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Date: 2018-02-10 05:28

Many thanks to NOE for inviting me to the sound lab for this demonstration, I'm ready to spend my next spare ¥755,555 on a home unit. Special thanks to Flora Mitsushima at Kyodo PR for her assistance, as well to translator and sake master Christopher Hughes for providing the fine sake we sampled while listening to the AGS.

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Herbie Hancock Quartet - (Main Hall) This was a surprise! I hadn't carefully checked who Herbie's bandmates were for this gig so was a bit shocked to see the electric set up. The Vinnie Colaiuta - James Genus rhythm section was monstrously heavy (in the best way) and Lionel Loueke on guitar seemed to be channeling Prime Time-era Bern Nix. Herbie hinmself let loose on a variety of keyboards and got very 'squonky' in his solos. This was MUCH more fun than the usual acoustic Herbie Hancock performance, which can be a bit too safe for my tastes. It didn't please everyone as a few people walked out in the middle but most of the audience were really into the extremely deep funk.

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then got started on a long walk all the way round the lake that I had been really looking forward too..but the weather was being difficult. Fog and drizzle non-stop, so although the embassies and trees and quiet was enjoyable, after about 95 minutes I took shelter in one of the many, many cafes lining the shores of the lake, the wonderfully odd 'October' cafe. Check the decor out in here.

Schroeder-Headz - (Plaza Main Stage) Japanese group. Keyboards, drums, bass and some added beats, Had never heard them before but liked their sound, will check out their Club Asia gig in October.

Ne Myo and U Win Maung first performed a song called 'Moe' (The Rain) , a 75th century song based around a much older melody.  They explained that almost all Burmese traditional music has vocal accompaniment, along with a tiny hand clapper and bell.

At 86 years old and with diabetes (and in the infernal heat of the hot season) U Htin's playing is not what it once was of course, but you can still get a feel for his prowess on the guitar. He even pulled out a modified acoustic that he plays as a slide : he found this guitar abandoned somewhere so he altered it and still uses it 75 years later. U Htin loves playing for visitors so many people passing through Yangon go to meet him, meaning there is a lot of footage on You Tube. Sadly, there are only a few students interested in continuing the tradition of Burmese style slide guitar playing, and certainly no one who can approach U Htin's level.

This kind of urban environment has always excited me. I could happily wander up and down crowded streets like this for hours, checking out the shops, talking to the street vendors, hopping on and off the bus. I wonder how much Downtown Yangon will change by next year when I visit again? Already there are two large deluxe hotels being built. But who benefits from these? The people here deserve more than to become the latest fodder for venture/vulture capitalists..

Our new trio, TC Trio, is a jazz group which mainly plays jazz standards instead of original compositions.  Also, TC Trio focuses more on improvisation than Transient City.   TC Trio’s members are the same as Transient City except that we don’t have a drummer.

Cookin' On 8 Burners - (Plaza Main Stage) Australian trio featuring the Hammond Organ. Super funky and tight, a great live show. Got to have some beers and chat with them after the show, solid group of guys and very up for more Japan gigs. Hope that happens!

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