Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nights of Music

On Saturday night, I followed LK to Alexis in Jalan Ampang to catch the Lewis Pragasam Quartet. We were anticipating a performance with an Akai EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) but alas, we were let down as there were none. The quartet, which had 2 Cuban members, played jazz songs, a Santana song and that hit song by Latin pop group, Son By Four. We left halfway through the second set, after I finished my semi-dinner of a petit quiche lorraine and cranberry-raspberry soda. Was kind of let down after all the fuss of arranging to meet up, driving all the way to KL, finding a parking space at the road curb, waiting for a place to sit and not getting what we went there for. Anyway, an experience is an experience -be it a good or bad one.

On a different note, I really enjoyed Double Take's performance on Monday at the MPO Hall in KLCC.

It was a bit of a last minute plan but NP was kind enough to book the tickets for the three of us. We got our tickets just in time before they were sold out by Wednesday. Our journey to and from KLCC were adventures in themselves - "kaedah cuba-cuba" - as NP puts it! Truly works, although we did go round and round in the carpark trying to find the exit to Jalan Tun Razak! haha... That was cute!

The performance. Mia Palencia's vocals were just so beautiful. Perfect pitching and timing. She even managed to imitate trumpet sounds in one of the songs - I think it was the Raul Midon number that she sang. Roger Wang was her match in his guitar playing skills and although they were only two, the overall sound was adequate and complete. With Roger's miked-up foot tapping keeping tempo and providing rythm, they both put on a great show.

However my only critique would be Roger's solo performance. I felt that there was a slight irregularity in the tempo, but then again, perhaps that was part of the song? Anyway, this is coming from a pair of untrained ears, where I'm only used to critically commenting on LK's music.

Now to the educational part of the performance. What we learned from Roger: harp guitar. That was a strange-looking instrument with its roots from the Celtic (I think) and it must've been pretty heavy (from the looks of it). What we learned from Mia: Raul Midon. A black jazz/soul singer songwriter who is blind but plays like a acoustic guitar version of Stevie Wonder! Check out his song below and do note how he executes harmonics in his guitar riffs with such skill and tastefulness!

Somehow, I can't seem to escape Michael Jackson's Human Nature. As if it wasn't enough getting an overdose at home while LK was working on his project the past few weeks, it was a pleasant surprise to suddenly hear that familiar tune coming from Roger while Mia gave hints to the next song. They played 2 MJ songs in the latter part of their set. Which reminds me that I haven't given a commentary on their song list! They performed a couple of jazz standards, a P. Ramlee song, another by Raul Midon and one of their own composition.

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