Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spring break

Wow... talk about not updating my blog for ages.

Well, my apologies for that, really. That's how much stuff I have going right now, really.. until I really could not find the time to write. And that is a good thing, actually, from my standpoint. There's just so much stuff happening, and stuff I have to work on, that I can't spend time to blog. Anyway, it's spring break right now, so we've got a week and a half off from school. But if you're a music student, you'll know right away it's not really going to be a break at all. That's because a music student's (or a musician, really!) life is really music, music, and more music. For us, well, it's a lot more on trying to finish (or start) working on our assignments more than anything else. Practicing... well, that happens pretty much all the time, irregardless. But that's the life. Dig it, or find a new one.

Anyway, I suppose I should update about what's been happening since my last post.. which was Chinese New Year (lol!).

One of the more significant things that has happened to me is the fact that I have experienced some breakthroughs, where my studies are concerned. All the stuff I've been learning for the past year, I am beginning to comprehend much more, than when I first came here (or even after the first year). I'm not sure how that worked, but I do know now that it did, and I'm so happy and thankful for that. Can't say it was an easy, bed-o-roses process though... been through some emotional and mental pitfalls along the way. To say the least, right now it's mostly down to just practicing the stuff, and getting it in my head and in my fingers. Of course, there's still so much stuff left, even after that... but I believe I'm learning to deal with it better now (I hope!). I feel so much more focused than before, and I basically understand what I have to work on for real, this time. I've got so much information that will basically last me a long while to practice.

For other stuff, well... probably one of the only thing(s) worth mentioning is that I did a gig in a real established jazz bar in NYC called 55 Bar late February. It's a small place (really small), but it's been around for a little bit. I think Mike Stern plays there on a fairly regular basis (I haven't seen him play there, though). I played there with a good friend of mine and Chern Hwei's, Michelle Marie, a guitarist. It was scary, as it was probably my first Manhattan gig, at an established jazz joint. Although for the moment, I don't mind being the sideman, first. LOL! I believe we will have another show there sometime late April... yee haa!!

Another interesting thing I managed to do was to watch Phil Woods play at Dizzy's Club Coca-cola at Jazz @ Lincoln Center. For those who don't know, Phil Woods is a legendary saxophone player, who in all our books, is considered up there along with the rest of the jazz legends. Mr. Woods is known by many to be a Charlie Parker "disciple" on the alto sax, and with what he has experienced, he may very well be. To cut the story short, Phil has met AND hung out with Bird in his younger days (and even let Bird play his horn). Of course, Mr.Woods' sound and approach to playing is a cumulative development of studying the various masters (Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, etc) as well as an extension of his own personality.

Anyway, as for other stuff, well.. there's nothing really much happening, other than me just being in school practicing and working on some of the work, really. NY is too expensive to make it hip and happening for me. My life here (socially, at least) is probably less interesting than back home in Malaysia. Here, I'm just interested to study and work on my sh*t and expose myself to great music, and great musicians.. and make sure I learn my stuff, real good! I'll probably worry about the rest later.

Still miss Malaysian food, though.. the real deal, that is. Still prefer my share of banana leaf, thosai, and even good chinese (vegetarian) food, without busting a giant hole in my small wallet.

I've started running a lot more now, and since I've already registered for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009 for half distance (that's happening at the end of June), I've definitely started to train for it. So I can't wait till Spring clears up well, and good, and I'd get my butt out there running!

I think that's it for now... will try to update more a little later, when I can.

By the way, I'm back in KL from 28th May for summer holidays, and gigs galore! Can't wait...