In case you missed the April Fools’ Day gig at Checkpoint Rock Bar, here’s some live video footage of it. Filling in for Wilbert Tan is Cong Agabon of Chased:
I have been working with jazz pianist Steve Nixon (http://freejazzlessons.com) for a while now, and I got myself the opportunity to work with his Blues piano mentor: the legendary Bruce Katz! This new piano lesson DVD called the “Breakthrough Blues Piano Method” features my detailed transcriptions of Bruce’s Katz’s techniques as well as examples of his own blues improvisations. So, if you’re interested in getting your blues playing to another level, go visit http://www.freejazzlessons.com/breakthroughblues/ to get yourself a copy of this course.
Jose at Musika, the band that I currently play in, will be launching its album entitled “Luma” on March 5, 2016. The launch will feature guest performances by the following bands:
Carlo Ordonez of Kastigo
Soil & Green
Coming Up Roses
The likelihood that I’ll be playing with another band (*ahem* Clubhouse *ahem* among others) is a possibility.
The launch will hosted by DJ Acey and will be held at Mang Rudy’s Tuna Grill and Papaitan, Yakal St., Makati City. There will be an entrance fee of Php 200 (includes one free drink), and a copy of the album costs Php 250 which will be sold at the gate.
Jose at Musika is Jose de los Reyes on acoustic guitar and vocals, Wilbert Tan on lead guitar, Robert Taylan on bass, Jazz Magday on drums, and yours truly on piano/keyboards.
Hello, folks (a.k.a. the 20 or so more or less readers of this blog)! It’s been some time since I’ve written a proper post so here goes:
About a week ago, Choy Marasigan (singer/songwriter/rhythm guitarist) of the local indie band “Clubhouse” asked me to play with them at the University of the East – Caloocan for a campus show. He said he didn’t have a lead guitar player so he asked me if I was willing to play for that show. I said yes and then also offered to play guitar as well since I did know how to play a number of their songs in that capacity. I’ve always wanted to try doing that sort of Kerry Livgren, Robert Henshall, Tony Banks, or Geddy Lee-styled multitasking so I asked him if I can play guitar as well. Choy was probably hesitant to say yes to yours truly playing lead guitar as well but he did.
I am not so sure if I’m ever gonna do multitasking onstage again. I might do it again if I can get a band together to play my solo artist stuff (something I am having a lot of trouble with). I would say the experience of doing that was very fulfilling. However, it was a pain carrying a lot of gear myself. I probably need to train to strengthen myself to keep on doing such on a regular basis. Maybe if I start earning enough to afford a roadie to help me in such times, it would literally take a load off of me.
Anyway, I enjoyed playing that day with Clubhouse for a bunch of college kids. See for yourself in the videos below:
The first song was “Mundo”:
Second song was “Nais”:
Many thanks to Choy Marasigan of Clubhouse for inviting me, and thank you Nathan Avante (drums) and fellow session player Bong Cervantes (bass) for playing onstage with me.
This is my third performance as the regular keyboard player for JOSE at Musika. Here’s part 1:
Since going for anything musical full time in a professional capacity, I decided to form my very own jazz-prog-rock band with two guys from graduate school, namely Diamond Manuel on trombone and Jeffrey Abanto on guitar, bassist RJ Sy (Karl Roy Band, Kastigo, etc.), and drumming virtuoso and chef KC Puerto. Together, we’re Hi-5! Nah, just kidding. We’re an unnamed jazz-prog-rock fusion band that is currently in its infancy. The video above is an excerpt from our two-hour first rehearsal session together where we had the audacity to take a crack at Alan Pasqua’s “Proto Cosmos” (popularized by the Tony Williams’ Lifetime band and Allan Holdsworth). I am quite pleased with our first session together as we were able to go through a somewhat tricky piece and survive it, hahaha! Other than this piece, we also had loads of fun with a free improvisation session. Hopefully, we’ll start working on original music as well as a couple of covers to spice things up.
The spark of it, all, however, was this free improv session with Diamond:
This is probably the first time I spent my lunch break on music rather than on food.
What’s happening here is actually a test of recording equipment. This is a video recording of myself and Jeepney Joyride trombonist Diamond Manuel performing a free improvisation jam. Everything here is completely improvised. The first piece is a 20th-century classical sounding ditty influenced by the likes of Bartok, Varese, Messiaen, Zappa, and maybe a bit of Debussy. The second piece is a pretty straightforward swing jazz in C minor.
Now, as to why I was testing recording equipment, I was checking recording levels on my Zoom H4n because I’m supposed to record Diamond’s trombone recital this coming Saturday morning. He will be performing his recital program on December 6, 2014 at the Philippine Women’s University School of Music Recital Hall. It’s free admission, and safe to say that I don’t think anybody’s going to hear this sort of jam session at the event.
The test did come out great on my Zoom H4n. I have to say, however, that the video posted here is from my crappy smartphone and so the audio quality is not so great. Since I usually have to take videos for my research, I suppose investing money on a real camcorder isn’t such a bad idea.
So, if any of you are in Manila on Saturday and happen to have some free time, please drop by and watch Diamond Manuel’s trombone recital. Cheers!