Saturday, March 04, 2006

Avanti's disaster.. M! The Opera.. And KLIM!

Avanti Disaster...

This is one instance of an okay gig ruined by a bunch of idiots who had no other business than to make other people's lives miserable!

The JJ Jazz Ensemble made another appearance last night at Avanti's Italian-American Restaurant at Sunway Hotel, only after 2 weeks from the last performance at the same venue. The band however was scaled down by a bit, minus Prof. Ooi Eow Jin, so featuring the main members of the band, arranger/composer Chan Cheong Jan on piano, Joseph Arnesto on bass, and JP on classical guitar (and composer as well). The addition to the band was basically myself on tenor and alto sax, Alex D on alto and flute, Hock Chuan on harmonica (or commonly known as harp), Martin Ngim and Moon on drums and percussion.

The turnout was lesser than our last show two weeks ago, and it seemed that some of the patrons were from the Ford (yes, the car manufacturer) Conference at Sunway Convention Centre just adjacent to the restaurant. After the first couple of tunes, some may have left or changed seats, which is better for us, if they can't take the heat from the music (warning: incoming rant...but we'll save that for another day!).

We started the first set without much of a fuss. Everything was working alright until towards the end of the set, we were told to finish that set before even playing the last song. It was definitely a rather abrupt stop to the show. And judging by the feel of things, something wasn't right, I could feel that vibe around. So we just took our break, and later I found out that officers from the Immigration Department have come over to Sunway Hotel. In the history of Friday Jazz Nites in Avanti's, there hasn't been a single visit from the Immigration Department (ID), so this was definitely - or at least it really felt like - an abberation! Judging from ID encounters of the past by foreign musicians (other than Filipino bands or those hotel show bands), something like this would usually occur when SOMEBODY ratted out to the ID people! And as we found out later, this was also true in this particular instance!

The ID officers came to Avanti's and sat down to watch. Two members couldn't play the rest of the set, and they remained - luckily - inconspicuous enough to not get caught. At the end only Chan, myself, Hock Chuan, Martin, Moon, and later Joseph (the poor cat had a bad case of diarrhoea!) finished the set. But I think for most part, the flow and the mood of the second had already been ruined. But we still tried to salvage what's left.

So, on behalf of JJ Jazz Ensemble, we'd like to apologize to patrons of Avanti's who came down to watch us on 3rd of March. The show didn't go as well as planned due to external circumstances.

But nevertheless, there will be more shows coming up for JJ Jazz Ensemble. So keep a lookout for us, as we'll be bringing more interesting music soon enough!

M! The Opera...

I got a call from M! The Opera music composer Saidah Rastam early this week, and she wanted to get me involved in the show. After some SMSes and phone discussions, I was made a good offer to do the show. So basically, I'll be playing together with the NSO in this musical production.

The production will run at Istana Budaya from the 23rd March to 1st April (except 27 and 28 March). For more details check out the website -



Tomorrow morning's the KL International Marathon race. Me and a few other fellas will be doing the half marathon distance (21.1k) and some others doing the full (some from the PM and Pacesetters gang!).

So I would like to wish all of you guys, the Pacesetters guys, Pacemaker guys, Penguin guys, and team Julian (myself, KT, PF and friends)...


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