Last night, I was treated to something that stirred my soul and perked my ears.
At the Captain's Bar of the Mandarin Oriental was the album launching
for Ugnayan, a CD of the music of Filipino jazz master Angel Matias
Peña. The Global Studio Orchestra (rather, select members of it) plus
guests Tots Tolentino, Roger Llado, Simon Tan, Cesar Aguas and Michael
Guevara under the baton of Gerard Salonga treated the audience to an
evening of pure Filipino jazz. It was an amazing night of music! I'm
not a huge jazz connoisseur, but to have been in the middle of all that
music was just incredible, and I was held in rapt attention from
beginning to end. I sat at the 2nd floor balcony, looking almost
directly down at the musicians... definitely the best seat in the
house. After Cesar's guitar solo, I stood up on my feet, screaming
scandalously. He blew me a kiss. That was my kilig moment of the night.
In all seriousness though, I hold nothing but the highest regard for
Gerard and his musical mission: to record and preserve as much of our
Filipino music as we can.
Musika Natin is a series of CDs highlighting different composers. The
first one was Lucio San Pedro, called Lahing Kayumanggi. Maestro
Peña's is the second. More in the series are planned, including
orchestrated Pinoy Rock. Now this I gotta hear.
For more information on this series, visit www.musikanatin.com. And do
buy the CDs when you chance upon them. This is our musical history
being preserved. There's more to OPM than just the pop we hear on the
radio. This is seriously good stuff, and highly recommended.