Man... what an interesting week this was!
Singaporean Jazz pianist/composer/educator Jeremy Monteiro and Tama Goh (another drum luminary from Singapore) is down in NYC for a week. JM is to be playing (at time of writing) at the James Moody Scholarship Benefit concert at BB King's on Monday, March 31st. I was hanging out with the both of them the last couple of days.
When they arrived on Wednesday, I met up with them to watch the Endangered Species Big Band, playing the music of Wayne Shorter, at the Iridium. Was nice to see some familiar faces from home region!
Met up with them again on Saturday, with a friend of theirs (who's staying in NY), and we drove upstate to New Paltz, NY, to look around the countryside and meet up with one of NY's finest bass player, Jay Anderson, for lunch. Jeremy have been good friends with Jay for a long while, and the latter last went to Singapore to play the Jimmy Cobb concert at the Esplanade with the former (a show I regretfully missed).
Later that night, we went to check out Joe Locke's band playing Henry Mancini's music, at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola the Jazz @ Lincoln Center. Joe (vibes) was backed by Geoff Keezer (piano), George Mraz (bass), Clarence Penn (drums), and had guest vocalist Kenny Washington (who incidentally are good friends with Jeremy and Tama, they go back over 10 years!). The arrangements of the Mancini tunes (including the well-known Pink Panther theme) were contemporary, and with flawless execution by these powerhouse musicians, it was a real music treat (to say the least!).
Today, I met up with Jeremy and Tama again, and we had a Malaysian lunch at the infamous Penang Restaurant (there are several branches here in NYC), nearby their hotel. After that we went to a rehearsal studio and jammed some tunes for two hours, just the three of us! Man, it was real satisfying, as I haven't played anywhere near that intensity for a few months now, since I got here.
We headed to Jazz @ Lincoln Center after that, as we intended to meet up with trumpeter Marcus Printup (also a powerhouse trumpeter, and longtime LCJO band member). They were rehearsing for an upcoming show at J@LC, and Mr. Wynton Marsalis was conducting the rehearsal. Marcus brought us in, and we stayed and watched the rehearsal until they finished. Wynton then came over to talk to us, and we said HI, and when I told him who I was and when we met a few years back in KL, he immediately remembered! He actually remembered who I was, even after over five years. Man.. that was something! It was really nice to see Wynton after so long, and he was still as warm as we remembered, and he has a great memory too!
We met up again with the friend that took us upstate, and we went to New Jersey for dinner... my first time in New Jersey, too.
Thanks Jeremy and Tama for the great hang!