The wine and jazz appreciation society news, vol 5, no 1, 1/2/99

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April Wine Club: Wines from Tasmania

1. Domaine Chandon Tasmania Cuvee 1992 Chardonnay Pinot

2. Freycinet 1993 Radenti Chardonnay Pinot

3. East Arm 1998 Riesling

4. Pipers Brook 1998 Pinot Grigio

5. Springvale 1998 Pinot Grigio

6. Pipers Brook 1997 Chardonnay

7. Heemskirk 1996 Chardonnay

8. Freycinet 1995 Chardonnay

9. Delamere NV Sparkling Pinot Noir

10. Glen Ayr 1997 Pinot Noir

11. Wellington 1997 Iced Riesling

Subject: Bad Hair Day: A salutory tale

For all of you who occasionally have a really bad day when you just need to take it out on someone!!! Don't take that bad day out on someone you know, take it out on someone you DON'T know!!!

I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone call I had to make. I found the number and dialled it.
A man answered nicely saying, "Hello?"
I politely said, "This is Patrick Hanifin and could I please speak to Robin Carter?"
Suddenly the phone was slammed down on me!
I couldn't believe that anyone could be that rude. I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her. She had transposed the Last two digits.
After I hung up with Robin, I spotted the wrong number still lying there on my desk. I decided to call it again.
When the same person once more answered, I yelled "You're a jackass!" and hung up.
Next to his phone number I wrote the word "jackass," and put it in my desk drawer. Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills, or had a really bad day, I'd call him up. He'd answer, and then I'd yell, "You're a jackass!" It would always cheer me up.
Later in the year the phone company introduced caller ID. This was a real disappointment for me, I would have to stop calling the jackass.
Then one day I had an idea. I dialled his number, then heard his voice,
I made up a name. "Hi. This is the sales office of the telephone company and I'm just calling to see if you're familiar with our caller ID program?"
He went, "No!" and slammed the phone down. I quickly called him back and said,
"That's because you're a jackass!"
The reason I took the time to tell you this story, is to show you how, if there's ever anything really bothering you, you can do something about it.
Just dial 823-4863.

[Keep reading, it gets better.]

The old lady at the mall really took her time pulling out of the parking space.
I didn't think she was ever going to leave. Finally, her car began to move and she started to very slowly back out of the slot. I backed up a little more to give her plenty of room to pull out. Great, I thought, she's finally leaving. All of a sudden this black Camaro came flying up the parking aisle from the other direction and pulls into her space.
I started honking my horn and yelling, "You can't just do that, pal. I was here first!" The guy climbed out of his Camaro completely ignoring me. He walked toward the mall as if he didn't even hear me. I thought to myself, this guy's a jackass, there’re sure a lot of jackasses in this world.
I noticed he had a "For Sale" sign in the back window of his car. I wrote down the number. Then I hunted for another place to park.
A couple of days later, I'm at home sitting at my desk. I had just gotten off the phone after calling 823-4863 and yelling, "You're a jackass!" (It's really easy to call him now since I have his number on speed dial.)
I noticed the phone number of the guy with the black Camaro lying on my desk and thought I'd better call this guy, too.
After a couple rings someone answered the phone and said, "Hello." I said,
"Is this the man with the black Camaro for sale?"
"Yes, it is."
"Can you tell me where I can see it?" "Yes, I live at 1802 West 34th street. It's a yellow house and the car's parked right out front." I said, "What's your name?" "My name is Don Hansen." "When's a good time to catch you, Don?" "I'm home in the evenings."
Listen Don, can I tell you something?"
"Don, you're a jackass!" And I slammed the phone down.
After I hung up I added Don Hansen's number to my speed dialler. For a while things seemed to be going better for me. Now when I had a problem I had two jackasses to call. Then after several months of calling the jackasses and hanging up on them, it just wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be. I gave the problem some serious thought and came up with a solution.
First, I had my phone dial Jackass #1. A man answered nicely saying,
"Hello." I yelled "You're a jackass!", but I didn't hang up.
The jackass said, "Are you still there?"
I said, "Yeah."
He said, "Stop calling me."
I said, "No."
He said, "What's your name, Pal?"
I said, "Don Hansen."
He said "Where do you live?"
"1802 West 34th Street. It's a yellow house and my black Camaro's parked out front."
"I'm coming over right now, Don. You'd better start saying your prayers."
"Yeah, like I'm really scared, Jackass!" and I hung up.
Then I called Jackass #2.
He answered, "Hello."
I said, "Hello, Jackass!"
He said, "If I ever find out who you are..."
"You'll what?"
"I'll kick your butt."
"Well, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now Jackass!"
And I hung up. Then I picked up the phone and called the police. I told them I was at 1802 West 34th Street and that I was going to kill my gay lover as soon as he got home.
Another quick call to Channel 13 about the gang war going on down W. 34th Street.
After that I climbed into my car and headed over to 34th Street to watch the whole thing.
If you want to watch two Jackasses kicking the crap out of each other in front of 6 squad cars and a police helicopter, I taped it off the evening news.

"I had a linguistics professor who said that it's man's ability to use language that makes him the dominant species on the planet. That may be. But there's one other thing that separates us from animals. We aren't afraid of vacuum cleaners." Jeff Stilson
A return visit to hear Mistaken Identity was rewarded with another evening of distinctive and enjoyable playing. Some differences to last week - some new tunes, more tributes (to Nat Adderley, Mike Nock, Toby Mak, Bob Jones, Dale Barlow, Mal's dog); and a few Latin-flavoured numbers. There was also some variation on the ensemble beginnings to tunes noted during Last week's visit - this time several of them commenced with a sax solo. It is an effective device, adding drama and some tension as the tune's tempo is not revealed until the rhythm section eventually enters the fray. Danny's drumming again added life and variation to the music. A fine solo using brushes (nylon rather than metal) showed technique and power, not what one usually anticipates from brushes. A misnamed band this - there's little likelihood of mistaking their identity.
After a three day fast, the tablecloth at Bistro Inferno looked delicious, but was not on the menu, in fact quite the reverse! Fortunately, delectable, soft, light Greek olives with home baked bread and a plummy, chilli-infused dipping oil were quickly brought to table. Marinated for 11 months, they were exceptional and our effusive praise to the waitress led to another complimentary plate of the buggers arriving unrequested. Large Tasmanian oysters with lime, very lightly-chillied oil, and another optional topping (couldn't figure out what it was - sort of greeny stuff) were outstandingly fresh and flavoursome - neatly matched with a riesling from the cool climes of Delatite. Calves' livers delicately sliced to the thickness of a CD case, then quickly seared on the grill were served in a yoghurt-based sauce with large crunchy polenta chips. Yum! More of that Peter Rumball sparkling shiraz, please. A new menu is to be launched at the Inferno tomorrow - think I should check it out again pretty soon.
The Nightcat in Johnston St, Fitzroy has the appearance of a failed furniture showroom - a very large rectangle of space, with the bandstand rather oddly placed in the epicentre of the space. A large dance-floor in front of the bandstand reaches almost to the street restrained only by some banqette seating bordering the floor on three sides. Most of the non-dancing audience is thus seated or standing with a view of the musicians' backs, and very well-pressed the backs of their outfits were, too! However, it all seems to work, the place was jumping - a good crowd for a Wednesday night, the sound system pretty good as far as I could tell, and the many muted-lights produced an relaxing mellow glow.
Big Bands are Back proclaims the title of the Moovin & Groovin Orchestra's new CD launched on this very eve. Conducted by Gavin Cornish, this 16 piece band is helping to keep alive (revive?) the big band sounds and arrangements of the classic bands of the 30's and 40's Goodman, Ellington, Dorsey, Miller amongst the most popular of them. A fabulous fat sound, certainly, but it's also fascinating to watch so many anarchists (as jazz musicians are secretly) voluntarily surrendering to the discipline of the chart. The four trumpeters were Norm Harris, Cam McAlister, Vinnie Burke, and Paul Dooley, who also puffed into a flugelhorn. Trombonists were Simon Scerri (bass), Marc Matthews and Ian Bell on tenors. Saxophones were Paul Williamson (baritone), Rob Glaesman, Mark Spencer and Cheryl Clark (tenors), Andrea Williams, Emily Tarrant and Ken Schroder (altos), with Ken doing a number of the arrangements and also playing clarinet and flute as needed. The rhythm section included Sam Leman (guitar), Andy Price (bass), Andrew Swann (drums), Dennis Close (percussion), with David Aladice, Bob Gilbert and Richard Montgomery switching on Yamaha P200 electric piano.
The natural sound produced by this piano was a revelation to me, until it was revealed that rather than synthesising some sounds that are vaguely-like-a-piano, this nifty device actually holds in its memory the actual sound of each note recorded from a magnificent, real-live grand piano. Not only does this digitised sound-memory reproduce the sweet tinkle of a hammer striking a string, but it can manipulate the sound to correspond to the force with which the pianist strikes the piano key. The only weak link is the amplifier and speaker needed to push the air around, but even allowing for that, it was certainly the most piano-like electric piano I've heard (and only about $4 grand to own one!).
Swinging big band jazz would not be complete without some singers, and there was a convention of them - Shelley Scowne, Nichaud Fitzgibbon, David Williamson, Rebecca Barnard, Tanya Lee Davies, Andrew Swann. Great stuff - made you feel like you were at the Cotton Club in the Thirties. Plenty of skilful dancers and also plenty of enthusiastic dancers. The band will return to The Nightcat in July on Sunday evenings - 18/7, 25/7, 1/8.
Man walks into a grocery store. "I would like half a head of lettuce." The teenager working there answers him "Sorry sir, we only sell full heads of lettuce." "But I only want half a head" 'Sorry, but we can't do that" Getting angry, the man demands that the boy speak to the manager. So the teenager goes back to the manager, and tells him "Sir, there is some idiot in the store who wants half a head of lettuce." Just then he turns around and sees the customer directly behind him. "And this gentleman wants the other half."
The manager deals with the customer, then goes to the teenager

"Son, I am really impressed how quick you were on your feet today. Where are you from?"

"I'm from Sydney."

Oh" says the manager "Why did you leave?"

"There's nothing in Sydney but rugby players and sluts."

The manager replies "My wife is from Sydney!"

"Really, what team did she play for?"
Going to Sydney soon? Here's The Age's list of Sydney's top 12 new restaurants:

Ampersand - Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf. Phone (02) 9264 6666

Bistro Mars - Rushcutters Harborside Hotel, 100 Bayswater Road, Rushcutters Bay. Phone (02) 9361 3000

Chinta Ria: Temple of Love - Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf. Phone (02) 9264 3211

Coast - Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf. Phone (02) 9267 6700

Grace - Level 3 Grace Bros Sydney City, corner George and Market Streets. Phone (02) 92328 9460

The Jersey Cow - 152 Jersey Road, Woollahra. Phone (02) 9328 1600

Kök - 143 Enmore Road, Enmore. Phone (02) 9519 0555

Salt - 229 Darlinghurst Rd. Darlinghurst. Phone (02) 9332 2566

Star Bar and Grill - 155 Victoria Street, Potts Point. Phone (02) 9356 2911

Summit - Level 47, Australia Square, 264 George Street, Sydney. Phone (02) 9247 9777

Tabou - 527 Crown Street, Surry Hills. Phone (02) 9319 5682

West - 99 Norton Street, Leichhardt. Phone (02) 9568 3344


"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her." Ellen DeGeneres
The Hoodangers meet the Hammond Combo! What an intriguing liaison - one that was partly realised when the Paul Williamson Hammond Quartet had as guests Eugene Ball (trumpet) and Ben Gillespie (trombone) from the esteemed Hoodangas. The Hoodangas have just won an Arts grant of 30 thou or so to take them on tour to Denmark, USA and Canada (incidentally, they will be playing at The Punters Club Hotel in Brunswick St on 12/5 and 12/6).
The Hammond Quartet has an interesting strategy in that they like to have a fourth member, but prefer one-night stands to a fully blown relationship. This makes for some interesting evenings as the guest is put on the spot, and is expected to perform as a professional should. Usually that is the case in my experience, but I always enjoy the furrowed brows, the intense concentration and the occasional entreating look the guest gives when Paul announces the next number, usually chartless, and sometimes (perhaps mischievously) in a key different from that which the guest may be at least slightly familiar. A consumate band leader, Paul never appears as though there is a musical circumstance that will faze him. When not driving his own powerful solos, he is usually organising the other musicians to produce some interesting comping whilst a soloist has the floor, or bringing back seamlessly to the tune some solo or jam that appears irretrievably distant from the melody.
This night (2/5) at The Rainbow in Fitzroy the opening numbers were in trio format - something I've not often seen, but did appreciate. It whetted my ears for the trio CD that may eventuate some time in this millenium. Noticeable from the beginning and subsequently during the evening was an apparently increased emphasis on Tim Neal's bass lines. The Hammond organ he wields has an array of wooden slats that can be played with the feet to reproduce the sound of a bass (incidentally Tim, you need a new pair of socks!). It always amazes me to watch the hands on the keyboards doing their melody and rhythm thing while the feet are dancing over the slats to produce the accompanying bass rhythm. Tonight I thought it was more emphatic, adding to the rock-solid groove layed down by drummer Mike Jordan.
The first couple of numbers with the augmented group left me somewhat bemused - it didn't seem to me that the three horns were on the same wavelength. The sound was messy - maybe it was free-form? In any event, the second and third sets, during which the guests' enthusiasm was tempered by charts, seemed to work far better. There were some terrific collaborations, ideas hurtling around but from within the discipline of the charts. Some most enjoyable arrangements too, none better than for a wonderful old tune - Lullaby of the Leaves. Paul's saxophone playing was lush - a touch of the Ben Websters about it, whilst Ben and Eugene's horn support was simply beautiful. Ben was at times somewhat subdued in his playing whereas Eugene obviously relished the opportunity to stretch out - producing some marvellous staccato trumpet bursts, some unusual phrasing, and the odd groan of pleasure.
All in all, another great night - different from many of the gigs I've caught from this band, being more jazz/bop oriented than blues influenced, and offering more ensemble playing than usual. Paul is celebrating his birthday on the 17/5 at The Rainbow, and won't be playing (maybe playing up!), but will be inviting many musos to play for his pleasure. Should be a top evening. In the meantime, catch the band with sundry guests at Ruby Reds in Johnston St, Abbotsford on any Friday night.

Cafes of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy: The Age.

A new list, though not a best-of list as it doesn't include Guernica or Bistro Inferno

188 - Lady Luck 9415 1144

There's no shortage of groovy eateries on Brunswick Street, though most score more points for groove than grub. Lady Luck, as luck would have it, combines both. On the ground floor of the IT Inc! megastore, in the not-so-groovy (but rapidly becoming groovier) section of the strip towards the high rises, Lady Luck is screened off from the homewares. The menu combines a few staples of the strip (breakfast is served till 2pm) with a seasonally influenced selection. Wild mushrooms are evidently thick on the ground wherever chefs Dianne Kerry (ex-Blakes) and Steven Herron (ex-Guernica and Walter's Wine Bar) do their shopping - they figured in a delicious wild mushroom risotto finished with truffle oil and the potato and chive gnocchi with sauteed field mushrooms and porcini oil. Also a big hit was the tortellini filled with Italian greens and fresh pecorino. Open: 8am-1am, seven days. Prices: entrees $6.50-$11.50, mains $9.50-$16.50.

413 - Retro 9419 9103

Almost a parody of the Brunswick Street scene, Retro opened a few years back after snapping up what must have been every 1950s laminex table setting on the market. Still, you can't accuse this relative newcomer of ruining the neighbourhood: it does the neighbourhood better than most of its neighbours. Even the food is so Brunswick Street, big plates of basic, tasty nosh that cater for most tastes: dips and wedges (quite nice); pasta with salmon (too much salmon - is that a criticism?); spicy sausages and mash (enough for two). The service is laid-back and chatty, and there's even a water wall at the back like the one at the National Gallery of Victoria, only smaller. The Fitzroy experience in miniature. Open: 7.30am-midnight, seven days.

Prices: entrees from $7.50, mains about $15.
347 - The Fitz 9417 5794

Its corner location gives the Fitz an abundance of outdoor tables just begging to be filled on lazy weekends; indoors the simple wooden tables and chairs and bare boards reflect an eat-and-run atmosphere. Although you won't be running far after tackling these servings, particularly if you stretch to Mars Bar cake (hot or cold) or baked cheesecake for dessert. Calamari rings came fried in a crisp crumb coating with a delicious homemade tzatziki dressing; a main of "Italian chicken" proved to be tender chicken breast marinated in pesto and surrounded by roesti potatoes; and a vegetable linguini's only fault was an excess of artichokes. The tables can be a little close together, particularly if you're a non-smoker surrounded by smokers, and it's loud - but sensitive types can always sit outside. Open: 7am-midnight, seven days. Prices: entrees $6.50-$8.50, mains $10.90-$16.90.

342 - Rhumbarallas 9417 5652

One of Brunswick Street's old-timers, Rhumbarallas is the sort of place you'll find boho types spending the afternoon nursing a single coffee. Not that the waiters mind: this isn't really the spot for a speedy lunch - try Mario's across the road for that. No, Rhumbas runs on its own time. It's a big, sunny room with polished boards and an easy-going menu that meanders from burgers to stir-fries to pastas, even steaks. And it's pretty good, if not a standout on this strip. A "lightly peppered" steak, for example, was unexceptional, none of the flavours (caramelised onions, red wine sauce, rosemary potatoes) really coming to the fore. But this sort of food probably isn't its forte; it's still a great spot to hang out with a newspaper while you're waiting for a friend.

Open: 7am-late, seven days. Prices: entrees $3.50-$10.50, mains $11-$15.
406 - Cafe Fargo 9416 2599

Shades of the Wild West in the name, but you won't find swing doors and hookers with hearts of gold here. Nevertheless, Cafe Fargo has an appeal all its own with its rough brick walls, murals and subdued lighting. Its meals are - like most of the places around here - pretty good value, with large servings, although they seem to make an extra effort with the presentation. A calamari dish, for example, came with four large pieces of seafood surrounded by segments of lemon and orange; and dips came with warmed Turkish bread. Mains of steak and spaghetti were good, too, the "Fargo Special" meat dish coming with a mound of crispy wedges, although the chilli in the spaghetti was a tad overwhelming. Good value. Open: 9am-1am, seven days. Prices: entrees $4.50- $9.50, mains $8.50-$16.90.

199 - Bangla 9417 1877

Quite how this little place survives amid the fierce competition of Brunswick Street is a mystery, but we should give thanks that it does. A tiny Indian restaurant that doubles as a "sweet" shop (pink and lime green subcontinental cakes), it's more like the places out in Dandenong where there's a sizeable Indian community - it even has copies of the local Indian newspaper. Nope, it ain't fancy, but the food is excellent value for money, you can smell good things bubbling away in the kitchen, and the toilets - out the back like in a student house - are immaculate. A tandoori platter arrived on a sizzling iron dish, which served the dual purposes of adding to the ambience and keeping the food warm; samosas were plump and buttery; various curries lived up to expectations for $7.50 each and a "spicy salad" rounded things off nicely. Open: 11am-11pm, seven days Prices: entrees about $6, curries about $7.50.


A reporter who had done a story on gender roles in Kuwait several years before the Gulf War, noted then that women customarily walked about 10 feet behind their husbands. She returned to Kuwait recently and observed that the men now walked 10 feet behind their wives. Ms Walters approached one of the women for an explanation. "This is an interesting example of social progress," she said. "What enabled women here to achieve this reversal of roles?" The Kuwaiti woman replied, "Land mines."
So, what's on this coming week for all the social gadflys? The major (and unmissable) event is of course the Hoodangas at the Punters Club, Brunswick St on Wed. 12. Manic, anarchic, polyphonic - six seriously and delightfully disturbed young musos doing their best to overwhelm the inertia 100 years of trad jazz.
Bennetts Lane: Mon - Stevens, Haywood, Brown (piano trio); Tues - Mind the Gap (violin, trombone, keyboards, bass, drums); Wed - Michelle Nicole Qrt (piano trio + singer); Thurs - Ted Vining Trio (with Bob Sedergreen).
Colourful options: Monday Paul Williamson at The (old) Rainbow - also Paul on Friday at Ruby Reds (Johnston St, Abbottsford where our RMIT staff will be, and on best behaviour). Thursday New Rainbow (Sydney Rd, B'wick - Steve Boyd and the Preachers (blues/soul band);
New venue: Manchester Lane (Flinders Lane, City near Swanston St). Mon - Rob Burke/Tony Gould (piano sax trio); Thurs - Ian Chaplin and Will Poskitt (sax, piano); Fri - Monique Dimmattina Trio (piano trio); Sat - Sam Keevers (piano). Haven't been there yet but have heard some good reports.
Nightcat in Johnston St: Wed - Dianna Kiss (blues, jazz, reggae group with keyboards, guitar, drums, bass, trumpet/trombone). Very fine group - with Ross Hannaford (ex Daddy Cool) on guitar) and Russel Smith on trumpet/ valve trombone.
Continental, Prahran: Wed - Venetta Fields (soul singer); Thurs, Fri - Ed Kuepper (singer/songwriter); Sat - Chris Wilson & Crown of Thorns (blues/soul).
Corner Hotel, Swan St Richmond: Fri, Sat - The Cruel Sea (rock).

Prospect Hill Hotel, Kew: Wed - Ted Vining Trio (with Bob Sedergreen).

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