Sunday, March 26, 2006

Get me to the church on time, mama!

Today is Sunday... the first day in weeks that I didn't have to do anything at all but take my sweeeeet time getting out of bed. Very much unlike the frenzy of the last six weeks leading up to the opening of the club.

For over a month my days didn't usually end till 6 a.m. then 3 hours later I'd be up and out the door either taking measurements or choosing paint colour or checking out sound equipment or scanning pictures or something or other! No wonder I'm sooooooo tired. So this morning when my daughter, Judith, came up to ask if we were going to church, all I remember saying to her was, "[yawning] hhhokay, have your bath and get ready". I opened my eyes 3 hours later, just about the same time the Pastor must've been ending his sermon.

On the upside, someone remarked last night that I had lost weight. I was quite the unbeliever as I still have this annoying post-maternity paunch, three years on since giving birth to Aaron. However, last night at TTR@TH, I was wearing this li'l blue number that I hadn't worn in a while and, lo and behold, it kept threatening to perform a wardrobe malfunction! It was loose. So, yes Anita, I have lost weight. Yay!

And speaking of last night, we had a marvelous time at the club. We had a great crowd that turned up. Some old friends came by in response to mass emails and smses announcing the existence of a new [true] jazz venue. They came expecting to hear it and that's exactly what they got. And, boy, they sure showed their appreciation. It gives me hope for jazz in this town.

However, being the jaded jazz musicians that we've become in this country, lurking in the back of our minds is the million dollar question... how long can we sustain this before we have to kow tow to the deep-rooted Malaysian notion that jazz is anything but... God-forbid, Malaysia, prove us wrong! It would just kill me to have to bring in R & B into the place. Throughout our careers we've been forced to compromise our repertoires on many occasions just because of what the public, [sometimes even the venue], thinks jazz is or should be.

Can't really say I blame them too. I mean, big corporate backed "jazz festivals" have been seriously flawed with commercial artistes getting top-billing. And may I add, these people are the first to tell you they're NOT jazz artistes. Companies pump big bucks into these exercises and all they want at the end of the day, like any profit-driven outfit, is to generate revenue which is all fine by me because that's why we all engage in business ventures. We all need to make a living. But I take offense in the fact that they usurp the good name of jazz for their selfish gains. Go ahead and organise your festivals but it's time to call a spade a spade. Just call it an R & B festival or Rock fest or Pop fest or grunge or alternative or underground, overground, indie or undie... whatever! But just don't label it jazz anymore and expect to get away with it.

They [the organizers/backers] maintain that its the public who dictates what goes up on stage. So, give them what they want. But you better find out exactly what that is before putting up your big banners in the name of jazz.

The question I need an answer to is: Why are people so enamoured with this four letter word that spells jazz? What's the draw? Somebody please enlighten me.

But the best question I've heard so far is from the big kahuna at The Top Room. To David, he says: Do they [referring to musicians] know they have to play jazz here ah?

'Nuff said.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

High on Jazz

what a fantastic response we had to the first weekend run at The Top Room! we had a roomful of jazz lovers hungry for good music. and good music they got. along with a distracting rowdiness from one group celebrating a birthday. but thank god they decided to move on elsewhere before the second set took off.

mike veerapen turned up just in time and , along with julian chan, let off some M steam for much of the second set. well-known vocalist francissca peter also came to check out the new room and graciously took to the mic for two tunes with david gomes & his trio. it was a fab set with these cats turning up to jam!

if this first night is anything to go by, me thinks The Top Room has a bright future ahead. sure, there were hitches along the way, like orders taking forever to be served, etc., but these are just teething problems that are easily rectified. the most important factors are well in place... warm & cozy [read: unpretentious] ambience, uncontrived music played from the heart and passionate people running the operation. plus, its got its own carpark right within its grounds. what more can we ask for?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jazz is Tops!

Well, well, well... The Top Room @ Top Hat is here and if you guys are serious about jazz then this is the place to be.

Launched on Monday, the 20th of March The Top Room is all set to swing the socks off o' any jazz kaki!

We had a fabulous night complete with a 6-piece band led by my main squeeze, David Gomes, and a couple of great talents who popped by to lend their support. Thanks once again Steve, John & Joe for making time that rainy Monday night. The rest of the musos sent their best wishes... Mike V {busy with M}, Farid Ali {rehearsing for Tuesday's concert}, Greg Lyons {who left on the same day for the UK leg of his tour}, Zahid {who was shooting something somewhere}. etc... etc...

It was also nice to see friends, both old and new, coming to wish the place well and giving us their blessings. I haven't got time to say much right now... so I'll let the photos do the talking. Can you people tell me where you find the time to post?!]

Hang on... before I go... do come this Friday & Saturday when we kick off with the first round of weekend performances. I'm doing both nights with The David Gomes Jazz Trio. A bit of inside information... a good number of musos have indicated that they will come by for a jam so, if I were you, I wouldn't miss that one!

Oh, and check out the video clip taken during the launch set when that wonderful young saxophonist, Julian Chan, saboe'd me on How High The Moon. Most definitely one for the archives! Log on to

It's okay Jules, I've forgiven and forgotten [but only cause I suffer from short-term memory loss, remember?]

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Top & tale

Please note that the jazz venue I was talking about is not launching on the 12th as I mentioned earlier. It's happening on the 20th of March! The name of the place is The Top Room @ Top Hat.

We checked it out yesterday and the walls had been painted, the carpet was laid and everything's looking really good. I'm so excited. It'll be a good thing. I hope you people reading this blog [yes, all 5 of you!] would come and support us!!!

I'll be updating this blog every now & then as to the progress we're making up there!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm a Dory, what are you?

If you were to pick a cartoon character that you most identify with, who would it be? I can so relate with... [or is it to?] oh, never mind! Mine's the unforgettably forgetful Dory from Finding Nemo. She's absolutely, adorably hilarious! I feel her so much. Prob'ly cause, like her, I ... what was I saying again??? Dory? Dory who?? You know my mom's name is Dory? And I'm my mom's Jr, which makes me Dory, Jr! And that's how my dad justified calling me Junji, a Japanese man's name, [for those of you who haven't read my first post]. It's my nickname for Jr. Now you know.

See? I even sound like Dory! That wasn't intentional by the way. Sometimes I'd get into arguments with my kids about things they claim they told me which I have no recollection of, or I could be talking to someone on the phone and then suddenly I'd go, "what was I saying again?!" And I won't even try to repeat some of the conversations I've had with my husband. Between us two, we've forgotten to fetch our daughter, Joelle, from primary one at least twice!!! Better still, we go through the names of all five kids before we hit the right name!

I think, like Dory, I suffer from short term memory loss. The ram in my brain's just maxed out and it needs an upgrade! Either that or I need to defrag my brain. I can remember stuff from long time ago though. I find nowadays that certain names & faces from my past just pop into my head as if it were yesterday. I find it really strange. Of course the other logical explanation is age. Too much of it. Sigh.

Anyway, I haven't watched Dory in a while. Nemo was one of Aaron's favourites and he must've seen it, at least, 80 times! Which is also why it probably won't work anymore. It was a really sad day for both of us when the dvd finally gave up :(

And, if truth be told, I think Aaron got over it faster than I did!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Hey, hey, hey! Been having a really fabulous time getting acquainted with this mean machine. I feel like Eve when she first bit into that apple. Suddenly her eyes were open and she could see! All those years of suffering with a pc. Till today, I only ever know the basics. I never went beyond word, excel & powerpoint. Oh, and solitaire, hearts and mahjong.

I was thrilled to bits when i discovered that there was a sudoku freeware on mac widgets. Habis aku! I'll have a hard time now finishing my work on the computer. I can just hear that tiny li'l japanese voice going... "pray with me, come, pray with me." i know, i know. sudoku was invented by an american. i couldn't resist. anyway, work i must. and all for a worthy reason...

next weekend, on the 12th of March, a new jazz venue will be unfolding in the golden triangle. it's in the lovely colonial enclave of the Top Hat Restaurant along Jalan Kia Peng. It's a project that has taken 2 years to materialise and it's finally happening! And fast too. While it took the owners about a year plus just to secure an entertainment license, the renovations are taking about the same time it took for Jesus to create the world. 6 days. On the 7th day we parteeeee!!! Okay. Please do not take this the wrong way like those people took the Danish flers to task. Is a figure of speech. I love Jesus and the actual length of time he did take to create the entire universe is debatable to many but I just love Him for creating everything that He did.

Back on track. Jazz has found a new home and I hope you guys will come and check it out. And check it out again. And again. And again. Just like those flers in that place where everybody knows your name.

I'm Back!

Many people wonder what became of Jazzmamma. Well, maybe I should've mentioned from the start that moi is the doyen of multi-tasking [read: sucker for punishment]. Hence, I have been kept away from my beautiful Bspot by a myriad tasks [mammoth, some of them] but also, perhaps more importantly, the lack of a chance to sneak into my son's room to use the pc :-( ...

Well, people, lemme tell y'all, I'm comin' at ya straight from me very own bedroom using a spanking brand new imac G5, complete with a newly-installed [thanks edwin sumun] state-of-the-art wifi router. Then again, anything I don't really understand is state-of-the-art to me. But who cares? I've got a mac and I'm never turning back! I know edwin, I know. "Limited edition" only. Nermine. I shall enjoy it for as long as I can.

But really... all I want to say for now is... IT'S GOOD TO BE BAAACK!