Friday, July 08, 2005

Jazz Café and then some..

I just found out yesterday that the musical TV program I was involved in last month, Jazz Café is out on TV2 on Tuesday nights. Cool. Now you can see mah fat face blowing all over the screen on Tuesday nights.. HAhahaha..

Read about my
accounts in the making of this half-hour program.

Jazz Café airs on TV2 on Tuesday nights 12am (or maybe techincally Wednesday 12am?). Read an article on The Star recently on the first episode and a brief synopsis on the show


Here's a little heads up:

The Sunrise Jazz Festival will be back from the middle of this month to mid-August (I think). But you probably won't see news of it until... latest, a week before the whole thing starts. Why? I don't know... that's how they are. Just like last year.. pretty much disorganized.

I'll be definitely involved in several shows throughout the festival, but I regret to inform that my band, the Happy People Quintet will not be playing this year due to some unforeseen (and rather stupid) circumstances. I know for sure some friends and followers of the group would expect to see us up there, but not this time around. I don't know if we'll get to do a show sometime soon, but if not, I think that'll be pretty much the end of the band for a while. At least for most part anyway. One of our most precious (well, I think all of us are anyway) band members will be leaving for the US of A for further studies in August. If I get things done right, and with God's blessings, I will be going too.. aiming for next year. The existing band guys and myself will still be working together (until I leave, at least) for sure, but it probably won't be known as Happy People. That, of course, is still tentative. We might keep the name, but the dynamics of the band will definitely not be the same anymore. If we do get to do a show, we'll let you know, I hope you'll come and catch us play for one last time as this group.

I will be updating more on my involvement in the festival again soon, on the artistes, and the schedule of performances soon.


I've got a (or several, really) question(s) for you local music fans in KL and Malaysia in general:

When you hear "jazz", or think about "jazz", what's on your mind? What is your impression on the music? What do you expect when you go check out a "jazz" show?

I was in a meeting yesterday, talking to several people in a club I'm working in, and we were discussing the issue of musical content being presented. One of the things mentioned was that the club gets calls and was asked by patrons, "Which band is playing tonight?". It was implied rather obviously that several patrons of the club will call and find out if a particular singer is performing on a given night before making a decision on coming to the club.

Let's be forthright here: It's understood and not unbeknownst to us jazz musicians that a lot of patrons of live music in KL seemed to prefer watching a live band with a female singer (not that they give a sh*t whether it's jazz or not), belting out Michael Buble numbers, or Norah Jones numbers, or Diana Krall (the Look Of Love kinda thing not her older stuff) numbers. Not to say their stuff was bad, but it's more of a novelty. It's a vicious cycle... local musicians re-gurgitate all these popular numbers to try to "attract" audience, audience dig that not knowing there are more to it than that, and then musicians have to do it over and over again until the cows come home.

I can almost surmise that people who go check out jazz shows aren't even there to check out the music. Some go there to see a pretty doting singer, or some expect to hear Rod Stewart, Buble, Diana Krall, or Norah Jones wannabes. Even if they are, they're there because they have a certain expectation of what they want to hear. I don't know, I may be just generalising too much. But being in the biz for four short years, I'm already frustrated with what I'm getting. And I believe it's not just me. I can conclude that people who say they know jazz, don't really know jazz.

There are a lot of really good jazz musos in town not getting their due (not here at least). You know what's worse.. a lot of music "outlets", or even better, jazz "outlets" don't help that much either.. and they have this idea that they're helping to promote the music. I'm not dropping names, but I speak in general to some of the lesser outlets I've played (including shows llike festivals). The problem is that they try to dictate what a band should play. That's so anti-thesis of a jazz band. A real jazz band should be left to their own devices, giving them the avenue to experiment, play some real improvised music, arranged music, whatever lah! Why force something un-natural to something as natural as jazz?

I've got lots of rants like this, and I can even talk until the cows come home. Brickbats.. please click "comments" at the end of this post and write your views and let me know. I would love to have more insight from other people.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer DVD....

I just finished the final season (season 7) of Buffy The Vampire Slayer on DVD. After watching all seven seasons, I definitely feel heavy hearted watching the final season, and its ending episodes. I watched it on Astro when they were showing last year, and I just got the DVD just last week and watched all 22 episodes, almost back to back.

I've been following the series from the beginning, and it's about a high school girl, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who was bestowed the power and skill to fight vampires, demons and other evil menace in the small town of Sunnydale, California. By the way, Sunnydale happens to be on a Hellmouth, a mystical doorway between this dimension and the underworld Hell-dimension, where all evil lies.

Buffy is the "Chosen One", a Slayer. It was foretold that in "each generation, a Slayer is born, a girl with the powers and skill to fight vampires and evil". With the aid of a Watcher, the Slayer is trained in martial arts, and learns the knowledge of vampires, demons and other forms of evil.

Along the way, she managed to find friends in high school to help her in her battles against evil: Willow the witch, Xander the rather helpless lad who gets saved everytime (but with the insight to see things as they really are, objectively... and becoming an emotional "anchor" to the self-named Scooby Gang), Rupert Giles (Buffy's Watcher in Sunnydale), Angel (a good-looking vampire with a soul that became Buffy's lover, but left for LA after awhile) and later on, several other members such as Anya (a former Vengeance demon, who grants scorned women wishes against their male counterparts), Tara (another witch, and Willow's later lover), evil-turned-good vampire Spike, and finally Dawn, a sister who was actually a "Key".. a mystical energy portal which was molded into human form to become Buffy's sister (previously non-existent) to be protected from the evil god Glory.

Buffy manages to save the world from several Apocalypses and villains, from the evil Vampire Master (Mark Metcalf), Angelus (evil Angel) played by David Boreanaz, Mayor Wilkins, Adam the android, Glory, Dark Willow, and finally The First... the ultimate evil! Not only that, she's actually died TWICE and came back to life... to save the world again and again.

I just love the series (SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR!!!), not just for her la... but also that the story and character developments were just awesome. Writer Joss Whedon did an amazing job in doing the whole series. I'm definitely a fan for life.

Must check it out..

That's it for now.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there. Stumbled upon ur blog while surfing for info abt the jazz fest. Was wondering how big an event this would be. I love jazz, but is it worth travelling to Malaysia for?