Just done with my time in Malaysia. Played two concerts in Kuala Lumpur. Contemporary music scene in Kuala Lumpur has a tiny audience but stellar musicians. At the center of it are these three people: Yong Yandsen (tenor sax), Kok Siew Wai (vocals), and Sudarshan Chandra Kumar (electronics, guitar, voice).
All of them are excellent improvisors who would hold their own with any group of improvisors I know of anywhere. Yandsen in particular is the real deal. It is not often I can say that I have heard a saxophone player who plays in a way I have never heard before. I have been doing this music for a long time, and the saxophone is probably the most explored instrument in the world of improvised music. But Yandsen is a true original. quite masterful.
All of them – Yandsen, Siew Wai, and Sudar – are also warm and kind people. A real pleasure to be with. Special thanks to Kok Siew Wai, who seems to be the one who has the organizational energy to make it all happen, even in a social context where there is almost no support for this work.