Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I JUST POSTED MY APPLICATION FORMS TO QUEENS COLLEGE VIA FEDEX (as of time of writing!). (here's to all of you fellas bambu-ing me about when I'm gonna go over there..)

Okayyyy.. now that I've settled down a little bit...

Now, I'll just have to wait for their reply once they get my application and process it. I hope it would not be too troublesome, my application submission date is actually past due. But from what CH told me, they'll still take me in anyway... I pray that is so!

Oh man... the wheels are turnin' and we're gonna start burnin'..

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Hey all,

I'm typing in from Genting Highlands, in a Starbucks with FREE WiFi connection. The wonders of modern technology. To paraphrase my friend, Jiin Joo, Starbucks Malaysia should be awarded for doing something good for mankind. Anyway, just some accounts from a couple of days...

Missing Pictures!

Two days ago, I accidentally deleted a whole bunch of photos from my Macbook, and my external hard disk!! ARGH!! It wasn't even in the Trash compartment, and it just disappeared. Of course, it wasn't the computer's fault, just that I performed a bad copy and paste procedure which over-written the picture folder that I have, and now I couldn't find any of my pictures.. and I had LOTS of them!! Trauma.. but thanks to Ken, I managed to get a data recovery software, and after many laptop hours, I managed to recover quite a few of them back. Some of them were pretty messed, as all the labels have been replaced by consecutive numbers. Even the data information such as the date, time, etc of those pictures were gone. So now, when I get back home, I have to sit down for another couple of hours to sort those pictures out. Sigh.. I think I may have lost a lot of it already.

Queens College..

My application process to Queens College is already on the way... I've got all the necessary items to send the application. I will be sending it next week.. and I can't wait!! I'm so excited and anxious to get to New York.

Chern Hwei

My good friend, violin nut, Chern Hwei flew back to New York two days ago, after several weeks of holiday since Chinese New Year. He did a couple of gigs while he was here, and I think he was quite happy with it, including the one he did with my band Boplicity, and also with Greg Lyons' Groove Junky at No Black Tie. I'll be joining him in a couple of months in NYC, and hope we can do some crazy sh*t there!! YEAAAHH!!

See you in a couple of months, bro!

PS: CH is coming back for short while in July for a concert in KLPac, so go support him and check out some of his crazy stuff! Get a taste of NYC!

Jonathan Lee @ Genting

I'm really happy, and I've been looking forward to this show for quite a while. Well, ever since getting involved in this concert, it has been nothing but fun, and very educational in many ways, which I'll tell you in person if I see you. The reason, being I'm too lazy to type these days. Go figure. Anyway, doing a Malaysian concert would probably be a big highlight for me. Why? 90% or more of the band members for Jonathan's show are Malaysian! And I feel particularly proud, because it gives me faith that we Malaysians have something to offer to the world, contrary to popular belief! And I'm thankful to Jonathan for choosing us Malaysians to do your thang!

However, this time around, there won't be that many guests compared to the previous shows... only Sylvia Chang and Winnie Hsin this time around. But anyway, it's still Jonathan's show... and he's definitely the main man on stage. It'll still be fun for us. Oh yeah, Jiin Joo's joining us on trombone this time around. Regular Roger is stuck in NSO's Beethoven show at Istana Budaya... don't even get Roger started about it, he's gonna fume!

My family will be here tonight as well.. so they'll get to see the show, a good taste of what we've been doing in our crazy romps in China, since last year!! Ahaha..

Wish us luck for tonight.. it's gonna be fun!! YEE HAA!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The sudden feeling of loss came over me last night.

It's a loss for the Malaysian jazz scene. I'm glad I learnt with him for as long as I did, and for inculcating the right roots to learn the right way.

We all gotta do what we gotta do... let the less far-sighted ones wallow in their pathetic scope of vision.

You kick butt in Singapore, and everywhere else, man!!

Good luck..!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Crystal Silence!

If you don't know what that means... it means, I went to see the great jazz duo, Chick Corea and Gary Burton, or the Crystal Silence duo, at the Malaysian Philharmonic Hall!

It was an incredible show, to see two great masters play together as the most known piano-vibes duo in the world. It is basically their reunion tour, and they recorded an album together about 15 over years ago. They're back, and even more kick-butt than ever! Chick and Gary played material from the Crystal Silence album, and some newer materials, such as Crystal Silence, Native Sense, Brazilia, and then some!

It was quite an experience, to see such intense musical interplay between the piano and the vibraphone, weaving through the undercurrent groove that mostly musicians and real music listeners can feel. Their compositions ranged from simple to complex, each with its own set musical challenges. But all-in-all, it's is an intense dialogue between two people, talking about experiences from the past, and relating it with the present!

Despite the breadth of the music, Chick lights up the room with his humor, taking a shot at the pre-recorded pre-show announcements that tells the audience members to switch off their mobiles and pagers, and not taking photos. To add to that, Chick takes another shot at the audience, telling them to treat the show like their living room, and that it's okay to take phone calls, talk when they like, to move around and the like. Sarcasm at its best, but it's just pure humor with a message to respect the music. Chick's a joker.

Favorite quote for the night, after Gary and Chick shows this incredibly long music chart, about 8 - 9 pages long... "We're jazz musicians... but we can read, too, you know??"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

'Twas a crazy, amazing (two) night(s)..

.. at the Top Room!!

The last two days at the Top Room @ Top Hat Restaurant was a blast with my band, Boplicity! We had to really good nights, with a fairly enthusiastic, appreciative and attentive crowd. Needless to say, it affected the band so much, we were all kickin' some serious butt (musically speaking) for BOTH nights. We did a mixture of the bop stuff, and some of Chern Hwei's compositions, such as Riders of The Lost Track, Manda's Mood, Chloeitchka, and a haunting version of Geylang (Si Paku Geylang).

Let's just say after both nights, I'm still reeling from the experience. It's really rare to see all the band members playing their hearts out like there's no tomorrow! I'm really glad to see it happen... it was a thrilling experience! It's an indescribable feeling, when you know you got some of the most interesting musicians in town, and musically we're all on the same wavelength (plus minus a few kilohertz)... an unseen connection that happens on and off stage.

Thanks guys!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Back and reelin'..

I'm back from my 3-day trip to Jakarta for the Java Jazz Festival!

One word to describe the whole experience... OVERWHELMING!!

It was simply awesome, to be in the proximity of so many amazing musicians for three whole days... from Richard Bona, Eric Marienthal, Joshua Redman, Miguel Zenon, Kyle Eastwood, Jeff Lorber, Dave Weckl and more. I'm still reeling from the whole experience... so much music!!

Anyway, this is just a pre-cursor... I will try my best to write at least a short report of the festival, and include some pics that I took as well.

Till then..

Friday, March 02, 2007

Java Jazz Fest.. here I come!!

Hey all!

As I'm writing, I'm packing up my stuff right now for the airport. I'm going to Jakarta for about 3 days for the Java Jazz Festival. I'll be playing for Aussie smooth jazz keyboardist Sam McNally, and we're doing the 11.30pm slot.

I'm so excited... I'm able to go see some of the best jazz acts in the world.... SF Jazz Collective, John Scofield, Bobby Hutcherson, Eric Marienthal, and more!! And this is my FIRST ever international jazz festival overseas! And I'm playing in it too!! YAY!!

I'm going to try to catch Eric Marienthal in person. He's always been an inspiration, and saxophone hero for me. I caught him playing in KL a few times way back in the 90s, and his contemporary jazz style of playing influenced me for quite a while. It was so much fresher and more exciting than the Kenny Gs or the Kenny G clones that came out after that. And of course, there was no such thing as "smooth jazz" back then.. just that GRP sound.. yeah!!

Anyway, I've no time to waste, I'll sign off for now. Wish me luck at Jakarta!!

Woo hooo... my first international jazz festival!!