KL Jazz Makes Global Ascent

A rich blend of young and old lay the foundations for the widely successful Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival 2015. Held at University Malaya, a plethora of experienced jazz impresarios arrived in Kuala Lumpur featuring some new and returning faces. Around 4,000 people had the pleasure of witnessing debutants Benito Gonzalez, Chieli Minucci and headline performer Eric Wyatt display the talent that sees them widely celebrated in many corners of the globe over a highly-illustrious...

Salute for Alfonso

It was an exuberant opening to the fourth Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival as friends and family convened to relive famed compositions of the legendary Alfonso Soliano. The maiden concert organised by the related Guerzo and Soliano families in honour of their inspiring ancestor was supported by Bizhu, Lokman Aslam and Datin Paduka Julie Sudiro. In a fitting tribute to remember the great Soliano 25 years on since his passing, jazz enthusiasts gathered at University Malaya’s Experimental Theatre to take in the evening’s sublime tapestry of jazz...

A fitting honour for Blues Gang

THE citation summed up an authoritatively accurate story about the Blues Gang: “A spirited component of the nation, capable of enthusing souls from around the globe with its own Malaysian style of rhythm ’n blues and rock.” That line was first contained in an official letter to the group a couple of weeks ago, stating that the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation would confer the BrandLaureate Country Branding Award on the Blues...

Siskiyou – Benny Lackner Trio (2014): A review by Az Samad

Siskiyou is a county in California. It’s also the title for the new album from Benny Lackner Trio. I recently saw the trio live during their Kuala Lumpur leg of their Asian tour (for the tour, Paul Kleber was on bass). Listening to the album, I felt transported into a world of sound with dreamy atmospheres in Palau (track 3) and intense drive coupled with a spacious approach to soloing in Heartracer (track 6). Discovering the Mehldau connection (Lackner was a student of Mehldau), it made sense why I felt a similar sensibility throughout the...

Weekend date: Jazz and more with The Benny Lackner Trio

German-American jazz pianist Benny Lackner is set to entertain fans at Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, this evening. Lackner has lived in the United States for almost 20 years, making New York City his home for most of his time there. He studied at the California Institute of the Arts under the direction of Charlie Haden and Brad Mehldau, and has played in many major jazz clubs and...