01 July 2010

Of music and magic

My growing years were filled with music.  It was something that I took for granted.  There were always musicians around, talk about music, songs, riffs, bars, keys and what not.  It was a part and parcel of my youth.  However, this love connection did not translate into me becoming a musician. 

I've always known my dad to be an awesome pianist. Yet, it's great to see that Joe Chelliah, a respected spokesperson for the music industry, remembers him and has put up two youtube videos of Tony Soliano.

Joe's effort is such a kind and generous gift to all of us who miss the music and the magic of Tony Soliano.

This is what Joe says,
"ESSENTIALLY FOR TRUE MUSICIANS ONLY: After yestrday n this morning's hard work with my limited multi-media skills I have completed this project. Sorry for x clear visuals. Go ahead and enjoy this 2nd posting of the brilliance of Tony Soliano, a truly great unappreciated Malaysian musician. Few who knew him are still alive. This is a classic. He fully exploits music's form, jazz, harmony, scales, melody n musical styles (Latin Bossa n Kerncong idioms) to the full.....melody on left hand and frills on the right hand too. Many know the pentatonic scale but few know how to "belasah" this eastern scale so well. ENJOY aje lah."


Another rare recording of the late Tony Soliano's brilliance at the piano around 1988. Here he performs the ever popular RINDU with Azizah Basri on Vocals and brilliantly exploits the Javanese pentatonic scale into his music.



Uncle Lee said...

Hi Steest, love the profile pic....reminds me of a exotic Flamenco dancer....is it you?
And yes, I was in the era of Tony Soliano....
Anybody around the 50s, 60s especially will remember him and his kind of music.
I really enjoyed his style of music.

These were the days of P.Ramli, Siput Sarawak, Saloma etc and not to mention a woman who makes wives hands on hips query their husbands on their coming home late...Rose Chan.
And Eastern cabaret, Jubillee, BB cabaret etc....

However, I today have a regret...I never met his daughter, *wink*, until today.
Have a pleasant weekend, and keep a song in your heart. Lee.

Pat said...

Your dad was an amazing pianist, Lita. I vaguely remember that I liked his music, but hearing it now, as an adult, I can truly appreciate how truly good he was. I love his jazzy, flowing runs on the keys - sounds so effortless. But I know it isn't something that just anyone can do, or do as well as he could.

And, it's been too long since I've heard Azizah Basri! Such a beautiful voice - I remember her so well.

Thanks for putting this up; and to Joe Chelliah for sharing.



Know what your 'word verification' on this comment is? 'beaut' - how appropriate is that?!!! I tell you, the universe is speaking to us, and it's saying: This is some beautiful music playing in the background :)

Johan H said...

Hi Lita, with the influence your dad has over the Malaysian arts scene, ever thought of writing a biography of him and his work? Luminaries like him deserve no less. I thought of the same during the passing of Yasmin Ahmad. With your writing skills, it'll be an awesome project!

Hussein abdul Hamid said...

Lita...you write about your dad and I will write about mine...camna?

STEEST said...

Hello Lee,

Thanks, I love my profile pic too! :) I got it done for me by a rather famous painter. I did a blog post entitled a portrait of me, look it up when you are free!

You've mentioned all the icons of the 50s and 60s and added the witty part of the wives with hands on hips!

We still may meet one day, one never knows how fate can arrange for our paths to cross!

Hugs for you, Lee! :)

STEEST said...

Pat dearest,

Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you like it. For me, it was an acquired taste as I grew up with it and never gave it a second more than necessary. As you say, listening to it now as an adult does make a great difference.

The universe listens to you apparently! :D

Hugs for you too! :D

STEEST said...


It never ever crossed my mind that I should write a book about my dad. Now that you have mentioned it, perhaps I should give it due consideration.

Thanks also for praising my writing skills! I needed that! :)

Hug for you too! :D

STEEST said...


Camna? Bila you nak start? Let me know, okay!

Hugs for you too! ;D

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Steest, you are one of the few visitors, blog friends I know, that knows, remembers or was around during the roaring 50s and 60's. You still very young then....Times were different then, huh?.

And someone if I mention 'Glen Miller' I don't get the 'Who'? Or off beat cha cha....and the 'what beat'?

I bet you dance a real mean Rock & roll, the Twist too, huh? I'm sure you were at the Eurasian Club in Pudu road, as well dancing at the Selangor Club, Lake club, The RSGC too....
as well that Chinese club in Pudua road, next to a padang, opposite the Tong Shin hospital...
Cheh!..... My memory getting worse, ha ha ha.

Wait...wait....thats it, Its the SCRC club. Okay, got back my memory.

You know, if ever I get the opportunity to meet Tony Soliano's daughter named steest, I will give her a bouquet of a dozen Red roses....and tell her to hold it in front of a mirror.
She will see 13.

You have a nice day, and keep a song in your heart, Lee.

STEEST said...


You dropped by again!

I think my elder sister might have bumped into you during those days. Me, I was always a homebody. I only know of those times from hearing stories.

Thank you for your kind words. I do appreciate them.