett’s Lane and the Spotted Mallard in Brunswick where I am sure the CD will be available. Peter Baylor can be contacted on 0430 484 373 or Email: for further information.

Finally, as a taste of the whole, here is the first track from the album “Pickpocket” composed by Peter Baylor. Click on the playlist below to enjoy it.


“Jazz on a Saturday” Favourites: Radio 3CR’s Annual Radiothon

FOUR of Victoria’s best known and best informed jazz aficionados – (from left to right) John Smyth, Roger Beilby, John Trudinger and Geoff Tobin – present the Victorian Jazz Club’s long-running weekly program, JAZZ ON A SATURDAY, on Community Radio 3CR 855AM every Saturday afternoon from 4.00pm – 5.30pm.

On Saturday June 14 the program will take part in 3CR’s annual fundraising radiothon which plays a crucial role in keeping the station on air and operating. This year is an especially critical one for all community radio stations, given current indications in the Federal Budget, so your support for “Jazz on a Saturday” and for 3CR as an alternative radio voice is far more important.

To make donating even more satisfying, the team has selected some of their favourite tracks played during the year, and produced a CD which will be sent free to supporters who give $30 or more to the cause. “Jazz on a Saturday Favourites 2014” will be the tenth in the series, and will not be available from any other source.

Last year’s gift CD had 21 tracks, including one of my favourite songs -“Breeze” by The Harlem Hot Shots with Wingy Manone (1935 – a good year!). Charlie Powell used to sing it in his unique style with the Louisiana Shakers. Click on the CD cover to hear the Manone version.

jazz sat fav 2013

So listen in on your wireless (855 AM), computer or other device ( on Saturday 14 June from 4.00pm-5.30pm and pledge your donation by phone (9419 8377).

“Jazz on a Saturday” first went to air just 3 months after the launch of 3CR in July 1976 with Roger Beilby at the microphone and John Smyth at the controls, and has continued for the next 37 years, same time, same sponsor (the VJC), and the same presenters, with the addition along the way of John Trudinger and Geoff Tobin. Each member of the team brings his own perspective on jazz, providing great diversity and depth to the weekly program.

Andy Baylor Reeling!!!!

baylor reel
AUSTRALIA’S original roots music maestro, Andy Baylor, is celebrating his 11th independent CD release – REEL OF JOY – at Melbourne’s well-loved Lomond Hotel, corner of Nicholson Street and Blyth Street, Brunswick East on Sunday May 11th from 5.00pm – 8.00pm

Well known for his ability to move between musical styles, Andy Baylor mixes sounds as a painter blends colours. He transforms old songs into new with the kind of feeling and authority that comes from 35 years of Australian music- making and seamlessly interweaves his own new material.

REEL OF JOY is a testament to his love of music. It is a new collection of heartfelt songs and tunes drawn from the deep well of tradition.

A joyous Cajun fiddle reel rolls easily into a classic New Orleans jukebox hit, and on further into one of Andy’s own back-roads country songs. A bittersweet soul ballad is re-cast as a fiddle-driven Cajun waltz. A Spanish love song from days gone by magically re-emerges as a Jamaican dancehall skank. Ballads, blues and country ska grooves move together in time with moody midnight waltzes. A Hank Williams hurtin’ classic sits next to an irresistible dance tune from the Kingdom of Zydeco as if there are no boundaries to musical expression…. And thus the journey continues, like life itself – the reel of joy echoes through the bar-rooms of Melbourne, Sydney and the back-of-beyond. The rhythms resound in the hills and valleys of the Australian landscape and all places in between.

For a taste, here Andy performs the title track from the CD at Tamworth earlier this year. With him are Garry Steel, Warren Earl, Michael Vidale and Ron Mahony.

For the album Andy put together a talented group of Melbourne musicians: Sam Lemann on guitars, Denis Close on percussion, Andy “hillbilly” Scott on bass, Sharkey Ramos on drums, Steve Teakle on accordion, Andy Ogburn on piano and Dale Lindrea on bass.

The music was recorded deep in the heart of Brunswick, Melbourne by Steve Fraser in a disused lingerie factory and captures a warm, live, no frills approach to playing.

Entry to Sunday’s launch is free, food is available, kids welcome.
Musical guests include Denis Close on percussion; Sharkey Ramos on drums; Andrew Scott on bass; Sam Lemann on guitars; Ed Bates on pedal steel.

For more info you can contact Andy on, Mobile: 0407 839144 or

As Andy says:

REEL OF JOY is: heartfelt music picked yesterday, direct from grower, organic, fiercely independent, free of harmful additives, not tested on animals, fair trade, has the heart foundation tick of approval, gluten and dairy free and is available only from Andy Baylor himself .
Support Australian musicians and artists.

Australian Jazz Museum: new name, same focus

Australian Jazz Museum banner 1
The Victorian Jazz Archive, in the few short years since its establishment in Koomba Park, Wantirna in 1996, has become the major repository of Australian jazz research material in all its many formats, and gained a national and international reputation for its professional and proactive work in preserving, providing access to, and promoting the history of jazz in this country.

For some time the Board of Management of the Archive has been working towards a name change for the organisation which better reflects its role and objectives. So if you come across an institution called the Australian Jazz Museum, it’s not a new body, but the VJA in its new and more appropriate identity.

Terry Norman, President, explains the reasoning behind the name change on the Museum’s website.

The primary reasoning behind this change is that our current name could be misconstrued to suggest that we are only interested in Victorian Jazz. In fact our archive has always proactively collected all Australian Jazz, and is now the major institution devoted to Australian Jazz. Our collection also encompasses International Jazz. We intend to slowly make the transition to a new visual identity as resources permit.

Congratulations to all at the AJM as they move forward from the VJA!

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:
To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
or, via email, send a message with subject or body ‘help’ to

Geoff Tobin and Cricket on the radio: it must be summertime!

FOR the third year running, ace jazz broadcaster (and failed trombone player – Frank Traynor advised him to stick to his day job) Geoff Tobin will be bringing jazz and joy to the airwaves on Radio 3CR (855 AM) on Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm.

Geoff’s program, Jazz on a Lazy Wednesday Afternoon, will run from New Year’s Day until some time in March. (The usual presenters in this time slot are taking an extended holiday).

As most of you know, Geoff is one of the regular stable of presenters on the Victorian Jazz Club’s record breaking program, Jazz on a Saturday, which has been running on Saturday afternoons same station, same time, same presenters since 3CR began broadcasting in 1976.

Geoff’s tastes in jazz and blues are very wide ranging, his style is relaxed and knowledgable. There’ll be surprises, performers or tracks you may not have heard before, but balanced with some local talent and old favourites. Something for every taste and temper.

So don’t miss Geoff on Wednesday arvos on Melbourne radio at 855AM, or listen live through you computer at If you’re out of range for either of these options there’s an app for iPads called Tunein available from This will also allow you to listen to most radio stations around the world, live.


HuonFM, Australia’s southernmost jazz radio broadcaster

GEEVESTON is a small town located in the south of Tasmania on the Huon River, 62 km south west of Hobart, making it Australia’s most southerly administrative centre. That makes its radio station, – HuonFM – Australia’s southernmost broadcaster, and its weekly jazz program – RHYTHM IS OUR BUSINESS presented by David Milne – the deepest south of our jazz on radio providers.

Fortunately in this age of streaming, we can all listen to David’s program which goes to air every Sunday from 4.00pm to 9.00pm. By clicking on the microphone below you’ll get to the station’s front page. If you want to note down the URL for future reference, it’s

David has been an enthusiastic Australian Jazz Convention goer, and in preparation for this year’s shindig in Goulburn he is presenting two special programs which will be his personal look at the Conventions, the music and the Original Tunes, with lots of appropriate recordings. These will be broadcast on Sundays 18 August and 25 August, and should be a great memory jogger and preparation for the 68th AJC, which is fast approaching.

WHICH reminds me that the Convention website is up-to-date with all arrangements, information and news on the coming event, so visit to read the latest newsletter, choose accommodation, volunteer to help, or register. Make sure you go to the new website at

A final note: On Sunday 11 August David will have as his studio guest well-known reedsman, Paul Martin whose playing credentials stretch back to the 1960s and include the Black Eagle Jazz Band, Nick Boston’s New Orleans Jazz Band, Yarra Yarra Jazz Band, The Hot Sands, Roger Jane’s Band, The Jazzmakers, Jim Loughnan’s Bendigo Five, Melbourne New Orleans Wanderers, Melbourne University Jazz Band, Ian Pearce Quartet, Frank Traynor’s Jazz Preachers, “amongst others”.

Baby Soda: and Yes, Bria is a girl!

IT’S Tuesday afternoon, and of course we’re listening to one of our favourite jazz programs – Ian Smith’s “Mainly Trad” on Radio Inner FM at 96.5FM on your dial from 1.00-4.00pm. The first hour is not exactly jazz, but something called “Music for Pleasure” which indeed is very pleasurable. And there are no excuses that you are out of range of 3INR (located in Warringal Shopping Centre, Heidelberg) because the station streams live through your computer. If you are a techno-whiz you can probably download it and listen later.

Baby Soda “Live at Radegast”

Anyway, today Smithy played a track from a CD which I lent him of a New York band called BABY SODA – “Jericho” was the tune. The band has a variable lineup but is usually five: trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo and one-string box bass. And yes Ian, Bria the trumpeter is very definitely a girl, as is Emily on trombone. Here the band plays “Swing That Music” at St Mazie Bar, Brooklyn, New York.

To give them their full names –
Box Bass and vocals- Peter Ford
Clarinet – Adrian Cunningham
Trumpet – Bria Skonberg
Trombone – Emily Asher
Banjo – Jared Engel

Some of you may recognise the name of Adrian Cunningham, who hails from Sydney – a multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader with an international reputation. Another one of our wandering minstrels who is making the world his stage.

This is how Baby Soda describes themselves:

Baby Soda is on the forefront of a new movement loosely known as street jazz; with an eclectic set of influences ranging from 30s era swing, New Orleans jazz, and southern gospel. The ensemble doesn’t desire to recreate the past, rather they bring the concept and joy of the music to the present.

Baby Soda is an adaptable and ever changing group made up of New York’s finest musicians; featuring trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo and the unique one string box bass. The band has performed at some of New York’s finest venues such as The Village Vanguard, Barbes, The Knitting Factory and the Jalopy Theater.

In addition to their busy schedule of club dates, Baby Soda loves performing on the street and in the subway. This allows them to hone their skills and bring the music directly to the people. Both Pediatrics and Geriatrics agree, Baby Soda is the sure cure for the aches and pains of the modern world!

Here the band with a different lineup plays MILENBERG JOYS on a rainy night in New York days before Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of America with such devestating force. Emily Asher, Jared Engel and Peter Ford are joined by Will Anderson on clarinet and Gordon Au on trumpet,

Baby Soda has produced quite a number of CDs which are available from their website