Tag Archives: Ian Smith

Bell Brothers Tribute @ Eltham

nillumbikON Wednesday 14 October 2015 the Shire of Nillumbik will stage a very special tribute to a pair of Australia’s iconic jazz musicians – Graeme and Roger Bell. This will take the form of a Tea Dance to be held at 3.00pm in the Eltham Community and Reception Centre, 801 Main Street, Eltham.

Bell Band, Sydney, 1948

Hyde Park, Sydney 1948

THE TRIBUTE BAND will be made up of musicians who are pretty much jazz icons themselves! Get a look at the list:
 Ian Smith ( trumpet and leader)  Dave Hetherington (clarinet)

Ian Smith and Dave Hetherington

Ian Smith and Dave Hetherington


 Chris Ludowyk (trombone)  Stephen Grant (piano)
Chris Ludowyk and Stephen Grant

Chris Ludowyk and Stephen Grant


 Mark Elton (bass)  John Cox (banjo)
Mark Elton and John Cox

Mark Elton and John Cox


and  Wes Brown (drums)
Wes Brown

Wes Brown


Also featured will be some of the newer generation of jazz musicians in The Eltham High School Jazz Band.

Eltham (now part of Nillumbik Shire) had particular significance in the early days of Graeme and Roger. In 1938, together with friend Peter Glass, they bought 6 acres of land in Eltham. Inspired by Justus Jorgenson of Montsalvat they decided on mudbrick houses and spent many congenial weekends with friends making bricks and carousing. Some weekends carousing outstripped brick making! Further details of this period can be found in Alistair Knox: We Are What We Stand On: a personal history of the Eltham community

Below is a photo from Graeme’s autobiography (Graeme Bell: Australian Jazzman) of a visit to the site with Rex Stewart in 1949.

Greme Bell a Eltham with Rex Stewart and friends Mud bricks in background 1949

Greme Bell at Eltham with Rex Stewart and friends
Mud bricks in background
1949

The Bell house is still standing at 71 John Street. The house Peter Glass built is at 75 John Street.

71 John Street Eltham The Bell mudbrick house

71 John Street Eltham
The Bell mudbrick house

So put this date in your diaries to join in celebrating the music of the late Graeme and Roger Bell, and in commemorating the contribution these former Eltham residents made with their music in both Australia and overseas. And if you’re old enough, relive those wonderful times spent listening and/or dancing to the Bell bands.

Date: Wednesday 14 October
Time: 2:30pm (doors open) for 3pm start
Where: Eltham Community and Reception Centre
801 Main Road, Eltham
Cost: $15 book tickets through www.trybooking.com.au/145611
before Tuesday 6 October
For further information or bookings after 6 October contact 9433 3157 or events@nillumbik.vic.gov.au/
Refreshments will be supplied by St Margaret’s Anglican Auxiliary.

Amongst the many Bell recordings, the following 2 CD set produced by the Australian Jazz Museum stands out as a great collection of early tracks. The Museum shop can be contacted online at http://www.ajm.org.au

greme nd roger bell
Nillumbik Shire Council is supporting this event in conjunction with Nillumbik U3A, the Australian Jazz Museum and Eltham High School to present an afternoon of wonderful Jazz music.
(John Crichton and Mal Harrop run a jazz appreciation course for Nillumbik U3A on Monday afternoons at 4.00pm at the Eltham Living & Learning Centre, 739 Main Road, Eltham)

Bill Hare: farewell to a passionate jazz “second liner”

PROFESSOR William Samuel Calhoun Hare, AO MD MBBS DDR FRCR FRANZCR FRACP DDU, died in his 90th year on 31 May 2013.

In his professional field of medicine Professor Hare was a recognised world expert and innovator, acknowledged by the award in 1990 of Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to medicine, particularly in the field of radiology, and by the tributes of his many colleagues and students.

But to those in the jazz world, Bill Hare was first and foremost a knowlegdable and enthusiastic lover of the music, whose smiling presence graced many a gig. He was a regular visitor at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel in Richmond where we saw him only a couple of months ago. Ian Smith, leader of the Riverwalk Trio, was asked to play one of Bill’s favourite tunes at the private family Service held at St Stephens Anglican Church, Gardenvale on Thursday 6 June. Last Sunday – 9 June – Ian and his group played the same tune “Marcheta” as a tribute to Bill Hare, a valued “second liner” who will be much missed. With Ian are Dan Gordon on bass and Andy Baylor on guitar.

A Celebration of Bill’s life will be held at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, Parkville at 3.00 pm on Friday June 14, to which all are welcome.

The following is taken from a tribute to the life and work of Bill Hare published in the Melbourne Age:

The Department of Radiology, Melbourne Medical School, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), are deeply saddened by the passing of their dear friend and father figure Professor Emeritus William (Bill) Samuel Calhoun Hare.

As Director of the RMH Department of Radiology (1958-1988) Professor Hare recognised the need for strong academic leadership in radiology and was instrumental in the creation of the University Department of Radiology and the Edgar Rouse Chair of Radiology, the first radiology chair in Australia. As inaugural Chair, Professor Hare established radiology teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate students, greatly elevating the standard and practice of radiology in Australia.

A world authority in interventional uroradiology he established many practices adopted since worldwide. He served the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists as President and as Councillor and was foundation President of the Asian and Oceanian Society of Radiology.

In his later years Professor Hare worked tirelessly to advance the discipline of radiology through his wise counsel and continued teaching, the creation of the Bill Hare Travelling Fellowship and in securing valuable philanthropic funds for the department.

Professor Bill Hare inspired a generation of radiologists in Australia and his deep commitment to teaching and clinical practice promoted and sustained the partnership between our two organisations. We thank him for his leadership, vision and the enduring legacy that he leaves to radiology and generations of medical practitioners.

The Frilly Knickers with “special guests”

Contact: Jaz Stutley 0419 363 623/ Email: jazstutley@internode.on.net

And another one for 17 March 2013: The Mellowtones at Mornington RSL

John Cox’s Mellowtones will be playing at the Mornington RSL, 27 Virginia Street, Mornington on Sunday March 17 from 12.30 – 3.30pm. Phone: 5975 2106 for bookings.

The Mornington RSL is one of those enlightened places which has a regular Sunday gig – A Pleasant Sunday Arvo in fact. Their only failing is that they don’t advertise who’s playing each week so it’s either take potluck, or ring up and ask. Perhaps they have so many locals knocking down the doors to get in that they don’t need any more bums on seats, but it’s always nice to know what the options are, so I’ll try and collect the info for you in future.

This week anyway it’s the lovely Mellowtones. Mellow by name and mellow by sound, this group of seasoned and savvy musicians always pleases. The usual lineup is John Cox, leader/banjo/guitar; Bob Venier, trumpet; Mike Edwards, reeds; Dan Gordon, tuba and Ben Rushworth, drums.

Here’s a sample of them playing at the Matthew Flinders Hotel:

And last Sunday, March 10, 2013 John Cox and Dan Gordon (on bass this time) played together with Ian Smith at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel, Bridge Road, Richmond. For fun they did Marty Robbins’ 1950s rock and roll hit, “A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)”. If you remember that you’re almost as old as I am.

A Surfeit of Riches: Jazz Choices this Weekend

THIS coming weekend – 23 and 24 February 2013 – there seem to be more jazz choices than usual in and around Melbourne, and that’s not including the regular gigs which have to be factored into the equation.

One of the least publicised, and in my view most enjoyable jazz festivals is on this weekend: The Eltham Jazz, Food and Wine Festival runs from midday until 9.30pm on Saturday the 23rd and until 5.30pm on Sunday 24th. I suppose you could call it a boutique festival with all performances on two Stages in the middle of the shopping centre in Main Street, Eltham opposite the the Railway Station. It’s free, no bookings required, and the delights include The Allan Browne Quintet, Cairo Club Orchestra, Bop Kick with Julie O’Hara, B# Big Band, and The Syncopators. as well as lots of choices for blues lovers.

New Orleans Pelicans Brass Band at the Festival in 2012

A very special highlight of the Festival is the traditional street march by Barry Wratten’s New Orleans Pelicans Brass Band accompanied by Amelia the stilt walker on Sunday morning at 11.30 followed by a performance on Stage I until 1.15pm when The Melbourne Gospel Singers will take over. Click here for a full programme with times.

Saturday 23 February Grumpy’s Green – 125 Smith Street, Fitzroy:
In lieu of John Scurry’s Virus which has the regular Saturday afternoon spot at Grumpy’s, “Jason Downes and Friends” will be playing. Jason will be joined by Leigh Barker, Matt Boden (Tasmanian born pianist now living in Paris) and Marc Meader (Netherlands) on drums for a fun afternoon of jazz. The session will run from 3.00-5.00pm (earlier than normal). Phone: 9416 1944
The band will be playing a mix of tunes from the 20s-50s and Jason says sit-ins and stragglers are welcome.

On Sunday 24 February Smithys Scallywags: featuring Danni Smith on vocals will be playing at the Bentleigh Club, Yawla Street, Bentleigh. Our great Melbourne jazz treasure Ian Smith has put together a wondrous show to celebrate the release of his new CD of tracks recorded over several years, some of which feature daughter Danni. He has invited all the musicians who are on this CD to take part on Sunday to help launch it. The 9 piece all-star line-up will not all be playing at once, but in a variety of combinations during the afternoon, so this will be truly a jazz extravaganza. Danni is flying down from Byron Bay to be part of the shindig. So if you’re free on Sunday afternoon, (or even if you had something else planned), this will be an event seriously to be considered. (Please note how I avoided a split infinitive there! My English teacher would have been proud.) A delicious two course luncheon is included.
There is still time to book with Diana Allen but you need to ring her on 5258 3936 by midday on Friday.

Sunday 24 February @ 4.00pm Montsalvat: Ted Vining Trio CD LAUNCH:
This concert is to celebrate the re-release of Ted Vining Trio’s 1981 Live at PBS FM . By popular demand, Newmarket Music has produced a CD of this sellout Jazznote LP recorded in December of 1981. The performance will be held in the Barn Gallery, Montsalvat, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham, and will be in memory of the Trio’s great bass player, Barry Buckley, who died in 2006.

The lineup will be Bob Sedergreen – piano, Gareth Hill – bass, Ted Vining – drums with special Guests: Alan Lee – vibes/percussion and Ian Chaplin – alto saxophone.
The MC wil be: Jim McLeod – presenter of Jazz on Saturday, on PBS , 106.7 FM from 9.00am to 11.00am (not to be confused with the Victorian Jazz Club’s long-running program, Jazz on a Saturday, which goes to air on 3CR, 855AM from 2.00pm to 4.30pm)
Tickets: $20 /$15. Bookings on 9439 7712 or at the door.

Shirazz at Queenscliff:
On Sunday 24 February Matt Dixon and his lads will be heading down to sunny Queenscliff for a jazz picnic in Citizen’s Park, Queenscliff. The Park overlooks Port Phillip Bay and is ideal for a picnic and a relaxing afternoon taking in the sea breezes and your favourite jazz tunes.

Where: Citizen’s Park, Gellibrand Street, Queenscliff
When: Sunday 24 Feb, 12:30 – 3:30pm

Sunday afternoon Feb 24th :
The New Melbourne Jazz Band will be at the Monash Hotel, 2077 Dandenong Road, Clayton, from 1.00 pm-till-4.00 pm. The New Melbourne, under leader Ross Anderson, has been one of our favourite bands for more than half a century, as well as earning an international reputation through its many overseas tours. Special Guest on Clarinet and Vocal will be Kim Rushworth.(drummer Ben Rushworth’s Dad, as if you didn’t know!)
Ross says they are all looking forward to lots of “FUN JAZZ” with Kim and Peter Uppman doing “Scat Vocals” as well as playing your requests. There is no cover charge. For bookings phone 9544 8011.

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 http://www.babysoda.org

Smithy’s Scallywags plus: Ian and Danni Smith @ The Bentleigh Club

DIANA Allen of Jazz Australia has been presenting world class jazz events consistently – and for a very long time. The Australian jazz scene would be  very much the poorer without her obsession with jazz music and unerring instinct for what makes a class act.  Combine this with extraordinary energy, great organisational ability, and determination to ensure that only the best will do, and it’s easy to understand why Diana’s  Jazz Australia has survived for so long   in the sometimes harsh world of jazz promotion and maintained its enviable reputation for excellence.

On Sunday 24 February she will be bringing us another very special show: AN AFTERNOON WITH IAN SMITH’S SCALLYWAGS, featuring special guest vocalist DANNI SMITH.

This will be at the usual city venue of The Bentleigh Club, Yawla Street, Bentleigh at 11.30am for a midday start.

The “inimitable, indefatigable and indispensable Ian Smith” will lead a great line-up of Scallywags, to celebrate the production of their brand new CD.  Ian Smith, cornet and drums; Jo Stevenson and Steve Dagg, reeds; Johnny Adams, piano; Dai Jones, guitar; John Cox, guitar and banjo; and Mark Elton, bass. Ian’s daughter Danni is featured on this recording and will be in town for the occasion from Byron Bay.

Danni and Ian Smith

This all-star cast ensures a superb afternoon of music, and a lot of fun, as you can imagine. The program will include popular jazz standards, and vocal items originally made famous by singers such as Maxine Sullivan, Peggy Lee and Julie London amongst others.

The show will be accompanied by a two-course luncheon and tickets are $70 per head. Bookings can be made by ringing Diana on 5258 3936, or sending a cheque to Jazz Australia at 25 Peterho Boulevard, Point Lonsdale VIC 3225, or by bank transfer to Jazz Australia’s account at CBA Hawthorn – BSB 063 138 Account Number 1001 3193. If you are making a bank transfer make sure that you include your name for ticketing purposes.

Smithy has recorded with so many bands but it’s great to see him directing his own CD again. The last were “Happy Feet” in 2001 and Smithy’s Studio Scallywags in 2007.

The Hetherington dynasty: one of many musical family manifestations!

I NOTICED in Saturday’s paper that “Flower Children”, the musical based on the brief years of fame of the Mamas and the Papas is coming back to Melbourne in 2013 for a short season at The Comedy Theatre in Exhibition Street.   Matt Hetherington will star again as Papa John.

Singer/actor Matt has performed in hundreds – probably thousands – of live gigs (including the AFL Grand Final in 2010), starred brilliantly in a slew of musicals, and recently made the national stage as a finalist on “The Voice”.

Here’s Matt with Marina Prior in October this year in “Promises Promises” for The Production Company.

Of course jazz fans will know that Matt is the son of much loved jazz musician Dave Hetherington, and nephew of the late Ollie Hetherington of Nat Oliver’s Jazz Band fame.   Most will also know that Matt is a dab hand as a drummer. Here he plays with Dave Hetherington’s Jazzbos on the music panel show “Spicks and Specks” in November 2009.   Other members of the band are Peter Hooper on banjo, Michael McInerney on bass and Hugh de Rosayro on trombone.

Dave himself may have had the seeds of music planted by his grandfather, who ran away to sea and was introduced to jazz by hearing musicians playing and singing on the levees in New Orleans. Whatever the source, Dave has been a part of the Australian jazz scene since his teens.

In October this year Dave played at the Victorian Jazz Club’s special night featuring jazz singers, Carol Ralph and the legendary Kate Dunbar. Here’s a great pic of Dave with Ian Smith and Kate Dunbar, taken by Ron Jobe (who must have taken more images of jazz musicians, jazz fans and jazz locations than any other Australian photographer). This one appeared in the VJC monthly newsletter, Jazzbeat for Dec 2012/January 2013.

Ian Smith, Kate Dunbar and Dave Hetherington

And it may be that the Hetherington musical line will continue. Here’s a picture of proud father Matt with young Oscar Hetherington on his way to one year old. He’s certainly got the smile to make it to the top!

If you are interested in going to see “Flower Children” tickets are available from Ticketmaster. Click on the poster below for a link. The season starts on 23 May.

If you want to keep up to date with Matt’s doings, here’s his website: www.matthetherington.com

Keep in touch with Dave through his Facebook page. Click on his smiling face to find it.

“Avalon” and ‘E Lucevan Le Stelle”

LAST Sunday we were at the Riverwalk Hotel (again) to hear Ian Smith’s Trio play and sing some good old jazz, and anything else the patrons may request.

We usually take along our “Bible of Jazz Words” to refresh our memories on some of the words. This time we decided to work through the alphabet for our quota of requests, and out of the “A’s” we chose “Avalon”.

Here the Trio comprising Ian Smith on cornet, Willie Purcell on guitar and Hermann Schwaiger on bass mess about delightfully with this jazz classic! It was late in the day so they weren’t taking themselves too seriously, but I think it’s brilliant.

Now, not only does the “Bible” contain the words of hundreds of jazz standards, it also includes composer, lyricist, and often the disc from which the words were transcribed, any films the tune may have featured in, and occasionally some note of interest about the song.

We found that “Avalon” was a popular song written by Al Jolson, Buddy DeSylva and Vincent Rose in 1920. It was introduced by Jolson and his recording rose to number two on the charts in 1921.

The song was possibly written by Rose, but Jolson’s popularity as a performer allowed him to claim composer co-credit. It became a popular jazz standard, and has been recorded by many artists, including Cab Calloway, Coleman Hawkins, Eddie Durham and Nat King Cole amongst others.

The Benny Goodman Quartet played the song in their famous 1938 Carnegie Hall concert.

But what was even more interesting was that the tune’s opening melody resembles a part of Giacomo Puccini’s aria “E lucevan le stelle”, from the opera “Tosca”. Puccini’s publishers sued the song’s composers in 1921 for use of the melody, and were awarded $25,000 and all subsequent royalties of the song by the court. Here’s a clip of Caruso singing the aria. Al Jolson’s father was a devotee of opera so I suppose it’s possible that Jolson may have heard this recording (Caruso died in 1921; Puccini died in 1924) and the melody remained in his brain subliminally.

Breaking the drought: first jazz day out for months!

AFTER four months of being off the jazz scene for various medical reasons, it was great to be back in the swing again last Sunday. And what better way to start testing the waters than lunching at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel with good friends Bob and Marcie Whetstone, and the inimitable Ian Smith Trio providing the music. I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve been starved for live jazz for so long, or whether the group was in particularly good form, but the music was at its mellowist.

The lineup – which varies week by week – was special. Ian Smith on cornet, Will Purcell on guitar and James Clark on bass. In addition Bob Whetstone had brought along his new Bobby Shew Yamaha trumpet and sat-in for several numbers.

“Blueberry Hill” was an early request. Bob and Graeme joining in the vocals.

Just to prove they can and do play anything (well almost anything) the punters ask for, the band did a chorus of “Loch Lomond” for a Scottish party. That’s the lovely Marcie Whetstone in the foreground.

Another request “Ain’t She Sweet”. Note Bob’s new mute which he tells me is a straight double mute, which looks rather like one described on the web as a Humes and Berg “Stonelined Cleartone Trumpet Mute”. Check it out and tell me if I’m wrong.

Bob breaks out on “Mack the Knife” while Ian has a go with the mute.

Graeme proves that he can still sing.

Bristol-born baby, Amelia Clark with Mum.

It was good to see James and family back in Australia after a sojourn in the UK, (based in Bristol) where he was playing with C. W. Stoneking’s Primitive Horn Orchestra.

Here’s a clip from a Stoneking performance in Athens in February 2012.
And yes, that’s Stephen Grant on cornet.

Well, I guess it pays the rent.