Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gig Update this week: The KL HARDBOP BAND @ The Top Room


The gig at Top Room was a blast!!! The music was burning.. the band was burning...both nights, and we had a nice responsive crowd who (hopefully) enjoyed themselves! We played some real nice jazz tunes that most have not heard, and lots of David Gomes originals, and his arrangements!

By the way, just a quick update - The David Gomes Ensemble will be performing at the KL JAZZ FEST to be held on July 5th at the Istana Budaya! So do tell people about it, and come to the show.. support the jazz scene in Malaysia! (more details as it comes and I'll keep y'all posted)

Here are some pictures from the gig on Friday night. Enjoy!!

Me playin' that alto.. nice shot Brian!

Julian and Eddie - The Horny Horns

Me blowin' that tenor!

The KL Hardbop Band feat. JazzMamma Junji!

Julian and Eddie reading furiously through the chartsMe in a nice pose - good shot Brian!

Julian and Eddie again!

The band!

The man himself: Mr. DAVID GOMES!

The KL Hardbop Band!!

David pounding those ivories furiously!

Eddie blowin' that horn and burnin'!!

Charles on the drums!

Joe on that big a** double bass!

For those who came down to the gigs on both rainy nights.. Thank You for your support! It's you guys that will keep the jazz music scene in KL alive! Hope to be playing and seeing you guys again!


(click on link to enlarge)


We're bringing to you jazz music like you've probably never heard before in Malaysia (unless you've been to some of my other shows!)... Bebop, Hardbop! If you've never heard of it, you definitely don't know jazz like you think you know! We're probably the only band right now who will bring to you jazz music from the 40s to 60s (and some current ones from David).. the stuff that you never really hear! Music from Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Miles, Monk and more!

Come and experience Jazz like you've never experience before. No Michael Buble, or Rod Steward b/s.. just some HOT JAZZ!

Only RM 50++ for the first two drinks. Book by noon, Thursday [24th May], and get a third drink absolutely FREE!!!!

Promo ends 26th May!

Call now for reservations. Dial +603 21428611 or fax +603 21413611. You can also book by
email so what are you waiting for? Make your reservations now.

A new skin...

Time to change a new look... for my blog, I mean.

Since I started my blog I've been using the same template and look, so now I've decided to try something new. It's a little more simpler than the last one at the moment, but I'm still experimenting with some of the template codes, and I'll be adding some nice picture backgrounds and stuff.

Hope you like it.. please feel free to write in your comments and brickbats!

But contents still remain as it is, I suppose!


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm back!

Hey everyone,

I'm back from Shenzhen from the Jonathan Lee Concert Tour. The trip was short, and there wasn't that much time to really go around over there. The show itself went quite well, even though Jonathan was still recovering from a fever (he had to go under a drip at the hospital for day, I heard). Here's a concise report about it.


May 19 Friday
- flew to Hong Kong, then got driven to Shenzhen. Stayed in Bauhinia Hotel (one of the sponsors for the show), went to eat at a nearby 24 hour eatery (had stuff like soy bean drink, vege noodle, yow char kwai or yu tiao), then after that went for a massage at the hotel massage parlour (decent one, mind you!) until 6am! Slept!

May 20 Saturday
- woke up in the afternoon, ate at the 24 hour eatery, and got to the venue (an indoor stadium) and did our soundcheck. The soundcheck was awful, the sound people looked like they didn't know what they were doing. And it was hot. Got back at night, and we (me, Chow Ming and Eddie) went out with a Malaysian friend who was working there to a seafood restaurant. A lot of people, and service sucked big time. My food took so long to make (we had reminded the waitresses almost 20 times), I waited almost two hours, and I got fed up, I cancelled my order right away. Our Chinese friend (our Malaysian friend's colleague) got so fed up she scolded and gave a good verbal beating to the waitresses. We left, and we headed back to the 24 hour place to eat again.

May 21 Sunday - Concert Day!
- woke up just in time in the afternoon to go the venue to run thru some stuff again. Jonathan was only available today, as he was at the hospital under saline drip from a fever. The sound mix had improved just a little bit, but not as good as the Taiwan show. The sound engineer that was supposed to do the show with us was at Shanghai doing Emil Chau's show.
- show itself went well.. had Sylvia Chang, Jeff Chang, Fish Leung, and Emil Chau's surprise entrance (flown in from Shanghai on the day itself, no rehearsals). Audience loved it.
- went back to the hotel, had the post-show party. Went to massage again.. until about 5.30am. Got back to the room to pack, and slept.

May 22 Monday
- woke up just in time again to go downstairs to leave. Got driven to HK airport, and we flew back home.


On some other notes..

I've actually opened up my own MSN Space.. another blog!! But this one will be more focused on my professional work. So there'll be gig updates, photos.. etc. It's sort of my own online newsletter and blog if you will have it. I'll put up some sound samples, and maybe videos, of some of the performances that I'm doing. So check it out:

Julian Chan - saxophonist MSN Space @

Friday, May 19, 2006

Shenzhen, here we come!

Hey all..

I haven't been able to finish up my Taiwan story and pics.. will try to do it when I get back. Like I said before - busy, busy, busy!

Anyway, the Jonathan Lee World Tour continues with Shenzhen in China-HK. We'll be leaving for HK in a couple of hours, but we won't be long there. We'll be back around Monday evening, so I doubt we'll have a lot of time to look around.

Wish us luck for the show!

See you soon!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Some happenings!

Here's a little side note on some stuff that happened last week, on which my incorrigible sense of tardiness has made me blog about it rather late! So here it is..


Well, what can be said about it? Everyday is Mother's Day! But the Powers That Be decided to make one special day (so they can cash in on a variety of things) for Moms every year in May. But anyway, I wanna wish my Mom Happy Mothers' Day (although she probably won't be reading this anyway), and also ALL the Mom's in the world as well. Without you (and Dad, of course .. that's why we have Father's Day too.. duh!), there's no us!

Thanks (to eternity!).


That's Queens College at City University of New York. I passed a CD to them, and they've accepted me. Now I just have to send an application for the Jazz Performance Masters program. It's just one way for me to go to US and to NY where the "scene" is! I can't wait to go..

I don't know what will happen to me, or what my future is, but I definitely stand to learn a lot of stuff there. It ain't gonna be no happy and lavish life, it's gonna be some serious hard work. But without it, there ain't no life.


Congratulations to Jeff and Chin Fong for their marriage! Maybe some of us KKFC fellas still have hope after all! Haha..

Thanks for having us as part of your life, and your marriage as well. We are truly happy for you.

The marriage reception dinner was at Fortuna Palace in Kajang Prima. It was like a high school reunion as well, for a lot of us, as I got to meet some of my old high school friends which I haven't seen for (gasp!) ELEVEN years!! Has it been that long? Damn.. I'm sure feeling old, man!

It was nice to see some of them again, man.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Taiwan experience! - Part 1

So hear I am, in a cyber cafe, just about to start writing about my Taiwan trip and the concert with Jonathan Lee (aka Lee Zhong Sheng). As of writing, I'm just about a few hours before our flight back to KL, me and Eddie are in the cyber cafe just opposite the "love" hotel we're bunking in for three days... we're both internet junkies for sure. This post will be a work-in-progress for the next couple of days, until I've finished writing about it, and putting in the pictures once I've uploaded it from my camera.

Anyway, just a short comment about the trip... it's been just great! The show itself was an amazing experience, and I hope we (the horny horns section) did Mac and Jonathan proud. We got to meet and know quite a few people, including the artistes themselves. I'm looking forward to the Shenzhen show in about 10 days time. Anyway, the whole trip itself was so fun, and Taiwan is such a warm place to be in. Although we know that there are crazy stuff happening in Taiwan, such as triads and stuff, but the general populace has been quite warm. It didn't take us long to get used to things here. Not to mention the food, we've been acting like hogs (me and Eddie at least), eating whatever I could try! I know I've definitely put on a few kgs... I've even resolved to try to lose weight and burn fat in the next 10 days before my Shenzhen trip (another eating trip, I heard!).

Anyway, here it is:

Day 1 - Sun 30/4/06

Spent the night, or rather the early part of the morning, packing my bags. I had only come home from my Happy People gig at Alexis around 3am, or so. I had lots of stuff I had to pack, as I was going to be there for ten days! That's a lot of stuff to pack! I even did a travel list, to list down all the stuff I'll be bringing there. Oddly enough, I finished in about two hours, and even had some time to blog, and get a few hours of sleep.

Woke up around 11am, and my dad and bro sent me to the airport. I got there, and I saw Aji and Gary already waiting. Eddie and Roger showed up next, and the rest eventually did. We did the usual - check-in, exchange currencies, and headed into the terminal, and boarded the plane. The travel time took around four and a half hours, and I managed to watch Narnia on the plane - nice movie, by the way!

The band checking in

Me and Eddie clownin' around

We touched down around 8pm or so, and our transport took us to our hotel we'll be staying in for the next seven days - SHERATON TAIPEI! Woo hoo.. nice hotel! After our room allocations (me and Eddie got bunked), we housed ourselves in the room, and shortly headed out for dinner with the band. We were taken to this nice porridge place Mac and Jenny usually go to, and it was an interesting culinary experience. The dishes were all laid out in two counters (one for vegetarians, and one normal), and we just had to pick out whatever dishes we wanted, and the waiters will send the porridge to our table. So we took an assortment of dishes - mine vegetarian, of course - such as tofu (both normal and smelly - yes, smelly tofu is a common food in Taiwan), cucumbers, beans, and green veges, and of course the other fellas all took some interesting meat dishes. The best part, it was really, REALLY tasty.. there weren't any leftovers at the end of the feast!

Hangin' at the airport (l-r: Ameer, Gary, Ah Wa, Jian Qing, Eddie)

Taiwan flag


... and after!!

We then headed back to the hotel and raided the 7-11 just behind the street - which is a dime a dozen here... you can spot like five to ten outlets in a 500m radius! - and got some supplies and snacks. After checking out the many local channels (including pay-per-view previews, yes there was porn too!), we just hit the sack.

Footnote: One of the few things I noticed when I arrived in Taiwan was how friendly and courteous Taiwanese were. And I could sort of understand their Mandarin, and they do speak some English as well. We didn't take long to get used to things here. Food was so great, we expected this trip to be a binge-fest, and how it turned out to be one! More on that later.

Day 2 - Mon 1/5/06

I couldn't wake up early enough to go the gym. I was so bumped from the last several days (weeks, in fact), where work was aplenty, and late nights as well. But we woke up early enough to raid the hotel breakfast, which was wonderful for my standards - scrambled eggs, french toast, blueberry pancakes, assortment of fruits and muesli, assortment of breads! And they were cooked real nice too!

View from our room

Later in the afternoon, the band were all taken to the rehearsal studio, which was a converted warehouse space, in a middle of an industrial area (it was next to a junkyard!). The studio was really big and beautiful, we could fit a whole orchestra in. Took about an hour or so to set up, do the soundcheck. Had lunch and got on with the rehearsals. Jonathan was there throughout the practice, and Fish Leung came in as well to do her tunes. It was a large band: with 3 horns, 3 keyboards, 5 backup vocals (one of them plays violin), drums, percussions, two guitarists, and Jonathan on acoustic guitars as well. We ran through some of Concert Day 1 songs, and some from Day 2.

Eddie doing some last minute warm-ups

View of the Taipei 101 tower

Setting up

Brass clowns..;)

More clowning around!

Jenny Chin already relaxed in the studio

Ah Wah with the backup vocals

Me chillin'

Test, test, 1-2-3

Time to start rehearsals!

After rehearsals, we headed back to the hotel to refresh ourselves before going out to the night market at Shilin. Had more food there, of course. I tried the peanut-sesame cold noodles and minced beef rice (all vegetarian of course), and some smelly tofu. We all then had some ABC-like iced-mango dessert, where we had crushed ice with mango on top! It was crazy. Second night and we were already binging.

Day 3 - Tuesday 2/5/06

Woke up early for breakfast, napped a bit more, and headed to the gym around 11am. Did about 30 minutes of workout on the treadmill and stationery bike. It was rather dreadful for me, at first, because I just don't like working out in a gym too long. Then Mac, Jenny, Ameer, Roger, Eddie and myself took a short walk to the IT mall nearby known as K-Mall, to check out some computer and electronic stuff.

We were then taken again to the rehearsal studio for another round of rehearsals, this one mostly Concert Day 2 stuff, which is less than Day 1. So the horn section was relaxing a lot more this time around.

Later at night, we went back to the Shilin night market again to have some food there, and we walked around it a little more, as we didn't get to walk all of it the previous night. I got myself a nice sling bag I can carry around with all my stuff that I usually carry. When me and Eddie got back to the hotel, we went to internet cafe nearby to check our mails and update our blogs a little bit.

Update: Just found this cool function on my photo host, here are some more pictures.

To be continued...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ni hao! Greetings from Taiwan!

Hey y'all..

I'm in a cybercafe right now with Eddie, and we're just checking our mails and stuff. Taiwan's been great, really! The moment we landed, I already enjoyed being in Taiwan! The first words I've heard from a Taiwanese at the airport, I could already understand. Everything around is so.. cozy and comfortable. And a lot of them actually speak English too.. but even if they spoke Chinese, I could generally understand. How cool is that?

Rehearsals and stuff has been great. Jonathan is a cool cat to work with. The band is fairly big, with THREE keyboardists - Mac Chew (on piano as well), Jenny Chin, and Chet Ng; THREE-horn section - me, Eddie on trumpet and Roger on trombone; Ameer on percussions; Gary Gideon on drums; David "Ah Wah" Yee on electric bass; one violin player from Beijing who does back-up vocals with FOUR other back-up vocalists. The guest artistes who will be performing with us are Jeff Chang, Sylvia Chang, and Fish Leung.. and Jonathan of course.

We're staying at the Sheraton Hotel Taipei! Oh man.. that's just so cool! It's the first time I'm actually staying at a 5-star hotel for more than a week! Talk about star treatment.

This concert is basically a showcase, as well as a "flashback" kinda thing, commemorating Jonathan's career as a songwriter as well as a singer.

Anyway, some shorties on our Taiwan escapades...

LOTS OF PRETTY GIRLS!! And I'm not kidding! And I think the people here are a little more globalized (unlike China.. still very backward).

LOTS OF GOOD FOOD... (even for vegetarians)!! The night we landed, we went to this porridge restaurant, where we could pick our dishes, and they'll send us the porridge (teochew-style). They have two sections for meat-eaters and vegetarians!! I was having a ball of a time (while my belly is turning into a ball in itself.. dammit!).

FRIENDLY PEOPLE! Very friendly they are... unlike the Chinese, who are just plain crude and rude flers! Most of the people we've met were very helpful, and the service class in shops are very good!

LOTS OF STUFF TO BUY!! Well, that's nothing new, of course.. but nevertheless, a lot of nice and fairly good quality stuff to get as well. There are a lot of nice computer shops and IT malls in town, all at very good prices. It makes Low Yat plaza and Imbi Plaza look like a small convenience store!

Anyway, that's all I'd like to update for about now. Will upload pictures and write a little more when I get back home.

I'm missing my family at home.. and my friends, of course.

Will see you guys when I get back!