Tag Archives: Ross Anderson

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.

New venue for New Melbourne @ The Monash Hotel

ROSS Anderson must be one of the busiest promoters of his band in the local jazz scene. ‘Onya Ross!

The New Melbourne will be playing at another new venue – The Monash Hotel in Clayton – on the first Sunday of the month until the end of 2012 and then the fourth Sunday of the month starting on 27 January 2013.

Ross reports that they will be playing in a great big room with very comfortable seating and able to see the band from all tables. The phone number for bookings is 9544 8011.

So New Melbourne fans, here’s another opportunity to hear your favourite band in action. The lineup looks like being Peter Uppman, trumpet, Ron Trigg, reeds; Charley Farley, banjo and guitar, and Ross on bass.

A Few Gigs This Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend

WHILE many lucky musos and fans are off at the Merimbula Jazz Festival (and some less lucky are having trouble getting through the floods), here are a few jazz events on in Melbourne to keep the rest of us warm and happy. The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is still on until Sunday 10 June, and you can find the program on their website. http://www.melbournejazz.com

Saturday 9 June: MICHAEL McQuaid’s Red Hot Rhythmakers, “Hop Off”, at the Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria Street, Brunswick. 9.00pm 9388 0830.

Cover Charge: $10 online from www.jasondownes.com/hopoff  or $15 at the door.


Sunday 10 June:: STEVE Purcell’s Pearly Shells at the Mentone Hotel, 95 Beach Road, Mentone.
Later time of 5.00 – 8.00pm. 9810 0088

Sunday 10 June:: ROSS Anderson’s New Melbourne Jazz Band at the Royal Hotel, 1208 Burwood Highway, Upper Ferntree Gully. 1.00-4.00pm. 9758 2755



Sunday 10 June:: SMITHY and Guests (Trio), at the Amora Riverwalk Hotel, 649 Bridge Road, Richmond. 12.30 – 3.30pm, 9246 1200

Vale: Bridge Hotel

Bridge Hotel, Richmond

The Bridge Hotel, Bridge Road, Richmond looking sad

PASSING the Bridge Hotel last Sunday (2 October 2011) we were presented with this dismal sight!   From across the road the sign on the front door seemed to read  “DEMOLITION PROJECT IN PROGRESS”.

But on closer investigation it appears that it’s not the wrecker’s hammer  but renovation which faces the old pub. The owners have a grandiose plan to create a “cool” venue in the heart of Richmond, which is definitely on the upward spiral from grunge to gentrification!

Here’s an exerpt from the owners’ press release on  their website:

The idea our architects had in designing the new Bridge Hotel was to borrow from Melbourne’s eclectic laneway culture and run a cobblestone laneway right through the centre, complete with outdoor tables, heaters, umbrellas and an enormous three metre high glass-encased wood burning fire. It’s an extraordinary concept – and we can’t wait to see it!
Sitting off the laneway will be a host of smaller spaces incorporating public bars, wine bars, dining rooms, private rooms, function rooms and casual dining areas.
Sitting above the laneway (on level two of the Hotel) will be a series of three private lofts that can also be linked into one giant (and very cool) function space. Each loft will have a couple of balconies that sit out over the laneway below, so from every angle the hotel looks and feels like a cool working laneway. Suffice to say, we are really excited about the end result!

Whatever the result – due to open in November 2011 or thereabouts – it won’t be THE BRIDGE as we knew it in the ROARING EIGHTIES and it certainly doesn’t sound like a jazzers’ haven.

Admittedly there hasn’t been jazz at The Bridge for more than a decade, but if you ask anyone around the jazz scene in Melbourne where they used to listen to jazz  “in the old days”, The Bridge is one of the first they mention.
Bands like HOTTER THAN SIX, FIREWORKS, DES CAMM, THE NEW MELBOURNE, DAVE HETHERINGTON’S JAZZBOS all played there on different nights of the week.

Ross Anderson, founder and leader of THE NEW MELBOURNE JAZZ BAND, said in an interview last year that his band played there for 16 years for “the best ever publican, Trevor Birchall”.  Ross was asked to put together a Dixieland band in 1981 for a one night gig at another hotel, the Limerick Arms in South Melbourne  (which turned out to be a much longer residency).  That was how The New Melbourne Jazz Band was formed, and it’s still going 30 years later, as are Des Camm’s Jazz Band and Dave Hetherington’s Jazzbo’s.

I haven’t got a video of any of these bands performing in the days of The Bridge,  but here’s one of THE NEW MELBOURNE playing in about 1991, possibly at  Monsalvat .  The lineup is Ross Anderson on bass, Derek Reynolds on trumpet, Willy Purcell on banjo, Ian Walkear on clarinet and saxes, John Murray on trombone, and Chuck Smith on drums.  The tune is PANAMA (sometimes known as PANAMA RAG) .   Derek Reynolds remembers that they   worked up the arrangement to include a couple of phrases from the Black Dogs’ version (Black Dogs’ Cassette Tape “Dog Daze”).

And just to remind you about the Black Dogs, they were a Dixieland band put together in 1988 by Steve Yocum from musicians who played at Disney World. Here’s a clip recorded in Dubuque, Iowa on 23 March 1991.

You can find out what THE NEW MELBOURNE JAZZ BAND is doing now by visiting their website.

PS. Tony Orr has just reminded me that Steve Waddell’s CREOLE BELLS also had a couple of long stints at THE BRIDGE. Thanks Tony!



Tony Orr