• Saturday, December 24, 2005

    Penang Island Jazz Fest

    a'ight so here it is.. Saturday 3rd December 2005...

    Is and I made it to Penang.. It was a pretty long drive cause we took the old trunk road.. just for kicks.. but Linda proved herself well.. So yeah.. We were at penang for the Penang Island Jazz Festival..

    The jazz fest was held at the Bayview Beach Resort at the popular batu feringhi.. it wasnt held on the beach as what was expected..instead it was held in the hotel grounds, adjecent to the sea.. not a bad idea i must say.. cause the facilities and set up was good.. the ground was good.. we still got to the sea breeze..no worries bout sand and insects and stuff.. the weather was awesome!.. soo loved the weather.. unlike ipoh's fucked up weather..

    there were 7 acts lined up for the night.. but i bet everyone was eager..very eager for Saharadja..the last act.. Overall it was an awesome event.. really worth the Rm35 ticket! it was due to start at 7pm and end at 11.25pm.. so we actually made it to the hotel at 6.30pm thinking that there'd already be a crowd.. but the wasnt really one.. everyone was taking their time i suppose.. we picked a cool spot.. no! not right in front of the stage.. it was some distance away but still with a great view.. parked our foldable chairs..lined up our beers.. we couldnt bring in food and beverages from outside.. Heineken cost' us RM14 per pint..! but all good though.. so we waited.. downed a bottle of beer and the show didnt start yet.. ok! whats new with malaysian time innit?... 7.30 pm it finally starts...

    it started off with The Penang Areca Jazz Ensemble Feat Colleen Read & Ruby Rozells..
    well didnt really fancy the Jazz Ensemble.. they're basically like a band who play jazz music... consisting of students to working adults... Colleen Read was up first.. yea.. i thought it was a guy at first as well but she turned out to be a female.. her singing.. well...wasnt good.. especially for the opening act.. maybe it wasnt too much the singing but you could feel that something was off.. im sure at that time everyone would have been thinking twice as to how the rest of the acts were gonna be.. but then came Ruby Rozells.. and wow! *sigh of relieve*.. this lady was awesome.. powerful sultry voice with a smooth delivery.. she sang 4 classics and they were awesome..

    Next up was Shanon Shah and Sufiah Noor.. Never heard of any of 'em before.. didnt exactly know what to expect.. fooled once again.. thought Shanon was a chick.. but on the contrary he was a bloke.. So Shanon comes up.. starts addressing the crowd.. introducing himself and stuff..he's Singaporean btw.. and dang! i swear to ya.. hearing his voice.. you'd think he's a fag...! but no shit! once this dude started so sing.. my god! it was muthafriggin awesome.. it was just the dude singing and playing the piano.. just superb.. i was just soo mesmerised.. he sang a few songs but i still think about this 3 songs the dude rendered.. "Dream a little dream of me" oldie originally by Nat King Cole *i think*.. "jurutera" from his debut album "dilanda cinta" and you'd never have expected.. Bananarama's "love in the first degree".. Shanon's own jazz version.. it was just wow! to say the least! i need to buy this dude's album.. Sufiah Noor followed up after Shanon.. apparently Sufiah was a finalist in the inaugural Malaysian Idol.. she has a good voice as well and good showmanship..very energetic.. but totally diffrent from Shanon.. Shanon was relaxed..cool yet very very very powerful.. did i mention superb?.. Cant remember what Sufiah sang though.. wasnt really concentrating was running to the washroom and buying more beers..

    4rd set was a local group called the Zailan Razak Project.. its an all accoustic band with a latin and funky bazz style headed by the man himself - Zailan Razak.. still very jazzy though.. pretty good stuff with with the sax and bazz and keyboards but some numbers were a lil long that tended to get a lil boring.. ya know what i mean.. im sure everyone there would have agreed that the attraction of the groups performance was Zailan's six year old son Danial who was playing the Bongos.. very talented for a six year old kid.. all of 'em even had turns to go solo almost with all the numbers..

    Steve White was next.. haha! who can forget this dude.. THE ONE MAN BAND.. serious like what you'd see in old american movies.. dude with guitar and harmonica supported by a neck brace.. Steve White was strictly blues.. old skool american style blues!.. it was COOL.. laidback.. grungy.. maybe not many people appreciated it but i felt it was awesome.. the vocals were good..the music was good..

    Greg Lyons Nonet followed right after.. this dude is a British born saxophonist who is kinda malaysian.. cause he moved here in 1993.. he's also a composer, arranger and educater.. ok..whats a nonet? a nonet is a combination of 9 instruments or voices.. so yea.. Greg Lyons was on the sax accompanied by 8 other peepz with 8 other different instruments.. another instrumental group.. think Kenny G.. not really my cup of tea.. it was alright for me.. but yea was glad when they were done..

    and now the cream de la cream of the evening.. Saharadja.. heard much bout 'em even before the Jazz Fest... and they were just superbly terriffic.. Saharadja is a world class fusion band from Bali capturing different rhythmic traditions from Asia, India, Europe, Ireland, Scotland, Latin America, Africa and of course Indonesia..comprising 7 members with a wide variety of instruments from the trumpet, electric violin, didgeridoo, tabla, sarode, banjo, percussions, drums, fretless bass and acoustic guitars. they were founded in 2002 by Rio Sidik and his Aussie wife Sally Jo..
    Oh my god! Saharadja was everything and more they were all hyped up to be! they just blew everyone away... the whole one hour set was filled with energy and power.. everyone was in high spirits.. could have been all the alcohol but no, it was Saharadja's music for sure making everyone go wild..! they started out with "lost love" but their tunes were on going.. there werent like any set songs or anything.. everything was mixed.. with stuff like "didge desire" and "hungarian".. all the members were superb in their own way.. Yede mesmerised everyone with his powerful vocals.. Ajat was awesome on the didge.. i soo love the didge.. i was in awe with Barok's tabla and sitar skills.. yes! the sitar.. i've always wanted to learn how to play that thing.. and i was like wow! dude.. Rio was awesome with the trumpet and vocals.. and Sally got everyone dancing with her riverdance tunes on the electric violin.. and mind you this was way beyond 12am.. people were dancing..doing the river dance.. there was even this group of older women some feet away infront of us.. dang! i think they felt like they were at Woodstock or something..! soo obviously drunk.. i dont know how they managed to bring in bottles of wine.. but yea they were "wild"..
    Sally Jo was superb with the electric violin.. you just had to be there to sample the atmosphere and energy yo.. they ended just after 1am.. yea remember it was supposed to end at 11.30pm? and everyone went like awwwwww!! encore! encore! encore! we got them to come back and perform another song again much to everyones delight.. this time everyone was standing up and dancing and being loco..

    It was an awesome night.. it was organised impeccably.. For me Saharadja was the best with Shanon Shah right up there with them.. followed by Ruby Rozells and Steve White..
    Here are some images from the Jazz Fest.... all images from the Jazz Fest are courtesy of Aja Ng.. cant thank her enough for 'em... *the first and last image though, were taken with my camera phone*

    Everyone eagerly waiting for the jazz fest to begin.. you see we werent seating that close to the stage..

    Ruby Rozells doing her stuff..

    Shanon Shah... THE MAN.. on the piano... mesmerising us..

    Sufiah Noor...gettin' jiggy with it..

    Danial.. from Zailan Razak Project..

    Mr. Lewis Pragasam accompanying Greg Lyons on the drums.... Lewis is a legend with the drums..

    Rio Sidik..Sally Jo..and Yede...

    Saharadja... simply awesome..!

    Ajat on the Didge....

    View from the 12th floor of the Crown Prince Hotel..

    By the way A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone....!!! this the season to be jolly... go out have fun.. get stoned.. i just friggin hope it doesnt friggin rain tonight!!! aarrggg... i hate ipoh's weather.. damnit! its 6pm and its already raining... #@$%$**##@


    Anonymous sieweng said...

    dear paradox, shanon is a malaysian-lah! http://star-ecentral.com/news/story.asp?file=/2005/4/22/music/10719577&sec=music

    yeah, i can listen to him play and sing all day.

    11:21 AM  
    Blogger Siew Eng said...

    shanon's song 'angkasawan' is the latest pencalonan on tv3's muzik-muzik. wanna keep it up there, type:

    mm k3

    and send to 39039

    2:57 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks bro for your enthousiastic tone when you write about Saharadja. The band did LOVE to play for you in Penang, and we hope we'll come back soon in Malaysia.
    Please come and register on our web site www.saharadja.net or send me a mail at info@saharadja.net.
    May i use your text in my database?, but all the event worth the trip.
    See you soon, thanks again for your support, our friends are the real weath of the band.
    Eric, manager.
    We're going to Java Jazz Festival; we play the 4th

    12:16 PM  

    Post a Comment

    << Home