Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Updates - GruvAvenue... Global Spirit.. Top Room..and M!

Hi everyone, again, I'd like to apologize for me being the invisible man for several weeks now! Anyway, I just want to update you guys on my whereabouts for the last couple of weeks (or at least it felt like that!). In short, I've been kept really busy with lots of work, with M! primarily and a couple of other things that took place since my last post. Okay.. here goes:

Friday 17 March - GruvAvenue..

Did the GruvAvenue gig at Avanti's Sunway on Friday 17 March. I think for most part it turned out well, although I messed up a couple of bits and piece of it! But it was fun. There was a lot of energy in the band! Unfortunately, I thought that we didn't really have enough time to work on the material at hand. If we did, I think the delivery and execution (especially on my side) would've been better.

The crowd that night, however, wasn't THAT great.. it was just merely okay. And like some gigs (and I mean that in a negative way) there's always some crooner who wants to come up and sing. Not to say it's a bad thing... but this wasn't a regular club gig. It was a SHOW!! Man... what would you think Michael Jackson, or say... Frank Sinatra would say, if you suddenly felt compelled to go up and do a feature on yourself when you went to their concert?? I think the security detail would've thrown you OUT the door!

For crying out loud, let us do our show and not spoil the whole thing just because some of you just feel compelled to sing and want to impress your friends! For your info, WE were invited and paid THAT night to impress people, not you.. like hello?

Let's just say, WE do the inviting, when WE feel like it's appropriate.


Saturday 18 March - Global Spirit..

After the M! rehearsal in the afternoon, me and Chee Meng went over to Greg's place to hang for a short while before heading to KL Pac to check out their Global Spirit show. I couldn't wait to see and hear them play. The last time I saw that band play (minus Damon at that time of course) was about over 3 years ago at No Black Tie. Let's just say, it made me feel like I was in jazz capital... the music was just awesome!

At the KLPac, we got our tickets - thankfully, as we thought it might have been sold out - and just waited to go into Pentas 2. Simultaneously, the Hands Percussion Team were also performing in Pentas 1.

When we got into the performance hall, we were surprised (and elated) that it was pretty much full house! There's hope for jazz in KL after all!

The show itself was awesome. It was really interesting to see top notch jazz musicians play in a group together, playing some really good music.. and not easy music to digest, to say the least. There was Greg Lyons on sax, Damon Brown on trumpet, Jarmo Sarvolainen on piano, Christy Smith on double bass, and Lewis Pragasam on drums. Some of the more easier tunes were a blues written by Mike Stanton, and Body And Soul. Some of their original tunes include Greg's compositions such as Built To Last, I'll Tell You Later (a recent composition..and a crazy one at that!), Elbow Room, Damon's music such as Jousting in 3, Monkey Dreams, and Jarmo's tunes Two Tangents.

There were a lot of good moments in that Saturday concert, but also some not-so-good moments (although some may not have noticed.. but we're musicians, so we're more alert to these things anyway!). I think the band was tired from the travelling, or it could be the not-so-competent sound person who was handling the sound board - for some strange reason kept giving Damon lots of delay effect... very irritating - that may have caused some of the lapses in some playing moments. But like anything, it happens. Nevertheless, it was top notch band and top notch music, and I can guarantee you, you don't get to catch this kinda thing a lot. So that's why I keep telling everyone, if you have a chance to check out a good band play... do it!

Anyway, after that gig, we went for a nice post-gig supper at a Chinese tai-chow restaurant just nearby Greg's house.

The next morning, Greg and Damon flew out to UK for their current UK/Europe tour. I just wanna wish Greg... GOOD LUCK FOR THE TOUR!!! He'll be gone from KL for about a month and a half... and in that sense, some of us are really, REALLY happy for him that he's getting out there and playing his music!

Check out his webpage for his schedule details and updates. I think he'll update his site with his UK tour (I hope) experience once a while, so do check the site out to see what's happening with him!

Monday 20th March - Top Room @ Top Hat launch!

FINALLY!! A new jazz club in town! It's located at Jalan Kia Peng, next to Wisma HLA and across from the KL Convention Center.

The launch kicked off with the David Gomes Quintet - David Gomes on piano, Charles Wong on drums, Vincent Ong on double bass, Isyam Swardi on guitar, and horny horns Julian Chan (me! me! me!) on sax and Eddie Wen on trumpet/flugelhorns!

The first show that will kick off the first week of live jazz (and not the hotel variety, thank you!) will be the David Gomes Trio featuring Junji Delfino. Check out Junji's website for pics and comments!

courtesy of Jazz Mamma's Captain's Blog

Our band The Happy People Quintet will play on the 20th and 21st of April... more on that soon!

Tuesday 21st March - M! The Opera... FINALLY!!

After so many rehearsals and multiple personality changes, the music as a whole is complete! We did the tech run (the whole show) at night, and for most part it was pretty much there. No doubt there'll be some changes still, but not major ones I think.

The media preview show will take place tomorrow night.. and we'll see what happens!!

Good luck!

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