Monday, August 15, 2005

Haze... Farid Ali.. and then some..

Thursday 11 Aug

Today, the haze was one of the worst ever days in the Klang Valley. I was totally knackered once I woke up from my bed! It was awful, smelling nothing but smog. And i spent the whole day pretty much at home, doing some computer stuff, and attempting to practice a bit. I even cancelled my evening student 'cos I was just feeling so off from the haze. But I finally managed to get my butt off my couch to get out of the house. Went to KLIA to send
Justin off.

Then, I rushed to Alexis to do the soundcheck for the Farid Ali gig the following two nights. Haze was still really bad, until Farid couldn't sing properly from coughing. Even my chest felt heavy and stuffy. Left home to sleep.

* * * * * * *
Friday 12 Aug

Woke up late... in the afternoon.. AGAIN! Decide to go the gym right away to run on the treadmill. All that haze is really getting to me, sapping my energies. I managed to cover 7km on the treadmill while watching the episode of
Oprah Winfrey with special guest Lance Armstrong. I was quite inspired with Lance and his tribulations and victories with cancer and Tour De France.

Best thing was, I felt really, REALLY good after that workout. Felt like I could take on the world.

After post-workout lunch, rushed home to pack my stuff to head to Astro. I had a recording session for Reshmonu for the Astro Amplified program. Yes, I'll be on it. Me with Eddie Wen on trumpets and Roger Chee on trombone. The Horny Horns section!! Heh heh heh. So watch out for it on.. err.. Channel 15? I dunno when it's coming out la.. but it'll be out.

The recording started very late, everything got pushed. It was supposed to start at 8, but got pushed to 9.30pm!! I was getting pretty worried, as I had to go to Alexis to play the Farid Ali gig at 10.30pm!! Thankfully, the recording is a ONE-SHOT recording. So by the time we finished, it was about 10.35pm or so. I quickly rushed and got all my stuff back into car (I was carry 4 horns and stands!). And I sped like a mad man on the Middle Ring Road 2 to Ampang exit.

Managed to get there at 11pm, but Farid had already started. So I went in anyway, went to the table next to the stage, and set up my stuff anyway. And the customers sitting on that table were like looking at me pretty strangely, so I just smiled and asked if I could use their seat to set up my instruments. It took me almost 10 minutes for me to set up ALL my horns.. the alto, tenor, soprano, and flute!

But I just went in anyway, and continued with the band on the next song. The first two or three songs, I was pretty tense, due to the rush. My legs were like shivering a bit each time I was playing and standing on my toes or whatever (that's how I seem to be physically doing when I'm playing or taking a solo). After that, I began to feel more relaxed.

By the way, the crowd at Alexis was happening that night! Noisy, but they were responsive to the band and Farid's music.. which is absolutely great! Read
Bryan's blog about his experience listening to us (with pics). We even played some really nice blues stuff, like Mustang Sally and *something* Sunday blues. We did quite a number of Farid's tune from his Turning Point album, such as Peace and Friendship, Gift Of Life, Thank you and Goodbye, Deep Within Me, and one of his more recent compositions called Deep Water, a gamelan influenced tune. We did some other covers like Summertime, Ain't No Sunshine, and bebop numbers like Billie's Bounce and more.

After the gig, we hung out at Lotus Jln Ampang, until 5.30am. Oh gawd..

* * * * * * *
Saturday 13 Aug

Woke up in the afternoon AGAIN! Ahhh.. the life of a musician. Good or bad.. depends. Woke up just in time to pick up my Saturday student and go for lunch. After his lesson, I prepared my horns and reeds for the night's gig at Alexis. Showered and took a really short nap, before I left for Alexis.

The show at Alexis tonight was quite okay. Crowd wasn't as happening as the night before. We had a sub drummer in tonight, Chee Hoong. He did Greg's Nonet gig three weeks ago, when I was still down with dengue fever. A fairly green drummer, but was already figuratively put in the deep end of the pool for the last couple of weeks... playing in Greg's Nonet (not easy for an inexperienced rhythm section with all that odd meter crazy stuff that Greg writes) and playing for Farid with some of the more different grooves and music. But the best part, he's had absolutely NO rehearsal with the band! I only ran through the charts and music with him. For most part, he nailed all the important parts in the music dead-on! Very impressive for a first-timer with no rehearsals!

Give it up for Chee, y'all...
* * * * * * *

Sunday 14 Aug

Chill day.. or at least half a day.

Went for a nice semi-long run in the evening.. about 7km also, but it's outdoor. Another big housing area adjacent to mine, with hills and all. Feels good to run outdoors again, with no air pollution! My stamina's getting better again, so I'm feeling really perked up.

Met up with Farid for dinner at Saravan Bhavan at Bangsar. By the way, you should check out that place, especially if you're an indian food enthusiast, like myself (I have this theory I was probably indian in my past life!). It's a nice, nifty, vegetarian indian restaurant, just adjacent to McDonald's. The food's great there! Even for non-vegetarians. Try some of their nice curries, just mouth-watering. One of my fave dishes was the curry cottage cheese... just went crazy over it.

Last agenda of the day, went over to ss6 and met up with the Horny Horns Eddie Wen and Roger Chee for a studio recording for local R&B acapella group VE. Did one song for them, for their upcoming album. Sounds really nice.. disco feel... tickling funny as well. Hear it when it comes out (don't know when, though).

* * * * * * *

Is chill out day for me! I'm sitting on my computer typing this out. And I'm having a nice vege pizza from Domino's.

Oh yeah, Eugene from
AllDatJazz.Com did an interview with me recently. He's just put it up on his website. You wanna know a little more about me and what I do, check it out here.

Looks like I won't be having that much things going on where gigs are concerned. Good time to recover a bit, chill, and practice much more. Of course, back to my running and training. Got to get back into active motion again. Join me for a run, anyone??

Have a good week, y'all....

Update: Check out Eugene's AllDatJazz.Com for upcoming gigs for this week. Still lots of stuff happening this weekend, so don't miss it.

No comments: