Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best of 2008 overview!

Can't think of a better time to do this, but where do I begin?

Best Restaurant:
BBQ and Ping Kee (tied) - two delicious places on the same street in the Western District. Hard to top. It takes awhile to get a seat too.

Best Prime Rib:
Clipper's Lounge @ Mandarin Oriental
The Food Court @ Jockey Club, Happy Valley

Best Burger:
The Burgeroom in Causeway Bay
close second: Shake Em Buns

Best Movie:
Be Kind Rewind - a smart way to pay tribute to both films and Fats Waller

Funniest Movie:
Burn After Reading - If you love the Coens' twisted dark humor, it's pretty damned funny!

Best concert:
Roy Hargrove @ City Hall, McCoy Tyner @ City Hall, Bob James & The Angels of Shanghai @ QE Stadium (tied)

Best local gig:
Henry Chung feat. Bill Heid @ The Fringe Club, Rebecca Pan & at17 @HKAPA (tied)

Best live music venue:
Backstage Live

Best local musician:
Jesrael Lucero

Best album:
Orange Moon - Khalil Fong

Best comeback:
Lowell Lo

Best DVD:
Lowell Lo's 2050 Concert

Most anticipated event of 2009:
The release of "The Chimes".... stay tuned!



Friday, December 19, 2008

Khalil's back!

I think I might be one of the first people to review "Orange Moon" on the internet. Not really a review, more of an appreciation entry. Yes, it might be a good Christmas present for you love ones. Get this on CD now! Don't download!

In the liner notes, Soulboy has a little missive to Edward and Charles that this is his favorite project to date. Must be true. It's a soothing album that will definitely put you in a good mood. That's what Khalil's all about. Always moody.

Khalil stunned me with "Love, Love, Love." I was in awe of his talent. With this album (which doesn't have any stunning effect), he does what he does best, and this time he's not afraid to imitate Stevie Wonder right out ("If Love"). He even admits he needs to thank the master cuz he mentions him in all his interviews.

This is truly an inspirational album. This will go well with a Dark Cherry Mocha at Starbucks!

Khalil is no longer a best kept secret in HK, Taiwan, and mainland. He's now a brand name of high quality music.

I am frank to admit I don't listen to anyone in HK except Khalil Fong.




Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Unforgetting shows

Some shows, due to some reason, were just perfect, and you'll never forget them.

I've had a few: Blues Alley with Clarence, Mid-Atlantic Blues Allstars at Mandarin Oriental in DC, Lowell Lo at the Coliseum, Innonation gig with Gigi and Dan, Fringe Club gig with Bill Heid, etc.

And then there's NYE with Deanna Bogart at Rams Head in 2005.

David captured it so well here:

"We took Becky's cousin Pam and her husband Ben to the New Year's Eve show in 2005.

There was a small dance area next to the stage. There was a great band. We wanted this to be a great event for Pam and Ben.

I tried to get our buddy Henry Chung to go but the $125 plus cost was too high. Henry is from Hong Kong and had been playing blues harmonica for several years around DC and Baltimore. Henry is a stand-up guy. Too bad he has moved back to Hong Kong to work as a lawyer. We all miss him.

I told Henry to stop by Ram's Head anyway and I would come outside to hang with him. We were chatting with db before the show and my phone rang. It was Henry!!! So db told the guy at the door that Henry was with her. Then we fixed him a plate at the buffet and put him in with the sound man.

Our seats were right in the front center of the stage so I put Henry's harmonica box on the stage. The room temperature was warm and getting warmer. We were wearing dress clothes.

The heat started to rise as the band played on. Pam started to get woozy and left for the bathroom. Ben got really concerned so his mind left the show. Henry joined us by squeezing in at our table. db did a sweet thing and let Henry sit in with the band for several tunes. The crowd loved it! Pam & Ben were kind of out of it.

The heat continued to rise and at about 90 degrees Henry took Pam and Ben back to the hotel. Becky and I came on a shuttle so we didn't have a car. Becky and I stayed through the end of the show and Henry came back. We hung out for a while and Henry took us back to the hotel.

As I said Henry is a stand-up guy. db is also a stand-up lady for letting Henry join us and play some tunes.

It was an interesting night…


It was interesting indeed, one of the few highlights of my uneventful music career.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

The Lovers, the Dreamers & Me

Finally, a writeup of the Rebecca Pan x at17 "Jazz Up for the Party" concert. Including hte set list too. Very worthy of check it out here!

Check out my interview of at17 here.

That seems to be a bevy of attractive concerts comcing up: Leehom x HKPO, Lisa Ono, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin, etc.

I've interviewed a few musicians now. It's time to share my thoughts of them.

I recently interviewed Jane Monheit. She was a bit short with the answers. She seemed unsure of her new project.

On the contrary, Stacey Kent was full of life and energy. She was especially fond of her new CD and says she has nurtured it and is watching it grow.

My all-time VIPs: Yao Lee, Howard McCrary, Uncle Ray Cordeiro, Teddy Robin, Lowell Lo

Great and humble: McCoy Tyner,The Yellowjackets, Mimi Lo, Jennifer Palor, Scotty Wright

Can be a little more enthusiastic: Bianca Wu

A bit short on the answers: Sadao Watanabe, Shunzo Onho, Heidi Krenn

In short, I'm a lucky guy!

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