(THE YARRA YARRA NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND with JUDY JACQUES Vol.1)-A5-EP
DESCRIPTION ITEM: VINYL – 45 RPM- P/S- 7” EP
ARTIST: THE YARRA YARRA NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND
TITLE: THE YARRA YARRA NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND with JUDY JACQUES Vol.1
SIDE 1: Climax Rag/ My Journey to the Sky
SIDE 2: Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen/ Gettysburg March
CAT #: CREST, CRT-7-EP-006
VINYL: (Grade at EXCELLENT+ to NEAR MINT-)
COVER: (Grade at EXCELLENT+)
LABELS: (Grade at NEAR MINT+)
COMMENT #1: By Eric Brown
Melbourne’s Yarra Yarra Jazz Band has been one of Australia’s leading Jazz Bands for 50 years and this exhibition celebrates their story.
Formed in 1959 by Maurie Garbutt, Bob Brown, Lee Treanor and Eddie Robbins. Their inspiration was the New Orleans music of George Lewis, Ken Colyer and the Melbourne New Orleans Jazz Band.
With Les Fithall on trombone, Don Hall on drums and 15 year old vocalist Judy Jacques, they were to achieve phenomenal popularity. In 1961 the MNOJB left for England and the Yarras took over a number of their jobs. Denis Ball was now on clarinet and the band went on to greater success during the “Trad Boom” where their nights at Gas Works often attracted 1500 people.
The 17th Australian Jazz Convention was in Sydney in December 1962 and the YYJB was selected to accompany English Trumpet legend Ken Colyer. This was a great honour and tribute to their ability.
In the following years the band had various personnel changes including Roger Janes, Nick Polites, Paul Martin, Willie Watt and Graham Bennett. Pat Purchase replaced Judy Jacques on vocals and when she returned to England Sue Jennings took her place.
The band did a wide range of work including being the support band for the Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee Concert in Melbourne in 1966.
In 1969 the Yarras, with Dave Bailey on Clarinet, sailed to England where they were joined by Roger Janes who had already travelled there with Graeme Bell.
Even though the English Jazz Scene was at a low ebb, the Yarra’s got plenty of work. They toured extensively in Europe becoming friendly with Rudi Balliu clarinettist and leader of Belgium’s Cotton City Jazz Band. Rudi was later to join the Yarra’s for their tour of USA in 1971.
This band consisted of Maurie, Rudi, Roger, Adrian Ford and Lynn Wallis, Petra Keating, banjo and Ashley Keating, bass from London’s Gothic Jazz Band replaced Andy Symes and Frank Stewart, who together with Kay Younger remained in England.
One of the many highlights of the Yarra’s American tour was a party in New York at Al Vollmer’s home where wild Bill Davison played and recorded with them. They also did concerts for the Connecticut Jazz Club and recorded for George Buck’s GWB records.
Their 17 days in New Orleans included meeting and playing with many of the city’s legends like Percy Humphrey, Louis Nelson, Emanuel Paul, etc.
Rudi Balliu returned home and was replaced by Butch Thompson for the rest of the tour, including playing at the Emporium of Jazz in Minneapolis home of the Hall Brothers Jazz Band.
Since returning home in October 1971, the Yarra’s have been an essential part of Australia’s Jazz Scene.
They toured and recorded with New Orleans trumpeter Alvin Alcorn in 1973 when Percy Humphrey could not come to Australia. This included a series of 3 concerts in Melbourne’s AMP Theatrette which were recorded by Ron Halstead and Paul Burke. Another recording session was released on Emulation Recordings EMU-001 and later remastered and issued by Roger Beilby on Anteater Cassette 029.
In 1974 the Yarra’s were the support band for the Dutch Swing College’s Concert in Festival Hall. This performance has recently been issued on Paul Finnerty’s Riff Raff CD RR-004. Paul is a past member of the Yarra’s on banjo.
A highlight of 2005 for the Yarra’s was the tour of legendary American Pianist Don Ewell. After a welcome night at the Taiping Restaurant the band played a concert with him in Melbourne’s Nicholas Hall. Here Paul Martin was on Reeds and Peter Clonesy Drums. Fortunately it was recorded and ultimately issued on the GHB label BCD 378/379.
During the YYJB’s 18 year residency at Bell’s Hotel in South Melbourne they hosted Osaka’s New Orleans Rascal’s visit in 1992 and celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1984. The latter was notable for the appearance of the original band except for drummer Don Hall whose place was taken by Kevin Bolton.
During this period Hugh DeRosayro was on trombone, Col Elliott on clarinet, plus various other musicians including Eddie Robbins clarinet and Judy Jacques returning on vocals.
The band did a long series of concerts at the Sandy Beach Centre, culminating in the last appearance of Roger Janes in Melbourne 7th November, 1999. Sadly the much loved Roger died in March 2001 following a long period in hospital resulting from a senseless car accident. Roger was not only a great trombonist, but also a fine vocalist.
Other vocalists with the Yarra’s included Kay Younger who was Sammy Rimington’s vocalist and now married to Frank Stewart, plus Antoinette de Morton (Garbutt) and Kerri Simpson. Kerri is now one of our most revered Blues Vocalists.
In 1981 the Yarra’s held their 30th anniversary in the Troubadour Restaurant Fitzroy and for the occasion the Yarra Yarra Reunion Band was formed consisting of Maurie Garbutt, trumpet Leader, Roger Janes, trombone, vocals, Karl Hird, reeds, Adrian Ford, piano, Don Heap, Bass, Lynn Wallis drums and Judy Jacques, vocals. Subsequently this band has played at many Jazz Festivals and Clubs, including being invited to Osaka’s Sister Port Jazz Festival in 1994. Melbourne and Osaka are Sister Cities and before leaving the Yarra’s recorded for Newmarket Records NEW 1041.2 with Gary Walford replacing Adrian Ford on piano. These records sold very well in Japan and although Judy was on the record she did not go to Osaka.
In 1999 the main celebration of the Band’s 40th Anniversary was held in the Club Bohemia North Melbourne. This was a memorable occasion with past members including Petra Keating and Denis Ball attending. Maurie issued a CD to mark the occasion – “40 Great Years of New Orleans Music”.
The Louisiana Shakers were doing their 5th overseas tour in 2000 and needed a trumpet player to replace Rob Reid so Ashley Keating asked Maurie Garbutt to join them for the tour. Maurie drove the community bus for the Yarra Council’s Senior Citizens during the week which led to the Yarra’s participating in Senior Citizens Week with a concert at “Chapel Off Chapel” in Prahran on 22nd March, 2000. A Benefit for Roger Janes, who eventually died in March 2001, was held at the RAAFA Club featuring most of Melbourne’s New Orleans style bands.
Drummer Peter Clonesy returned from Sydney in 2001, after playing in Geoff Bull’s Olympic Jazz Band for a number of years. He rejoined the Yarra’s until he died of cancer during 2004.
On 12th August, 2001, the Yarra’s did a “Leos Night” at the Victorian Jazz Club in the RAAFA Club – Andy Symes and Les Fithall being born under that Zodiac sign.
Antoinette de Morton held an exhibition of her paintings at the “45 Downstairs Gallery, in April 2000 and sang with “Maurie Garbutt’s All Star Yarra Yarra Jazz Band”. After a period playing at the Railway Hotel Fitzroy on Saturday nights the Band did a Sunday for the Williamstown Jazz Club at the Victoria Inn Hotel.
There followed a visit to Australia early in November 2002 by the New Orleans Naughties of Tokyo organised by Maurie and myself. Maurie, now the Yarra City Council Community Bus Driver, hired a bus and was able to drive them and their fans to their various gifs. These included the Victorian Jazz Club, the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Geelong, plus the Old Colonists Club for the Ballarat Jazz Club.
The Yarra’s remained at the Railway Hotel and featured at the 2003 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz.
November 2004 was the YYJB’s 45th Birthday year and a celebration was held by the VJC at the RAAFA Club on the 12th June. This was notable for the appearance of founder member banjo player, Lee Treanor and vocalist Sue Jennings.
On 6th June, 2004 a very different Yarra’s left for a tour of Europe. This included Maurie Garbutt , trumpet and leader, Llew Hird, trombone, Chris Tanner, clarinet, Mike Andrew, Piano, Nathaniel Garbutt, bass, David Blenkhorn, banjo, Anthony Howe, drums and Antoinette de Morton, vocals. Their tour included Denmark, Italy, Switzerland and Germany plus a visit to France.
Later in 2004 Maurie and his son Nathaniel joined the Louisiana Shakers after the Shakers returned from their 9th European Tour. The trumpeter on the tour was Lindsay Meech and he had returned home to New Zealand.
The Yarra’s continued to do functions for the Yarra City Council Seniors at the San Remo Ballroom and the Collingwood Town Hall, famous for its Frank Johnson days back in the 1950s. Maurie continued to drive the Community Bus, a job he really enjoyed, and in October 2008 his photograph featured on the front of the Senior’s Week Program and “The Senior’s” newspaper. On Sunday 5th October he played with the Shakers at the opening day of Seniors Week in Federation Square.
2009 was the Yarra’s 50th Anniversary. However Maurie had a heart attack while playing golf on 13th April and spent a long time in St Vincents Hospital, but never really recovered. After a period at home being looked after by his family this proved too difficult and Maurie is now in a nursing home and any thoughts of him playing trumpet again can be discounted. This meant the end of the Yarra Yarra Band and Maurie and Liz’s planned trip to New Orleans. However there are still great memories for the many musicians who were members and the Band’s fans of which I was one.
COMMENT #2: Bruce Johnson The Oxford Companion to Australian Jazz. 1987.
Judy Jacques has been recognised as one of Australia's most powerful and popular jazz singers since she started as a teenager singing gospel in the 1960s. During that period and for more than a decade, Judy was in great demand as an award winning television performer. This began with contracts with GTV9, doing shows such as I.M.T. and Bandstand to appearances on most commercial TV shows throughout Australia, including ABC radio and ABC TV.
In 1975, after spending a year travelling in Europe, Judy decided to look for other ways in which to express her music.
'Jacques is one of the very few singers to emerge from the jazz/folk boom of the early '60's and define a new phase in her musical career in Australia'.
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LABEL: Barely noticeable surface mark/ wear.
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LABEL: Slight wear.
RECORD: Obviously been played with noticeable surface marks & the occasional light scratches but exhibits no major loss of sound quality.
LABEL: Noticeable wear. Slight writing/ stains.
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LABEL: Noticeable wear. Much writing/ stains.
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LABEL: Very badly damaged.
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