Category Archives: Music and Dancing

DOUBLE TAKE – 1 Voice, 6 Strings, 12 Moods : Mengapa Kasih

Double take are a Malaysian jazz duo. This is a sample of one of their tracks. You’ll love it.

ROGER WANG | The Official Website of Roger Wang | DOUBLE TAKE – 1 Voice, 6 Strings, 12 Moods :.

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Filed under Malaysia, Music and Dancing

Herbie Hankok’s take on Gershwin

Lullaby by Herbie Hancock on Grooveshark for Android: http://grooveshark.com/s/Lullaby/342yvf?src=5

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Jazz in HK

Being a jazz lover, one of the first things i did when I arrived in HK was to search out for a good jazz club. The choices are limited and most were concentrated in HK Island.  I did find one New Orleans- type jazz diner cum live band in Tsim Sha Tsui – Ned’s Kelly. I’d written about this place in earlier post.

On Friday, I was at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade by chance. It was the opening gala for the HK Wine and Food Festival. There were many stalls showcasing wines and food and loads of people. But my ears picked up the sounds of jazz and was estatic to find it was live. The featured artist on was Hanjin Tan. I stayed for his hour-long show and it was toe-tapping, fingers-drumming enjoyment. I like his brand of improv jazz, putting his own twist to classics.  This for me is the best kind of pure jazz – unplugged version with just the voice, accompanied with bass, guitar and piano.  This way the focus is on the voice, which in Jazz is the key element of the music.  There are very few asian jazz artist, maybe because jazz is very much a western concept.  He hit all the right tones and carried the tunes well. 

Here’s a Youtube video of him in-motion:

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Cirque Du Soleil – Zaia

I heard of /saw Cirque du Soleil a few years back, from a documentary on one of its production.  The show was somewhat mysterious and captivated me.   Unfortunately for me, all its shows then were showing in the West. 

Luckily for us in Asia, Cirque du Soleil came to Venetian Macau with Zaia.  The show has been running since Aug 08.  Ticket prices start from MOP388 for the lowest category.  I caught the show last weekend and it was an experience.  The show is made up of different acrobatic segments and if compared with previous acrobatic shows that I’ve seen, these were not  more different or better.  However what made the whole experience a WOW was the lighting effects, the singing and sound effects, showmen/women floating or flying overhead.  In short, the show engaged all my senses and made the experience, somewhat complete.   The only thing that I found quite irritating were the 2 clowns… but then they were not for my benefit.

Here’s the Youtube video on Zaia:

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Filed under Macau, Music and Dancing

Eve of 2009 New Year – Part 2

Ned’s Kelly Jazz Bar in TST and Countdown:

 

Some friends and I went to a Jazz bar tonight, it’s our first such visit and this bar is highly recommended.  It is a cozy bar, which serves food and drinks and by the time we arrived, was packed to the bream with strangers sharing tables.  The live band started playing at 10, with the owner as the lead singer and trombonist; they played a mixture of classic jazz and blues.  The set was filled with good music and lots of jokes and laughter. The funniest was when the owner played “Silent Night” using a small metal kettle, he’d bought from Sham Shui Po – original!  There’s no cover charge but of cause the price of drinks are higher; food is western – burgers, fish and chips, pies, even steak and reasonably-priced, less than HKD180 for main.  One thing that I noticed and which I’m very particular about is the ventilation… which was very good.  Although there were many smokers in the “cozy” room, but it passed my clothes test, my clothes didn’t pick up much smoke smell. 

 

We left at 1130 but I’m sure we’ll be back.  The place had a relaxing, casual atmosphere, quite like “Cheers” where everyone is a friend. 

 After leaving the bar, we walked or at least tried to walk to the TST pier to watch the fireworks from the IFC building.  There was a sea of people, the main roads had been closed and it seemed that everyone was out, it was one big street party… We couldn’t get very far and didn’t get to see the fireworks.  But we did join the crowd as we all counted down to 2009 and then we wished strangers a happy new year.  As soon as the countdown ended and people started to leave, the unsung heroes swooped in to clean-up all the confetti and junk food, with their brooms and pans. 

 

This being HK, the police were conspicuously around to maintain order and I felt safe walking back to my place.  A lot of people were still on the streets, drinking and making a lot of noise, while those restaurants that remained opened were filled with hungry revelers and had a roaring business. 

This ends my first experience of NY eve in HK.  It’s been unexpectedly fun and memorable and ranks highly among my past NY eve celebrations.  Here’s wishing that everything your heart desires will come true in the New Year.  Have a memorable, enjoyable, healthy and peaceful 2009. 

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Filed under Hong Kong, Music and Dancing, Musings

Musicals in London: HairSpray and Billy Elliot

During this trip to London, I was fortunate to be able to catch 2 highly-rated musicals – Hairspray and Billy Elliot

Hairspray:  I’ve seen the movie and loved it.  But the musical is amazing, imagine actors and actresses who are also singers and dancers, doing it live!  It was a visually stunning show, with bright lights and brilliant colours, visible eventhough I sat far above.  The music was just as I remembered it to be, except better because it was live.  It was a wonderful experience for the senses, which ended with rapturous applause from everyone.  If you like colours, dancing and singing, I highly recommend this.  One of my fave songs in the musical is ” Without Love”: 

Billy Elliot:  A friend told me that this was from a movie, but I hadn’t seen it and didn’t know what to expect.  Only that I’d received many comments that THIS is the musical to watch.  I managed to get last minute tickets at a steal – GBP22 for the upper floors, but considering that it was most often sold out.. this was a very good deal.  Its a story about a boy who is talented in dancing but faces resistance from his family.  It ends with his family supporting him on his dream.  It’s filled with emotions, sadness and humour but the one thing that I was greatly impressed with was the professional dancing.  Little children who must be about 6 or 7 yo, were tap-dancing with adults…. WOW! The star of the musical is a boy of about 12yo and not only did he act, but he also sang and danced like a pro.  Such talent…. WOW.  My only complaint was my poor understanding of their English accent, which made it difficult to understand what they were saying.  Here’s a YouTube treat”

Hairspray is a feel-good kind of musical, compared to Billy Elliot, which has its serious moments.  Depending on what you like, they both offer something different with the same wow experience.

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Filed under London, Music and Dancing