Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Doctor Jazz/Shout 'Em Aunt Tilly/Stevedore Stomp/I Want A Girl
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.
There's something almost punk about this EP from 1963 - six young Melbourne lads (none of the band members were over 21) smashing out party music with this rebellious new 'jazz' sound. The first track, Dr. Jazz opens with a sample of a phone operator asking 'May I help you?' who is then greeted to John Hawes screaming over a frenetic jazz track. Although the sound of the EP is generally trad jazz, the sample and the screaming vocals give this track at least, quite a modern feel. The next track Shout 'Em Aunt Tilly (written by Duke Ellington) is my favourite, another ostensibly trad jazz piece but with slightly more edge than the rest of the record. The EP closes with another vocal track, I Want A Girl which hearkens back to an age when it was socially acceptable to sing a song about how you wanted to bang a girl who was just like your mum. In summary, it's a consistently entertaining EP from some very young, exuberant players who wanted to "achieve a 'different' sound" and to "[a]bove all 'to entertain' as this album so ably demonstrates."
John Hawes - leader, cornet, vocals
Graeme Davies - trombone
Hamish Hughes - bass
Dave McCallum - drum-kit and interruptions
Jeff Thomas - standard banjo
Ray Rickerby - clarinet