Sunday, June 04, 2006

The week that was..

"Haiyahhh.. gig updates only ah?? Nothing else to say ahhh.. why so boring wan..???"

That's probably what some of you might be thinking when checking into my blog these days, right? LOL. I don't blame ya...

My sincere apologies lah! It's been a busy couple of weeks for me, and I'm glad that is so. It means I'm working a lot (and getting money too, darn i!). And there are times, I do have nothing to write... or it's too mundane to write. But anyway, in light of that, I'll just update some shorties of the past week, and I got some stuff I do wanna talk about. So here it is!

Isyam's married!!

Isyam, the guitar player, is married! Woo hoo! Congratulations, ol' boy and to your new wife, Nana! We're so happy for ya! Me and Eddie went to his afternoon wedding reception yesterday in Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras. Met up with AJ there as well. We were sorta the last ones to get there, but there was some food left, some nice briyani rice, dhall and acar.

It was beautiful.. congrats again you two!

Gomez et Gomes @ Top Room

It was the duet of the Gomez/s's!!! The David Gomes Quartet featuring Maria Gomez, whom after a 2 year hiatus from singing, graced the Top Room stage just last weekend. The Quartet was David on piano and vocals, moi on saxophone, Vincent Ong on double bass, and Yaakob on drums.

The music played were some standards such as My Funny Valentine, Honeysuckle Rose, and some others. The "arrangements" were pretty much done almost on the fly, and a lot of the time, we kept our ears and eyes opened to see what happens next! Well, almost.. I was closing my eyes during my solos.. maybe I should open them a little sometimes! Ahaha. We also did some of David's original tunes, and called some jazz tunes on the spot. Friday night was a bit of a bummer for me, I was quite tired, so I didn't think I was playing that well. Saturday night was definitely much better (I squeezed a 20+ minute run before heading off to the gig.. felt so much better).

Well, Farid Ali aka Mr. Gambus will be performing with David Gomes in a special edition of GAMBUS GOES STRAIGHTAHEAD at the Top Room. So go down and check it out.

Now... the main feature:


I know it's a bit old news, but after a good gig (it was for me.. but I think it definitely was!), I sometimes discover new things and have certain epiphanies. This was one of them. I hadn't thought about it, or rather it didn't occur to me until I started hearing some feedback from people who came to the Hardbop gig last week. In the light of sounding a bit proud, and I'm not trying to.. but I think we made some musical history in Malaysia last weekend. We played music... jazz music... from songbooks that NO ONE in Malaysian jazz history has ever played. Music from Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Art Blakey, and more.

Not only that, the music was so intense, and the band played SO intensely, it almost felt like the spirit of jazz legends were behind us playing THROUGH us! I have not felt something like this in such a long time.. the rush was so intense, I can't explain it in words! The synergy in the band was so strong, and it was quite obvious that there was great respect for the music and the jazz musicians themselves (dead or alive). Everyone played like there was no tomorrow! We played the blues, man...!!

Few of the highlights included performing some of David's original compositions, such as Just Swinging, Fire Within Water, as well as performing pieces from Art Blakey (Moanin'), Jackie McLean (Blues in A Jiff, Yams by Herbie Hancock), Joe Henderson (Recordame), the Cannonball Adderley songbook (Jeannine, Unit Seven), Thelonius Monk (Rhythm-A-Ning, Bemsha Swing), and more.

Here are some comments we got:

" doesn't get any better than this!"

"...didn't expect to come to Malaysia and hear and see high class jazz.."

There was even a South African ambassador and a reporter from one of their papers (who were probably attending the NAM Conference, I think!) who came to the gig and walked out so happy! We shook hands and stuff..

We'll be back!

Nice dinner gathering..

As I'm finishing up this post, I had just came back from a nice dinner gathering at Eddie's dad's restaurant at Sec. 5 PJ. It was wonderful. Those who came were Greg and wife, Vincent and wife, Pek Fui, Eddie, and Justin (who had just returned from the US). Over deliciously-cooked MALAYSIAN CHINESE food, stories were traded, talked about a variety of things... including the funny subject of faeces... and of course, it was like a reunion, like we didn't see each other in a long time.

Long time didn't hang out... it was nice!

Well, that's all folks. I'm off to bed.


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