Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sydney

Since Adam got the chance to go earlier this month, it's only fair that I save him the pain and effort of another trip down under. So reluctantly, I decided to fling myself over the equator, and spent the last week in Sydney.

When speaking at conferences, I favor the get-it-over-with-ASAP theme. Search Engine Room was ideally constructed in this respect. Quick one-hour talk over breakfast on the first day of the event, and I was done. Free to mingle and enjoy the rest of the conference (and Sydney) without a care.

Google has an awesome Sydney office which sits smack on the edge of Darling Harbour, with some fantastic views thereof. It's also within spitting distance of the standard touristy attractions which one just has to take pictures of. First, let's get the obligatory shot of the Opera House with the bridge in the background out of the way:



Now that that's settled, here are some other snippets:



Monday, March 12, 2007

Jazz and the Other Woman

It's been a while since we gave Eric some guilt; both about not graduating, and about his wild-and-wondrous life. And missing us as much as we missed him, up to the Bay Area he came for another weekend of sake and song.

On Saturday we caught Stanley Clarke at Yoshi's. Stunning performance from the reigning master of the electric bass. As a bonus, towards the end of the evening he even did a couple of numbers on the upright bass, finishing off with a mindbending encore performance of the piece Touch from his latest album 1, 2, To The Bass.

Sunday was reserved for the SFJazz Collective's study of the legendary Thelonious Monk. I was initially a little anxious about the replacement of Nicholas Payton with Dave Douglas, but this diminutive New Jersey horn player showed some seriously larger-than-life chops. And although the name of the piece escapes me, Miguel Zenón's arrangement of one of Monk's tunes was one of the best of the night. Watch this guy's career with considerable interest. He has consistently produced some of the most stimulating music in jazz in the last 2 years.