Friday, October 14, 2011


Just got back from L.A. with Norman, aka Manny Moka after his gig at the Catalina Jazz Club the other night. Great show, great band, great music! We drove down the other day with Marc VW and Edgardo Cambon and met with the L.A. musicians who played with the band. With Tom Brechtlein on drums, you can't ask for a better drummer - phenomenal player! And with a great horn section, I tell you the whole band from L.A. was superb!
There's just some something about L.A. musicians. It's their attitude, man! I observed that in L.A., being such a big city, you've got to take your ax seriously if you want to make it big there! Competition is tough, you can't just be good or even great, you've got to be consistent with your act! Unbelievable! Same in NY! You've got to have a goal, a vision of what exactly you want to make it there as an artist. NY is a jazz town and all jazz artists want to make it in NY. Whether it's L.A. or NY musicians, you can see why, when they make it there, they make it everywhere - Attitude, man, Attitude!!

What about SF Bay Area musicians? SF is so small that it seems like you don't have to do so much to make it here! It's a hassle, a struggle for lots of artists/musicians, we all know that, but I still think the demographics just don't compare to L.A. and NY. What can I say about SF musicians? From my observations of the SF versus L.A. musicians this week, SF musicians are more health-conscious! What?? Hey, don't get me wrong. SF musicians are as great as any great musicians in L.A., NY, or anywhere! But it seems like, if you seriously want to make it big, you've got to be in L.A. or NY!
Hey, I'm a SF musician and I love San Francisco! Does that mean I'll never make it big for as long as I live here? No, not really, I just have to have an attitude as big as that of a L.A./NY musician - to start with! After all, everything begins from within.

Right on!

Harvey Mason

I just have to make special mention of Harvey Mason of FOURPLAY. Everyone in the group is a phenomenal musician/instrumentalist, Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb, big names, man. But Harvey Mason simply won me over with his incredible playing! Yes there are good drummers who can play their drums well and there are great drummers who can play their drums like a musician. They can play loud and soft. They know when to support and know when to show off. Harvey Mason can make his drums whisper... Incredible! For the first time, I heard drums sounding like a pitched instrument.

Incredible, indeed! You're great, Harvey! My hats off to you!

Sunday, October 9, 2011


What a treat! With 4 individual musical giants playing as a contemporary jazz group called FOURPLAY - simply grand! They so inspired me to keep going with my music - jazz, (mainstream, contemporary, smooth, etc.), pop, r&b and more, embracing all music!

In retrospect, I had a jazz band in Manila called FOURPLAY specializing in jazz vocals a la Manhattan Transfer and original compositions, et al. Our group was formed in the 80s, 10 years before Fourplay here formed their group in the 90s. Wonder if they got their name from ours! I was going to asked them about it, kinda teasingly. Of course they'd say NO, but I couldn't wait any longer in line to get their autographs.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Terry Disley

One of my favorite jazz pianists and a good friend, Terry Disley's style is simply tasteful, really classy! Great concepts, great themes, great arrangements! I can listen to his music all day and enjoy it and not get tired of it! I learn so much from him, he inspires me! Thanks, Terry.