Joshua Redman Elastic Band in Singapore
Saturday, 17 Sept:
The next day after my Avanti's gig with Noryn and Soulfingerz, I had my brother sent me to the train station to get a 12.30pm bus ticket to Singapore. This was, of course, after a last minute "the-night-before" luggage packing at about 2am in the morning.
I arrived at around 5.30pm, and when I got to my auntie's place it was past 6pm. The first thing I just felt like doing was go for a run. And so I did... I went for about 45 minutes. I hadn't ran for a while since the Adidas 10k. My relatives thought I was nuts.. haha.
Went out later in the night for dinner, and to Jazz @ Southbridge to check out David Gomes and Junji Delfino. It was their last night for that week, and I wanted to check them out before they went back to KL the next day. Brought my horn with me, under Junji's advice, and I managed to jam a couple of songs with them, too! One of the good things that came out of that was that I got offered to play a gig at Southbridge from the boss, Eddie Chan! More on that later on... so do stay tuned for my gig updates. Yay.. I'm really looking forward to that!
Sunday, 18 Sept:
Got up pretty late. Didn't do much but go out with my cousin sister to have lunch and just do a little shop around for some VCDs I was looking for. Other than that, I pretty much had an early night. I was supposed to go out to meet some people on a last minute arrangement the night before, but I sort of stood them up. Of course, I sms-ed them that I couldn't make it lah. I was pretty tired so I just decided to hit the sack early.
Monday, 19 Sept:
I practically shopped the whole day. Bought nice jazz CDs and even a DVD. Yes, I know.. you probably must be thinking, "Wah, this Julian rich already ah? Spend so much money." Well, NOOOOOOO... it's my own hard earned cash, which I budgeted to spend la. Budgeted to buy some bike stuff, too, if I had some left. Got some nice CDs for some really good price from Gramaphone, Capitol Building near City Hall MRT, such as Charlie Haden's Land of The Sun, Yellowjackets Mint Jam (for a whopping S$21 or around RM45.. a good steal!), McCoy Tyner Illuminations, Joshua Redman Elastic Band's Momentum, and Joshua's debut album Joshua Redman. I also got a real nice DVD of Jane Bunnett and the Cuban All-Stars Live (a real gem, cos I doubt you can get that here yet!). To date, I haven't even watched that DVD yet.. no time. AHahha..
I also met Farid Ali for a short drink and hung out. So happened that he was just down in Singapore with his girlfriend for a chill-out weekend, too. FYI, Farid is actually Singapore-born, but he's got a real soft spot for KL! LOL. Anyway, I then went back to prepare to go to the Esplanade Recital Studio to go for the Joshua Redman workshop.
The workshop was awesome. But seeing Joshua perform in person was already awesome. I've been following Joshua's music for quite a while now, and he's one of my favorite sax players that I listen to a lot. He talked mostly a lot about his band and the music he's playing. And boy, that guy can TALK! And he's a good talker, too. Very educated cat... Yale graduate, mind you!
I also met quite a number of friends (sax players no doubt), from Singapore, Malaysia and even Thailand! Some of the Bangkok sax cats I've met from the Sax Conference last year came for the workshop and concert. It was such a nice thing to have met them, actually.
Tuesday, 20 Sept:
Did more shopping today! I found a nice bike shop Greg recommended to check out some bike stuff and their prices. I got myself a nice bike Orbea jersey.. an orange, white and blue designed jersey. And it matches the colors on my bike! I didn't have enough budget to get shoes and pedals, but still good that I managed to check out some prices there.
Then took an hour-long MRT and bus ride to Jurong Kechil to check out a musical instrument shop. Jurong Kechil is on the western side of Singapore, while my auntie's place is on the east side. So it's quite a long ride. The shop is called Accent Music, and they're selling some really good saxophone accessories and reeds for a reasonably good price. So much so, I'll change my usual instrument shop "haunt" from Swee Lee Music (they're pretty much the Singaporean version of Bentley's Music in KL now.. selling stuff at unnecessarily exorbitant prices) to this shop, even though the ride to the shop is long. Also met up with the Thai guys there too!
Finally.. the Joshua Redman concert!
He played a lot of songs from his Momentum album, and some from his previous Elastic album. I was pretty much blown away with the whole show. First thing's first... his sound! His approach to improvisation... his expression. The icing on the cake was the masterful use of his effects pedals... from the Bass Pod to his multiple effects (usually used for guitars, by the way).
The band was Joshua Redman on tenor and soprano sax and effect pedals, Sam Yahel on keyboards and bass, Jeff Ballard on drums, and Mike Moreno on guitar.
It was a whole 1 1/2 hour long set, with no intermission. The grooves in his tunes are more funk, hip-hop and rock influenced, mixed with jazz-influenced improvisation. Joshua is a killer on the horn no doubt. Jeff Ballard... oh wow... such an amazing drummer. He took over from Brian Blade, and he really complements the band and the music with his approach on the drums. Funky like there's no tomorrow! Sam Yahel is also another marvel. He's got multiple keyboards from the Rhodes, Nords and even Moogs, I think. He even plays the bass on his keyboard. So, to see him improvise while trying to hold or create a groovy bassline was quite an amazing sight to see and hear. Mike Moreno, is a newbie in the band. So he wasn't as adventurous with the band as of yet. But he's a nice, tasteful player, who I think will really kill on the band after hours and hours, and months of playing with the band. Overall, it was quite an amazing experience watching them play!
Didn't get to really talk to Joshua after the show, other than to line up and get his autograph. He looked pretty tired, but also a big-time recording artiste of his exposure seem to keep a little distance between him and his fans when up-close and personal, or at least that's the gist I seem to get. But otherwise it's pretty cool. Joshua's a nice cat, definitely. I've learnt not to expect too much during face-to-face conversations with jazz artistes. At least one wouldn't get disappointed if their favorite artistes don't act as well as they play when up-close and personal. Either that, or they could be having a bad day.
Wednesday, 21 Sept:
Did a little last minute shopping to try to get some stuff that some people asked me to get, as well as buying my bus tickets back to KL. Managed to get a 7pm bus back home, and I reached around 12am-plus, in the morning.
It was a fun trip no doubt.
Oh yeah, there are no pictures because I totally forgot to bring my camera, despite bringing along my charger... what an idiot I am.
Next... Farid Ali week... stay tuned.