Thursday, March 31, 2011

Jazz Clubs in Bangkok...

The Sukhumvit District of Bangkok is one of the entertainment districts of the city. And many restaurants are also located in this area. There are so many Indian and Middle Eastern outlets too actually.


Just within 15 minutes walk away from the Citadines was the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel. We decided to go there for dinner and tried out their Thai Restaurant, the Basil.


It was a great restaurant. The Angus beef green curry was fantastic. We also had a fruit salad with pan-fried scallops and a plate of roasted duck breast in tamarind sauce. The rice came in three differnet choice - the usual aromatic rice, the fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and the brown rice. We were too full to have any dessert.

the plate of appetisers.. the roasted duck and the angus beef green curry...
the panfried scallops salad....
3 types of rice...
we adjourned to the 'Living Room'..

this hotel lounge had the Jeremy Monteiro Trio from

Singapore playing a few sets of jazz music...


on Sunday night we checked out 'Zanzibar'

a jazz club on Sukhumvit Soi 11

we had dinner there and sat through

2 sets of jazz performance by a Thai outfit

with two female vocalists...

Interport Game: RSGC vs RSBC in Bangkok

Saturday, 26th March 2011


The annual inter-port match between RSGC and RSBC was played during the weekend of 26th March to 27th March 2011 in Bangkok. A contingent of 60 golfers from KL made it to Bangkok for this very popular annual game.


Pakdokter and partner left for Bangkok on Friday and checked into the Citadines on Sukhumvit Soi 8, a serviced-apartment managed by the Singapore property group, Capitaland. The Citadines on 8 was located in the entertainment and eateries district of Bangkok and only about 15 minutes away from the Royal Bangkok Sports Club. Sukhumvit Soi 8 is a small narrow lane - it looked like in the past it was lined by residential homes many of which are now run as restaurants or pubs. Some of these properties ( Citadines included) have now become high-rise hotels and serviced apartments.


As pakdokter walked the street pakdokter, can imagine Kampong Baru in KL, if properly planned and developed, to become something like the Sukhumvit district.

the swimming pool at Citadines located on the 7th floor

a night view of the city from the pool area

it is a reasonably priced studio apartment at RM175 a night...

the narrow Sukhumvit Soi 8... the MRT line in the centre of Sukhumvit Street...
The first day game was played on Saturday afternoon. Pakdokter partnered Tg Azman and played against Mr Arun and Mr Ravi, in the 4-ball-best-ball match-play format. All of played to a handicap of 21. Pakdokter managed to keep the Bangkok pair at bay for the first 5 holes until Tg Azman started to play his game and kept winning hole after hole. We were at one time 5 up with 6 to go. By the time we played the 15th hole, it was game over for us 3 up with 2 to go.


On the first day, RSGC was 26 points up against RSBC 16 points in the Seladang Cup.RSBC on the other hand was 8.5 points up against RSGC 2.5 points in the Erawan Cup game.


On Sunday morning, pakdokter and Tg Azman played against Mr Ravi and Mr Banthun J. ( BJ for short). BJ is a 67 year old lawyer who played to a handicap of 13. Both pakdokter and Tg Azman were given a handicap of 19 based on Saturday's performance.Mr Ravi kept his handicap of 21.


It was Mr Ravi's day to play - he was in great form that BJ did not have to try very hard at all. We were beaten at the 12th hole and decided to stop and settled for drinks at the club house. We were the first pair to check-in actually. However, despite coming back strongly that Sunday - RSGC managed to win the Seladang Cup. However the RSBC team took the Erawan Cup.


BJ's son is Pariya S - the Thai touring pro who would be coming to play in the Malaysian maybank Open at the KLGCC in April. Pariya has been a golf pro since 2008 and has so far collected 11 million bahts since turning pro! Not bad for a young 26 year old gentleman.....


Tg Azman, Mr Ravi and Mr Arun....
the fore-caddie, the guy who jumps into the pond

to retrieve our ball should it go into water...

Snapshots with the Stars...

Sunday, 6th March 2011
The George Benson Greatest Hits Concert finished by about midnight. We stopped to watch the Afro-Cuban Band play at the next hall after which we decided to go around the trade booths in the central courtyard. Pakdokter bought about 10 CDs of Indonesian bands - most of whom played jazz, R&B and pop tunes. There were cut-outs of the many stars at the Festival where one can take snapshots as if you were with their actual selves.


Well, the Java Jazz Festival will definitely be in pakdokter's calender in the years to come.

with Bob James and FourPlay...



George Benson: Greatest Hits...

Sunday, 6th March 2011


George Benson played in a second concert on Sunday night featuring hiw own greatest hits. The concert was also played to a full house.


Every main event at this 'Festival' was preceeded by the singing of the Indonesian National Anthem. Pakdokter was very impressed by the enthusiasm of the crowd in singing their National Anthem. It reflected how 'nationalistic' and proud they are of their country.


What they did not tolerate was 'longer-than-necessary' speeches by 'politico-organisers' who wanted to capitalise on this event for their own political ends. This was witnessed when the Chief of Tourism Indonesia wanted to thank and acknowledge the US Embassy in Jakarta which had sponsored some of the main performers who came from the USA. Despite the speech being less than 2 minutes ( to pakdokter's estimate), he was 'booed' and told to finish up quickly. Nobody wanted to hear a long 'political' speech during a 'party' like this....



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Juan de Marcos Afro Cuban Band

This Cuban Big Band played again on Sunday, much to the delight of the crowd, many of whom daned the 'salsa' to the music of the band....


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New York Samba Quartet...

Sunday, 6th March 2011


This quartet, if pakdokter remembers it right, was made up of three Brazilians and one Scandinavian who have now made New York their home.



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Selections of Indonesian Bands..

Sunday, 6th March 2011


There were easily 30 to 40 band groups from Indonesia taking part in this Java Jazz Festival and after 2 weeks it is impossible for pakdokter to remember their names. Below pakdokter has posted some short video-clips of the types of music they play....




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Joey DeFrancesco Trio


Saturday, 5th march 2011


Joey deFrancesco Trio was one of the big jazz names that played at the Festival.



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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jazz form Cuba....

Saturday, 5th March 2011
After Santana, we went into the next hall where a group from Cuba performed Cubanissmo Jazz. We were all exhausted and toredand decided to sit down on the floor. Well, actually a lot of people also did the same.

a bit of stretching for the tired muscles...






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Santana Round 2: A near 'stampede'.......

Saturday, 5th March 2011
Saturday saw a huge crowd packing the JI Expo site of the festival. And the number of people in queue trying to go into the hall where Santana would be performing for the second time looked like it was twice the number on the first night. While in queue, one girl in front of pakdokter's group fainted and collapsed to the ground. As pakdokter feared for a 'stampede' pakdokter decided to get out of the queue and go into the hall only after everyone else have got in.

the huge crowd and long queue

waiting to go into the Santana Show...



finally pakdokter managed to get in

to the back of the hall...

An Indonesian Big Band....

Saturday, 5th March 2011


While waiting to go back to the second performance by Santana, we hang around one of the open-stage band-stand where an Indonesian Big Band was performing. Pakdokter must apologise for not remembering what the name of the band was - it was impossible to remember them as there were so many of these bands performing through the three days.


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Long Queue for Dinner...

Saturday, 5th March 2011
The big crowd on Saturday night once again caused the debit card system to fail to cope with the demand forcing the food stalls to accept cash payments instead which was a relief to the crowd. However, queues at every stall were long - a testimony of the strong middle class consumer market in emerging Indonesia.


the central courtyard was

filled up by trade booths and a food court..

the crowd in the food court area.. we settled for German sausages...
many choice of food and beverage....

George Benson: A Tribute to Nat King Cole..

Saturday, 5th March 2011


George Benson was the next biggest star after Santana to make it to the Java Jazz Festival this year. It was also a sold out show. Apart from the day-pass ticket, one had to buy another seperate ticket to this show which cost just about RM120.


George Benson's concert on Saturday night was a tribute to Nat King Cole. And his band was accompanied by a full orchestra from Jakarta.




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Day 2: Java Jazz Festival 2011

Saturday, 5th March 2011


By the time we decided to leave the Jazz Festival on Friday night, it was way past 1 am. The traffic jam leaving the site was typical Jakarta. We took a taxi, and the driver would not take anything less than 100,00o rupiah. A normal metred taxi which we took on Sunday evening just cost 20,000 rupiah. We were not going to fuss about it at that hour. We were most keen to go back, have supper and hit the sack.


Hotel Batavia, despite of what it is, still had its restaurant open and we ordered for ourselves supper ranging from nasi goreng and fried kue teow.


We had a late breakfast and took a taxi down to Jakarta Pusat and visited the Sarinah Department Store. The last time pakdokter was here, it was somewhat dark and depressing - but what a change it is now! The floors exhibiting batiks are now brightly lit and the selections of batik are great. Pakdokter could not resist the few great designs on themodern short-sleeved batik shirts.


We went back to our hotel for a short nap before going over to the Jazz Festival at around 5 pm. The crowd was definitely much bigger on Saturday. Santana wouldbe performing the second show and George Benson would perform his first concert. At the same time, the remaining 14 or 15 venues had their own shows which made us spoilt for choice.


We spent some time before going into the concerts visiting the trade booths.

some mimes, too... fancy the batik guitar?.... or these violins....
wwe missed the George Duke Big Band which played

on the first night while we watched the Acoustic Alchemy...
Siti's sister, who came down from Germany with her husband,

met up with us at the concert grounds....


Santana....

Friday, 4th March 2011


Santana was the highlight of the first day. It was a sell-out and the main concert hall was packed to standing capacity. Santana played for almost 2 hours and by the time their show ended it was almost 1 am in the morning.


We managed to go to the next hall after the Santana show to catch the remaining half of Bob James and FourPlay.

sitting on the floor waiting for Santana...



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another Indonesian Jazz Band...

For purchase of food and drinks, one had to buy debit cards sold by one of the sponsoring banks of the event. The debit cards could be topped up once you have spent most of the cash value in the card - very much like the 'touch n go card' used at home for the tolls and train services. However due to the large crowd, the computer system and lines to the bank providing this service was too slow that in the end the food-stalls allowed purchase to be made using cash.


We next went into an indoor performance put up by another Indonesian band.



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