Weekly wrap – week commencing 6th June 2019

An intriguing night of Japanese jazz can be found this weekend both on Friday night at Bouchon and Saturday night at LF Social Club – the visiting Ken Kawamura (on accordino, a “chromatic harmonicon”) and Jose Terada (on saxophone) join with Mary and Takeshi Yamauchi and Colin Grafton. Ken was good enough to answer a few of Leng Pleng’s questions ahead of their visit.

Meanwhile on another jazz planet, Nomades continue their gypsy jazz mini-tour at Alchemy on Saturday night and Sofitel on Sunday morning – see our weekly feature for background on this new band.

If you’re starting the weekend early, there’s Thursday night choices with Blues Routes assisting with the opening of painting exhibition Life’s Celebrations at Chinese House, the Far East Society at The Bodleian, Lisa Concepcion at Orphic, Samsara at Bona’s Pub, and the regular show by The Extraordinary Chambers at Oscar’s on the Corner.

The Uncomfortably White Brothers have a busy weekend, playing Bassac Lane with Jazz Johnston on Friday night, then on Saturday the Garage Party #16 with Clay George as support. Also on Saturday, Samsara are doing an early show at Futures Factory, and Checkered Past bring their ska goodness back to Oscar’s on the Corner.

On Sunday afternoon at Factory Phnom Penh, the grand re-opening of KBach Gallery and the launch of their 2019 Art Competition, featuring live painting and music by Gerard Evans, The Sound Initiative and Lisha.

In other news, Space Four Zero has repressed the groundbreaking Mekong Delta Sunrise album, a collaboration between Kak Channthy and Australian hip hop outfit Astronomy Class, in red vinyl. It’s available at Space Four Zero (on 240 ½ St), Vintage Shop (Russian Market) or their website.

The Leng Pleng Weekly Feature

Jazz manouche lover Sebastian Adnot went to Hong Kong to busk and wound up putting a new band together, Nomades. In a whirlwind trip to Phnom Penh they’re playing gigs and recording an album – somehow Sebastian had time to talk to Leng Pleng about the birth of a band.

“We performed together in Hong Kong six or seven times in May, including at Salon 10, one of the most prestigious jazz clubs in Hong Kong.   Every time the band was smoking!”

Read the whole feature here. 

Passing chords: a few things you might not know about…

Jon and Chuck hard at work.

Jon Banules: he’s been around the stages. Guitar/keyboard/vocals with The Fumes, keyboards with Jaworski 7, Vibratone, Nightmare AD, Soular Eclipse, Cambodia Groove Sessions, Dark Lords and Simoun, and currently bass with ska band Checkered Past.

Your pet musical hate:
I don’t really have a musical pet hate…but I guess I despise musical snobbery. If you play music, just play it with everyone and realise that everyone has different skills, styles, preferences. Also, communicate and incorporate differences for a better product/performance!

A private musical indulgence:
Oh…I can use my Volca SQ1 arpeggiator, Roland Juno Di arpeggiator, Volca Drums and Volca Bass and jam for a LOOOOOOONG time to a single chord…

The year you came to Cambodia:
My year 0 was 2011. But I had first visited a very different country by the same name in 2003.

An early music memory:
Oh…too many.  My dad playing The Limelighters: Through Children’s Eyes on cross country trips through the US. He was a folkie who played in a few small bands and was later a folk music DJ on Public Access Radio. He taught me to listen to songs, structure and especially harmonies and lyrics just by modelling it. The people he played with were real salt of the earth people and made me realise that musicians had open minds and good hearts.

Also I remember visiting my Aunt Mary and Uncle Dave when I was about five. My uncle Dave had what must have been a pretty sophisticated sound system at the time and he had me lay down on the floor while he cranked up Holst’s “Mars the Bringer of War” from “The Planets”. I think that was maybe the first time I had ever really focused in on the imagination involved in listening to music… I saw space travel, battles, lights, colors…it rocked.

My family also had a Baldwin upright piano. No one could really play, but my mom, bless her heart, tried to in a distinct “hunt and peck” style. The music that would be made was basically lots of long notes left hanging in the air as she struggled to read the next note. To my young ears, it sounded fine! In my early years, I found myself climbing up onto the rickety bench and would entertain myself for HOURS finding notes that worked together well and a semblance of rhythm. I think I picked out the chords and basic rhythm for the intro to “Baba O’Riley” quite early. Either tired of the monotony, or impressed, my dear mom finally decided to ask me if I would like to take lessons when I was about 10 or 11. I liked how my parents made space for me to grow into an instrument before offering (or simply forcing) lessons.

Your favourite food:
I lived in Thailand for about 11 years and so have blown all my taste buds to smithereens!!! My favorite foods therefore would have to be (not necessarily in order): Phat Pla Thu Nam Prik Kapi (fried piranha-like mackerel with a shrimp-paste chili dip and egg omelet with this green vegetable chopped into it), Laab Pla Duk (laab/minced meat salad made with grilled seasoned catfish), Yam Hoi Nang Lom (a salad made with little raw oysters, sweet chili paste, deep fried crispy shallots, lime, and other stuff).

Also in Cambodia I’ve got some favorites: Ko Pong Dtia Jruk Bei Joan (palm sugar stew with duck eggs and three layer pork), Samlor M’juu Khreuang Saich Moan Srei (sour herby soup with field chicken), Pong Dtia Trei Promaa (fried duck egg omelet with salty fish).

I also appreciate turkey with gravy and trimmings and homemade popcorn with Maggi sauce and Kampot pepper to clear up the visceral mess caused by too much alcohol.

What you do on a night off:
Crack open a Belgian beer from Supercheap and read a book or listen to podcasts.

The country you want to visit:
Any place in South America and/or Nepal! I’m a mountain man!

A stage superstition you have:
“I’m not superstitious!” Um…ok…the more I drink, the better I play.

Something people might be surprised to know about you:
I’m about to join the Dads club at my tender age!

Steve Porte photo of the week

Steve’s comment: Vanntin Hoeurn. Front man for several local bands. Powerful and emotive singer.

Stay safe out there, and see you around the traps.

your correspondent,

Guillermo Wheremount




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