Tag Archives: Victorian Jazz Club

Forty Five Years On: the Victorian Jazz Club looking back

AS the Victorian Jazz Club prepares to celebrate officially its 45th birthday on Saturday 5 October, it is fascinating to look back to the Club’s early, heady days of “Jazz ‘N’ Jug every Thursday night in the Thoroughly Modern Piano Lounge of the Prospect Hill Hotel, 299 High Street Kew, (now Dan Murphy’s) where the entry fee was 50 cents, and the Hotel provided a “range of supper dishes” for 50 cents minimum after 10.00pm to comply with the liquor laws at the time.

Jazzline No. 2, September 1968

Above is a picture of my precious copy of the second issue of the Club’s magazine JAZZLINE. It consists of 16 duplicated pages detailing a bit of the history of the Club, a list of Committee members (some familiar names there) and plans for future activities.

But perhaps most interesting is the aim of the Club which was to provide playing opportunities and audiences for existing bands or regularly rehearsing groups with the accent on traditional styles, although the only real stipulation was that “the music be jazz oriented and played with a reasonable amount of ability and a large amount of sincerity.” There were also to be ample opportunities for “sit-ins” and for groups or individual musicians, who did not meet the criterion of “regular groups”, to perform on special guest nights.

The following 12 bands were registered to play during the first season which began on 12 September 1968:

Roger Bell, Denis Ball, Mal Wilkinson, Bud Baker, Robin McCulloch, Mal McGililivray.
Roger re-formed his famous group last year to appear at Geoff Brook’s Steak Cave. Now appearing occasionally at La Brochette.

Allan Leake, Dick Tattam, Paul Martin, John Murray, Graham Coyle, Mike Nelson, Fred Stephenson or Dick Barnes.
Led by Allan Leake and with its obvious accent on experience, this recently formed group shows great promise.

Peter Gaudion and Steve Miller, Mike Longhurst, Len Cobbledick, Peter Grey, John Kent.
Formed by Steve and Peter about a year ago, the band has been doing one night stands and some recent television work.

Nick Polites, Chris Deutscher, Ray Lewis, Andy Symes, Frank Stewart, Lynn Wallis.
Basically a reconstruction of the old Silver Leaf Jazz Band with the addition of Nick Polites on clarinet. Originally formed to play at the Catharina over two years ago, the band has well outlived the job and now does one night appearances around town.

Don Standing, Mike Longhurst, Dave Allardice, Jeremy Kelloch, Peter Cass, Peter Scudds, Paul Longhurst.
Formed by Don Standing in the last six months, this group forms an interesting musical contrast to most of the jazz bands in Melbourne.

Allan Browne, Brett Iggulden, Dick Miller, Bill Howard, Rowan Smith, John Scurry, Conrad Joyce.
Recently returned from overseas, this must be one of Melbourne’s most popular jazz bands, appearing frequently on TV amongst other engagements.

(In the following filmclip of the Red Onions from 1966 we see Mike Edwards on second trumpet and Nick Polites on clarinet.)

Frank Traynor, Dick Tattam, Jim Loughnan, Peter McKay, Les Davis, Ron Williamson, Jim Beal.
Originally formed from the House Band of the old Melbourne Jazz Club the group have recorded extensively (including football club theme songs) and have many concert appearances to their credit. Doing one night stands these days,they also appear regularly at Frank’s Folk and Coffee House.

Steve Waddell, Mal Jennings, Mike Longhurst, Bob Gilbert, Dave Campbell, Geoff Thompson, Clive Champion, Duncan McQueen.
Now appearing regularly on television this group also works on a one night stand basis.

Maurie Garbutt, Dave Bailey, Les Fithall, Willie Watt, Dave Myers, Graham Bennett, Lucille Newcombe.
One of the longest established bands in Melbourne and veterans of many clubs and concerts, this group did a lot to establish New Orleans ensemble jazz in Melbourne. Now taking the bull by the horns and appearing regularly in Melbourne’s discotheques.

Barry Hanley, Peter McKay,Ken Sluice, Ken Vatcher.
A very talented quartet formed to play at the Croxton Park Hotel. Still appearing there regularly.

Gavan Gow, Chris Ellis, Hans Karssemeyer, “Gypsy” Bennett.
A well established group now appearing at the Springvale Hotel.

Simon Wettenhall, Garry Richardson, Jeremy Kelloch, Ron Cook, Peter Cass, Felix Blatt, Bob Moore.
A young band with great promise in the traditional style of King Oliver etc.

Hope you enjoyed this wander down memory lane!

Those Barnards: Australia’s Jazz Dynasty

Rebecca Barnard

I WAS listening this morning (Friday 27 September 2013) to the radio broadcast of the AFL Grand Final parade, and who should be in the studio singing the Aussie Rules football “hymn”, Up There Cazaly, but the lovely Rebecca Barnard. Rebecca is of course a member of the Barnard dynasty, four generations of musicians including the legendary Bob Barnard and Len Barnard, plus the later generations of Tony and Adam Barnard, and Casey and Beau Golden. Bob and Len’s mother and father had a dance band in the 1940s.

Stan Valacos, Rebecca Barnard, Adam Barnard, Casey Golden, Beau Golden, Bob Barnard, Tony Barnard
(from Bob Barnard’s Jazz Scrapbook)

On Saturday 5 October the Victorian Jazz Club will hold a joint celebration of Bob Barnard‘s 80th birthday (a month early) and the Club’s 45th (a few month’s late, but very well worth waiting for). The occasion will also be the launching party for Bob’s latest in a long line of CDs. This one features Peter Locke (piano), James Clark (bass), Jo Stevenson (reeds) and Peter Whitford (drums) wih Rebecca Barnard on vocals – all of whom will perform on the night. This show has been a total sell-out for weeks – even the dance floor has been taken over for seating to fit in the maximum number of fans.

Steve Waddell on the comeback trail

Steve Waddell

A COUPLE of days ago I brought you the good news that Steve Waddell had made a welcome return to playing as a special guest with Doug Rawson’s Sobriety Five. Here are a couple of images of the Five (expanded to a Seven) taken last Wednesday at the Clayton RSL by the Victorian Jazz Club’s ace photographer, Ron “Flash Harry” Jobe.

Derek Reynolds, Tony Orr, Steve Waddell

Derek Reynolds, Tony Orr, Bob Pattie, Mike Edwards, Peter Grey, Doug Rawson, Steve Waddell

Harry Daniels, President of the Peninsula Jazz Club emailed yesterday that Steve Waddell’s Creole Bells will again be presenting themselves at the PLC afternoon concert on Sunday 24 November 2013 at the Patterson Lakes Community Centre. It will be a year since the Creole Bells performed at Patterson Lakes. Last year Steve was MC and sang, but didn’t play. This year we hope that he will be able to lead the band with trombone in hand.

Ships that pass in the night: The Syncopators in, Shuffle Club out

The Shuffle Club

WELL,they’re not exactly ships, and strictly not passing in the night, but The Syncopators (including of course trumpeter Peter Gaudion) have just returned from their latest very successful European tour, while The Shuffle Club (with front man Ash Gaudion on saxophone) are preparing to leave for a stint at the Edinburgh Festival playing in the Famous Spiegeltent.

One of the last chances to hear The Shuffle Club before they head off will be at Transit Lounge,  Level 2 of Transport Hotel, Federation Square, Melbourne.  Saturday 27th at 10pm.  9654 8808

The Syncopators

And The Syncopators will be the featured band at the Victorian Jazz Club’s tribute to the great Satchmo on Sunday 11 August from 6.00pm – 9.00pm at the Bentleigh Club, Yawla Street, Bentleigh. Special guest trumpeter/vocalist will be John Hawes,  so there’ll be double the excitement when these two extroverted and powerful players – Gaudion and Hawes – get together.   Peter Baylor on guitar/banjo, Andy Swann on drums and Joe Ruberto on piano will join Chris Ludowyk on trombone, and Richard Miller on clarinet to complete this superb lineup. Tickets are $45 for VJC members, $50 for non members which will include a two course meal.  Call  9553 3850 for tickets.

Looking back into our Jazz History, The John Hawes Jazz Band together with The Red Onions and The Yarra Yarra Jazz Band were the top three Melbourne jazz bands during the 1960s. Some will still remember Saturday nights at the Salvation Army hall in Moonee Ponds – Jazz Junction – with the John Hawes Jazz Band.

Tom McEwan, Geoff Orr and Graeme Davies have put together a 2 CD set of all the Hawes Band’s recorded output, including some previously unpublished studio sessions. The set – “The John Hawes Jazz Band: The Lost Tapes” – is available from Graeme Davies, 0418 587 687

On a sample track from this great collection, the band plays “Ain’t Misbehavin’ recorded in 1964. The lineup: John Hawes, cornet/vocal/tambourine; Ray Rickerby, clarinet; Graeme Davies, trombone/harmonica; Des Bader, banjo; Hamish Hughes, string bass; Dave McCallum, drums. Just click on the picture below to hear it.

Hot times at the Victorian Jazz Club: events to anticipate and participate in!!

NOT only does the Victorian Jazz Club hold a gig most Saturday nights (with a few weeks off for jazz festivals or over the Christmas/New Year break), and present a regular Saturday afternoon jazz radio program which has been running for 35 years, it also runs “specials” on special occasions. A few of these are coming up in the next few months, so if you live in Melbourne or within reasonable travelling distance, you might like to note these down on the old whiteboard. All of them are at the Clayton RSL, 163 Carinish Road, Clayton close to the Clayton Railway Station and with plenty of onsite parking.

Wednesday 10 October:
Another of the VJC’s popular daytime gigs with Clint Smith’s Southside Jazz.
11am – 2pm. Two hours of jazz plus/coffee/biscuit at $8 per head.
Bookings are essential on 9553 3850

Saturday 13 October:
John Morrison’s Moonee Valley Jazz Band will entertain from 8pm to midnight. $40 for VJC members, $45 for visitors will include a two course meal (table service). Door prizes, lucky spots, prizes for the best masks. Bookings;;9597 0128 by 5 October.

These two truly great jazz singers will be performing with a stellar lineup of Melbourne musicians; Ian Smith on trumpet, Dave Hetherington on reeds, Johnny Adams on piano, Mark Elton on bass, Harry Price on trombone, and Ron Sandilands on drums.
Whatever you have to do to be there, do it, because nights such as this come along but rarely.
Bookings 9553 3850

Monday 5 November: CUP EVE GALA.

To get you in the right mood for Flemington, put on your glad rags and be entertained by Doug Rawson’s Foster’s Foaming Five at the VJC’s Cup Eve Gala from 8pm-11pm. There’ll be “Fashions on the Field”, Best Hat prize, Best Couple prize, the tradional sweeps and more. $10 entry for members, $15 for non members. Meals available from the bistro and drinks at club prices.

Daytime Jazz in Melbourne: Fosters Foaming Five @ Clayton RSL

WEDNESDAY 23 May is the date for the next Victorian Jazz Club daytime jazz concert to suit those fans who prefer to hear their jazz while the sun is still up.

Fosters Foaming Five is the band which will provide the music at the Clayton RSL, 163 Carinish Road, Clayton from 11am to 2pm. (Doors open at 10.30).

The FFF are all well-known, well-seasoned and well-appreciated musicians about town.
Doug Rawson on piano, Alan Stott on sousaphone, Bob Pattie on trumpet, Tony Orr on banjo and Mike Edwards on reeds.

Fosters Foaming Five (photo: Ron Jobe)

Entry is $8 a head which includes free tea or coffee during breaks. Lisa at the Bistro provides an excellent array of light refreshments, or you can get stuck into a full meal from the menu board.

Although there are no seat allocations for this gig, booking is recommended. Phone either 9583 5247 or 9553 3850.

Hope to see you there!

Maurie Fabrikant tribute and fundraiser for MDA

Maurie with some of the musos who played for him on 13 May 2012

GRAHAM and Lenny Eames wrote the following report for the South Australian Jazz Club before getting the news that Maurie had left us:


We attended the VJC’s Motor Neurone fundraiser to honour Maurie Fabrikant on Sunday May 13th. It was a very humbling experience and fantastic to see how popular Maurie is. The event ran from 11am till we got kicked out at 5pm, and right from 11am onwards the room was full with musicians, jazz friends and family of Maurie’s. Maurie and Doreen were there from the start till finish. The event started with the Moonee Valley Jazz Band playing the first set and after that, bands were made up from musicians who were there, and with only a few breaks for raffles and announcements, there was nonstop music.
It’s hard to mention highlights, as the whole day was one great highlight, but a few occasions stand out: Maurie’s brother, Harold Fabrikant, playing a medley of Jelly Roll Morton tunes for about 20 minutes; Alan Stott singing his updated version of his 2nd place getting original tune “Maurie Fabrikant” to gales of laughter from the room; and then about 15 musicians in the Maurie’s Jolly Rollers yellow shirts, as many as possible of the musos who at one stage or another were “Jolly Rollers” decided to wear their distinctive shirts.
Musicians came from as far away as SA, Newcastle, ACT, Geelong, Ballarat, Colac, Swan Hill, Bendigo and of course Melbourne.
At last count we believe the total tally for the Motor Neurone Disease Association stands at over $10 000 raised.

Graham & Lenny Eames
Adelaide, SA

Generous and gracious to the end. Vale “Squire”.

New Gig for New Melbourne

Ross Anderson

MESSAGE from my good friend, Ross Anderson, bassman and leader of the ever new New Melbourne Jazz Band:

Next Sunday arvo, [22 April 2012], 1pm till 4pm we will be at the Dingley International Hotel, 334-348 Boundary Road, Dingley, Jazz in Amy’s Bistro ( a brand new Gig). Great food and lots of Fun Jazz. To book a table please phone: 9551 8344.

This looks as though it will be a regular gig on the fourth Sunday of the month, at least up until the end of June, so go along and support another live jazz venue.

Here’s a clip of the New Melbourne raising the roof at the Clayton RSL for the Victorian Jazz Club on Saturday 16 July 2011. The usual lineup of Ron Trigg, clarinet; Chris “Charlie” Farley, banjo; Dean Cooper, drums; Peter Uppman, trumpet/vocals and Ross Anderson, leader on bass.

To keep up to date on what the New Melbourne is doing, take a look at their website: www.newmelbournejazzband.com

Motor Neurone Disease Association Fundraiser: Victorian Jazz Club Jazz Fest

Clayton RSL

MUSICIANS from all over Victoria and some from other States will gather at the Clayton RSL, 163 Carinish Road, Clayton on Sunday 13 May for a Jazz Fest in aid of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The music will start at 11.00 am with the core band, John Morrison’s Moonee Valley Jazz Band, and will continue for the rest of the day with “sit-ins” and “jam sessions”. All musicians are invited to come along and have a blow to help this vital cause.

Donation entry is $10 per head and all funds raised will go to the MND Association.

Light refreshments will be available; drinks are at club prices.
Plenty of parking and the dance floor is huge.

For those unable to attend on the day, there will be Donation Boxes available for contributions at the entry desk at all VJC Saturday night gigs at Clayton leading up to the 13th.

MND is a progressive degenerative disease that affects muscular function leading to paralysis of the muscles we use to move, speak, swallow and breathe. There is currently no known cure for MND. The Motor Neurone Disease Association provides assistance to people living with the disease, their families, carers, and friends, and contributes to research into causes of and cures for this devastating disease.

Bull and Walford come to town

LAST Saturday night – 24 September – Geoff Bull (trumpet) and Gary Walford (piano) both from Sydney came to Melbourne to play for the Victorian Jazz Club at the Clayton RSL. This is the second visit to the VJC in less than 12 months for this massively talented pair.

Geoff Bull

Geoff Bull

Gary Walford

Gary Walford

Geoff Bull is one of Australia’s  best New Orleans style jazz trumpeters, with 50 years of playing and touring experience  in Australia, Europe, Japan, England, New Zealand, and of course New Orleans where he is a welcome visitor and performer.

Gary Walford, the piano-man,  is a Sydney icon where he has been playing at the Unity Hall Hotel, Balmain for 40 years,  give or take a few, and graces many a festival and jazz club stage.   His style is   a mixture of boogie, stride, New Orleans and swing, but whatever he plays,  it’s electrifying.

And  to add to the joy of the evening, the supporting band was made up of local heroes Dave Hetherington (clarinet/ tenor sax), Hugh de Rosayro (trombone), Peter Grey (double bass), Ashley Keating (banjo), and Allan Browne (drums).  Here’s a group portrait of the band taken by Ron Jobe, photographer to the stars.
Geoff Bull and Gary Walford with local heroesYou could write a book about any one of them.
And here’s a video of them playing ALWAYS. Look out at the end for Allan Browne’s individual drumming style. He is a “legend” in several different jazz genres and is always moving into fresh fields, both as a musician and as a composer.