28 April 2011

Of Carole King's songs

Tonight's American Idol theme of Carole King's songs made me so excited.  I remember her so well since I had learnt all the lyrics of her songs while in my teenage years.  I remember locking myself in my room and listening to her songs over and over again.  So I wasn't surprised that I could remember the songs that were chosen by the 6 finalists for their solo and duet performances.

I don't have a favourite because I think I loved all of her songs.  The song choice of James Durbin definitely stirred my heart a little more than the others because it was my personal anthem as a teenager.  It seemed to reflect all that I felt when I first fell in love.

Much as I like James Durbin, I still prefer the original version.  

These are a selection of the ones I love....

Thank you to all the people who uploaded it to youtube! I've just added them to my playlist!

27 April 2011

#4 Of What Makes Me Smile

In December last year, my Uncle Ralph wrote this in an email to me

"If I were to nominate a true friend who understands, forgives & is supportive, you would be on the Top of my list."

This is so special to me and makes me smile so much because Uncle Ralph is not a blood relative.  I met him via Stephen just a few years ago and we have been emailing each other regularly since then.  His words touch my heart and made me smile for days on end.  It seemed to be a gift so pure and perfect.  Didn't someone say that the best gifts are given from the heart?  

I had saved this email and today I chanced upon it while looking for something else.

Again, it made me smile.

Thank you, Uncle Ralph for being so loving.  People seldom say it till it's too late.  Not me.  

I love you, Uncle Ralph.

pic from photobucket

24 April 2011

Happy Easter from Singapore

With warmest wishes from 
Stephen, Lita, Jared and Gwen
who are celebrating together 
in sunny Singapore.

Wishing all Christians on this 
most holy day of the Christian calendar.

09 April 2011

Only 3362 people since 5 April 2011

I can't believe that since 5 April 2011, only 3362 people have viewed this.

Why?  I just don't understand why.

Even if you don't have an opinion about it, you should view it.

Even if you agree that it shouldn't be repealed, you should view it.

Even if you support it, you should view it.

Even if you think it has nothing to do with you, you should view it.


Unless you know that if you do, you'll feel ashamed that you care only for yourself and no one else.

Unless you know that if you do, you'll finally understand why so many are fighting for it to be abolished.

Unless you know that if you do, you'll think differently.

Unless you know that if you do, you'll be changed for good.

That's what happened to me when I first read about the I.S.A. here.

So I challenge you to watch this short youtube clip.

05 April 2011

Pusaka means "legacy" or "inheritance"

This is my 201st post and I am honoured to dedicate it 
to the Solianos who made Pusaka happen.  Syabas!!!

If you are looking for something Malaysian with a touch of Jazz, this is it.
If you are looking for something Jazzy with a touch of Malaysia, this is it.

A week ago, on Tuesday, 29 March 2011, I went to witness the launch of the Soliano's Pusaka album at the Bentley Auditorium at Mutiara Damansara.

The debut album is the culmination of the Solianos working together with Mr Leslie Loh.  A labour of love, so to speak. All of them are Malaysians and, therein, lies the reason for my title. It is a legacy for the young upcoming musicians.  It is also a testimony that despite and in spite of the odds, something good can emerge from all that effort.

I am told that it has broken a few "First" records and here are the reasons why:-

• First Vocal Harmony group from a family who sings and plays the instruments
• First Malay Jazz Audiophile Album
• First Malay album that is mastered by the World’s Best Mastering Guru, Mr. Doug Sax
• First album that brings a music label to the brink of bankruptcy (***joke***) Yes, I have no more money left (Leslie's words)

While I also carry the same surname, I had not ventured down the same path as my talented relatives. We all grew up together and I would never have imagined that, when we were playing as children, these same family members would carve a niche for themselves in the music world.   It has turned out to be a delightful surprise.

In historical terms, a legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. In this case, Pusaka is appropriate in that the musicality of Alfonso, through his 6 children, one grandchild and one son-in-law has been immortalised in jazzed up versions of well-known malay songs. They have combined their talents and their musical inheritance and produced a "must have" album for jazz aficionados.

The Solianos who put their heart and soul into the album are  Valentino Soliano, Rizal Soliano, Tristano Soliano, Coni Soliano, Isabella Soliano, Irene Soliano, Tricia D'Cruz and Salvador Guerzo

Click on "play" below to have a listen.

I am so very proud to be a Soliano. I couldn't contribute to the album per se but this, I can do. I can promote it on my blog.   In the words of Michael Jackson, "This is it!".

Where to get it?
From today, 5 April 2011, you should be able to find the album at Victoria Music in Amcorp Mall and CDrama in Ikano or if you have Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/solianos?sk=wall.  Click like and follow for updates and/or make any queries there.

Alternatively, you can send me an email and I can help you out.

More from Leslie Loh, also  HiFi Unlimited and from Salvatore 

(Collage made up of pics taken from Christopher Gayondato, Leslie Loh, Rindra Soliano and Jared Cheow).