Monday, March 27, 2006

Jazz rant..

You can just ignore this post, or you'll just have to read it and eat it all up.. if you wanna spit it out, go ahead by all means.. just not at my feet though.. I don't want to have to clean your saliva on my nice Chinese New Year CIANO shoes.. gotta keep it shiny!

As you all know, there's a new jazz club in town, called The Top Room @ Top Hat which has just finished its first week of live jazz in Kay-El (not Kal-El from the Superman series, thank you!) with the David Gomes Trio taking the first stage! All this is possible because of the hard work of two very esteemed individuals, David and Junji Gomes, as well as the support of the big kahunas of Top Hat, Mr. and Mrs. Danker. All of us [jazz] musicians know that we all need a place to play some real music, and not the pandering variety.. but no one has really taken the BIG step to actually realise that fact, save a few individuals. And now, for the second time (or third, possibly!), these two have done it again! They are the ones with the vision, tenacity, and the persistence to actually pursue such - usually futile (due to lack of support as well as un-supportly-ness - you know what I'm talking about!) - endeavours! There are several venues, claiming that they're offering live jazz bands, but they most certainly do not make the real cut.

Jazz-Mamma Junji Delfino has written an interesting lament about the state of jazz venues as well as jazz in KL - in general - and how corporate people use and cash-in on jazz, but at the same time presenting anything but jazz music!

Read all about it here... and get some brain cells worked up over it! I know I am.

Like her, I can't stand the fact that there are those who use the good name of jazz to make money and not actually put in a real jazz band, and when I mean a real jazz band, I mean those that play any elements of jazz music and those that play jazz out of inspiration and expression - not the kind that plays pop music and call it jazz, or even those who claim to sing jazz but are just singing standards and have no real idea what jazz is! Not even artistes that sing jazz standards that call themselves jazz artistes!

For me, a real jazz venue, is a place where there are no boundaries and expectations to musical expression, of which the stylistic medium is jazz. It's a place where the only crime a band can commit is to play music that the public demands and dictates them to play. There is no musical pandering. There are no song requests (unless of course, it's a song worth doing!).. no I Will Survive or Can't Take My Eyes Off You or even Titanic Theme Song (YES! There are those who actually request for that song, goddammit!). It's the place where one can express f*ck it.. this sucks, and people listen (or some leave...and thus should, if you can't take the heat!).. or even say I Love You in more ways than one, and people listen. It's a place where it's an option that the main act isn't a sexy, high heeled, garter-belted, spaghetti-strapped, 34-20-34 stats, booty shaking, can't-sing-to-save-a-life vocalist!

At least, I know now that there are at least two places to look forward to, for something like this.

And one of them is... and Welcome to The Top Room @ Top Hat !! Where all the cats are swingin' and the crowd goes purrin' along! Come on up, 'cause Everything's Swingin' at the Top!!!!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah! I've been looking for a place like Jazz @ South bridge in S'pore.... when Junji told me there was one in KL! SUch a blast having good jazz music available in such a cosy atmosphere (instead of @ MPO...)
A must go for all Jazz lovers.