Yes, I've begun to feel lazy to blog. I can understand why some bloggers have huge chunks of lost time in between some of their posts.
I don't know what to write also.. my life isn't as interesting as you might think....
......Oh well, okay, so maybe it is, for some of you guys.. haha.. sorry, no hard feelings.
Another thing I have to admit to myself, that it does take quite an amount of time just to type out thoughts, post pictures, or links, etc. And it can take some considerable amount of time to do more important things.
Greg Lyons Quartet @ Avanti's Review:
Went to see Greg Lyons Quartet at Avanti's on Friday after teaching a class, and later meeting my friend KT for dinner.
It was nice to see Lewis Pragasam play drums with Greg again. He's got so much power, and musical authority to his playing, that he can just lift the whole band up, giving it so much life and musical flight. He plays with such intensity, even on ballads. Special guest Eddy Sambuaga, pretty much tore it up on the piano... at times, his ideas will be sweet and beautiful, and others he will go nuts and tear the tune inside out... amazing cat, he is! And of course, not forgetting Mr. Popshuvit AJ, holding the groove and bass ostinatoes on his electric bass!
I came in a few minutes after they started their first tune, Up To You, a 3/4-meter tune (a composition of Greg's), which has been his staple quartet tunes in his shows. Before I even entered the restaurant, I could hear the band, and instantly I knew it was Lewis who was playing drums, hence my statement above.
Then a bossa-laced Giant Steps followed (albeit a faster than usual tempo), and the mood was brought down with one of my favorite ballads, Old Folks. It's definitely one of my favorites, one I will learn to play as well. Playing ballads are my favorite, much more than "burnout" tunes, because of the amount of space there is, to express yourself, and to create such intensity, albeit subtle. Both Eddy and Greg played with such subtle intensity, and melodic expressiveness, that it hits you emotionally (or at least it did me).
The quartet then funked it up with a funky, fusion-like version of Eddie Harris' (one of Greg's fave sax players!) Freedom Jazz Dance, popularized by Miles Davis. This is one of those times, that you'll hear the band really tear the song apart inside out, being a modal tune. Even AJ wasn't spared!
The first set ended with Pat Metheny's Travels. It's a beautiful tune, almost pop-like in nature, but more interesting melodically and harmonically.
Second set started off with Greg's 3/4 latin-funk arrangement of Duke Ellington's Take The A-Train. And the funk continued on with his composition Elbow Room (which will appear in Greg's upcoming Nonet album). One of the highlights of the tune was AJ holding on to the ostinato bassline while Lewis plays his rhythmically-mad-screw-you-inside-out solos... and after a while even AJ finally drops out and lets Lewis take the whole drum solo lead.
The mood changed, when Greg played a latin-induced You Don't Know What Love Is, a minor-key standard ballad, and brings it down with another beautiful ballad The Nearness Of You.
Greg then ended the last set and for the whole show with Suraya, another of his compositions which is featured in his album Island To Island (which can be ordered here).
And of course, the post gig makan... hahaha... (my favorite parts of a show).