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 Post subject: jazz venues in HK
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:21 am 
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I'm starting to get into listening to jazz and was wondering where some of the better live jazz is being played in HK. Not too upscale - smoky and dark with cheap drinks would be preferred :)

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 Post subject: jazz venue in central
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 11:38 pm 
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in central area
peel fresco music lounge,. Gecko. Vibe. ..where top jazz musician get together..


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:16 am 
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The Peel Fresco Lounge. If anyone on Lamma ever needed to be reminded why they don't live in SOHO/ mid-Levels, they should visit this place.

It's actually an overflow from the horribly cramped Joyce Is Not Here, on the opposite side of the street. The long outworn 60s take on art deco that characterizes Joyce Is Not Here (tabletops on inverted ladies' legs etc) isn't helped by the sensation that there's just enough room in the place to uncap a beer but not enough to actually have a drink.

I mention the decor because Joyce is an interior designer, but god only knows why because the Fresco place is done in what I can only call a retro baroque that personally I find totally ridiculous.

I once visited, and the only jazz I heard was of that totally blandoid variety that has been over rehearsed for wedding receptions.

I ordered a snack, but what finally arrived was so minimalist it wouldn't have satisfied a cat, and of course it was completely tasteless, just like the decor. The bill, on the other hand, was the kind that makes you wonder whether you should file for bankruptcy. The waiter forgot to give me a fork, but all was delivered, eventually, in that standard mid-Levels take it or leave it style (or am I talking about Lamma?).

Don't get on the email list for this place because if you do you may actually go the whole nine yards of reading a Joyce email. Joyce is Hong Kong's greatest exponent of that kind of bizarre psycho babble that yaks on and on about love life relationships joy regret sorrow elation nature soul (fill in the blanks, especially if you post cameraphone pics on public upload websites). If you've read a few artist's statements at art galleries in Hong Kong, you'll immediately recognize the genre.

Tavis, you might want to refine your definition of jazz, because so much of the blandoid mainstream relies on reverence for a bunch of creepy utterly inane ditties called standards. Yep, those Diana Krall albums only exist for one reason, to put stressed out business people to sleep. I don't think this is the kind of jazz you want.

Still, I've always thought there should be a Lamma version of "Fever," starting with the line, "Everybody has a doggy; that is something you all know." Don't all write in at once.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Heh heh!! Have to agree 100% with kalistofa's remarks, especially about the gag-inducing Joyce Is Not Here. I still feel an onrush of nausea at thought of the verbiage I endured some years ago when on her email list - as much out of curiosity as anything else.

Among the best 'jazz' gigs (also agree the word requires definition) I've seen in HK have been at Grappa's Cellar, certainly if you extend the genre to 'blues'. The Fringe Club and some of the LCSD gigs at City Hall/Arts Centre etc. are also worth a look, the snag being that they can be of the sit-down-and-stare-at-the-band variety. But still ... when in Rome....

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 4:28 pm 
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Tavis, if as Marc Antony suggests you extend jazz to include blues, then you might want to try Tommy Chung's performances at The Wanch, in Wanchai. If you want a nicely dark dive, this is the place.

Tommy Chung has been double billed over recent months with Lamma's own Red Star Rising, BTW. Maybe Steve would like to add a bit of a self-promotion, here.

Chung is a legend, and not just in Hong Kong, but if you have a lot of dental work, some of it may fall out when you hear his stuff.

Another medical warning is that the Wanch is quite small, so in case the decibels start to be too much, I recommend taking a pair of earplugs. This is no joke.

They have an email list for the weekly schedules. The gigs are mainly rock cover bands, with only a few of the songs having stood the test of time. I mean, Big Wheels Alabama just doesn't do it for me, these days. Red Star resolutely refuses to do any covers.

Joyce should definitely check this place out, if she wants to learn what makes a music venue a music venue. The Wanch is a masterpiece of interior design.

Footnote: I checked the Wanch schedule at http://www.myspace.com/thewanchhk, but unfortunately Chung isn't listed for June. Lamma's Steve Cray is, on 6/16 (in acoustic mode, apparently), and as Red Star on 6/19, and there's something called Blues Espresso on 6/27.

Chung has a website, http://www.48chicagoblues.com/, which includes a "Latest News" page. At time of writing this post, the most recent entry was for June 5, a performance at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:55 pm 
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Update on Tommy Chung:

Managed to contact Tommy Chung by email. He indicated he would be continuing with monthly gigs at The Wanch, but what would normally be his June gig will probably be postponed until early July. Then he will also be touring in Japan in July.

He said information about his upcoming gigs is posted to his Latest News page, http://www.48chicagoblues.com/Latest%20News.htm

He also mentioned that years ago there was the Jazz Club in Central, but it closed. He knows of no equivalent place like the Wanch, in HK, for jazz. Quote: "It really isn't easy to run any place or anything remotely concerned with music in Hong Kong."

My own suggestion would be that if there is a significant number of interested people (12-20 ??), they could try to persuade the people at the Wanch to bring in a jazz combo or similar for 2~3 hours a week, to see if there's any long-term interest.


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 Post subject: Jazz venue in central
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 1:56 am 
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Tommy Ho plays Jazz, Tommy chung plays Blues, Steve cray plays blues.

regular wed. @peel Bob mocarsky's Organ trio. with Al gordon( from NY)
mocarsky was pianist for Bob macfferin.
but Tues is not jazz . there are folk people .. there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:31 am 
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Can you add some more detail about the kind of jazz played by Tommy Ho and Bob Mocarsky? Where does Tommy Ho play?

Previously, FUNKYJAZZY, you mentioned Gecko and Vibe. Are these venues still alive and offering some type of jazz, as far as you know?

Any information you could manage to give would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:35 am 
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I'm grateful for all this great information Kalistofa, MA & FJ. Thanks! :)

Like I said, I'm a neophyte, so in terms of definition I'm pretty open. I used to go out years ago in Canada with a friend who liked jazz and I loved thespontanious hard edged, sometimes gentle jamming that always struck me as real spontaneous. Sounds that one could close eyes and melt into like the wind in your face as you ride the ferry home.

Im listening to a lot of Miles Davis and cant seem to stop playing Kinda Blue on my MP3 player. I'm learning my way around the styles of all the big names like Coltrane, Monk, Mingus, Stan Getz, Chick Corea and I also love female vocalists like sarah Vaughn & Shirley Horn. Unfortunately, I have no idea about current artists and styles - so I wanna get out more :-)

I also love the blues and was much more familiar with it in my earlier years. Often used to go to old grungy hotel taverns in Edmonton and Calgary - especially the Old Commercial Hotel on White Avenue in Edmonton and The King Edward Hotel (The Eddy) in Calgary - terry cloth table cloths cheap unpasteurised draft beer at 70 cents a glass and excellent music. There were always bikers, students, Indians, and yuppies - social differences often dissolved in the smoke and tunes. You could count on scoring somthing in the cans and a place to enjoy it outside the back doors. Unfortunately The Eddy closed many years ago but there's a movement affot to reopen it. Ifound this great passage about the place in a Calgary paper:

Quote:
I pass the Eddy a half dozen times a week, and no matter what hurry I'm in, I inexplicably slow, often stopping, as I draw near. There are maybe a dozen places in Calgary where I feel a similar pull.

The urge to stop isn't merely a case of an abandoned building being mysterious. An actual sound rises in your ears. In the way that you can suddenly taste a wine you know without uncorking the bottle, or smell a lover who is gone. Loitering in front of the Eddy, as cars clatter past, your body conjures exactly what the bar sounds like inside. A Boston University music professor noted an earthiness and grit--a distinct lack of echo--in the King Eddy sound, a function of wood panelling and insulation and small beatings the building took in the course of a century. One night, Buddy Guy wandered off stage, playing his guitar through the crowd, exploring the room as if it were an instrument, eventually right out onto 4th Street, where he jammed for people passing by.



Kalistofa wrote:
My own suggestion would be that if there is a significant number of interested people (12-20 ??), they could try to persuade the people at the Wanch to bring in a jazz combo or similar for 2~3 hours a week, to see if there's any long-term interest.


Count me in! Maybe this thread will catch the eyes of other potential live music fans and we can help to make running a music joint a little easier in HK :-)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:16 am 
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Check out Robin Lynam's jazz n blues column every Sunday in the Post's review section - very good for tips on upcoming gigs and new releases etc. He wrote about the Bob Mocarsky trio a few weeks back, gave them a good write up.

Backstage Live on Wellington St has been doing a lot of jazz gigs recently though I still haven't made it there. Anyone tried it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:04 pm 
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The best Jazz place bar none in my book is Peel Fresco, in spite of Kalistofa's earlier bad review which apparently caught them on a bad night. Both the downside and upside of the place is that it's small but can a great intimate setting to enjoy the music. Most proffesional local and international Jazz players tend to frequent Peel regularly and saw some absolutely stunning gigs there. They also have a nice beer selection I might add. The odd blues gig is also played there.

Onto local musicans:
One of the many people to frequent Peel as well is Jazz (and occasionally Blues/Rock player) guitarist Eugene Pao, he played with a lot of international greats, and toured around the world. Catch Pao on a good night and you won't know what hit you.
Sometimes accompanying Pao are Bass Player "Ah Hong", a guy who can play anything and make it sound even better. Ted Lo both (Keyboards) is also magnificent. Catch any of these guys, together or not, and you won't be dissapointed.

Tommy Ho: one of HK's Prime guitarists, worth to check him out wherever he's playing.

Tommy Chung: Hmm I saw him a couple of times and while his guitar playing is certainly not bad, I find his singing ruins a lot. His english and his voice do not suit the raw blues he's playing IMHO.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:15 am 
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Yes, Peel Fresco is getting some good musicians/bands, but you can't swing a cat. The one time I visited (a Saturday) it was too packed to be enjoyable - probably better during the week. And yes, Eugene Pao is top notch - and seems to be doing plenty of gigs thesedays.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:18 am 
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Well, I suppose if there's no room to swing a cat then there's not enough room for a cat to swing! :D

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 Post subject: jazz venue in central
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:04 pm 
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not so many people knows,, about Sunday late jam @peel.
there are all top top. A-hung the bass, Ted lo, Robin Harris. Guy le claire. joao marcarehas, Miles lee. wilson lam, it's depends on the day, who is the host..
probably the best jam in the town... til very late...


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