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Vol. XIV No. 51
Friday December 22 - December 28, 2006


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by Saichon Paewsoongnern





HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]: 

“Jazz Royale” says it all

An evening of blood, sweat and beers

Charity Club, Jameson’s brighten Camillian Centre children’s lives with exciting Christmas party

Hard Rock rocks on with Funky Beach Party

Pattaya’s first Christkindlmarkt nets 140,000 baht

BCCT finds the point in life

“Jazz Royale” says it all

Will Burroughs & Paul Strachan
Sometimes, words cannot adequately reflect the reality behind the experience. Occasionally, something so magnificent, so absolutely magical happens, that it is necessary to invent a new range of superlatives. I’m known as being particularly hard to please; I’m tough to convince at the best of times. Recently however, an increasing number of times in and around the throbbing heart of Pattaya, I have felt subjected to assaults of great joy, my senses assailed from all sides.

Chris Botti, shining brighter than his silver trumpet.

Gastronomically, artistically, culturally, musically, I have given in. Uncharacteristically perhaps, I have been surrendering most willingly to hedonistic instincts which had hitherto almost been anathema. It’s true that I have been making a conscious attempt to ‘get out’ more, but as I was driven at frightening and unnecessary speed in and out of pot-holes towards the spotlights of Horseshoe Point, lit up to the heavens, nothing could have prepared me for the multitude of pleasures that awaited me, at the second of a quartet of jazz extravaganzas touring Thailand, featuring the very best jazz the world has to offer.
The rhythms of the night reached me long before I beheld a vision, which just blew me away. An oasis of jazz lovers bathed in the sweet sounds emanating from the Regina Carter quintet. She fused exciting technical proficiency and improvisation with aggressive, fast, fluid, musical muscle. Her violin embraced a multicultural influence that was both melodic and percussive. Under a tranquil sky and feeling a breeze which seemed to undulate to the beat, I was immediately infected by jazz. I offered no resistance and succumbed to a medium that embeds itself in your very being. The jazz funked-up rhythm guitar of the McCoy Tyner Trio takes possession of you physically, mentally and spiritually; you’re surfing on an endless sea of musical possibility. I had to pause for breath. “Blimey,” I thought, “and I’ve only just arrived.”

Jenny Scheinman (violin) and Franco Pinna (percussion) were the perfect match playing with Marta Topferova.
I needed sustenance and I needed it now. Around the perimeter of a deep green oval, purveyors of Pattaya’s finest cuisine waited to grant me my wish, aided and abetted by suppliers of the most stupendous libation. I spotted that delicious paragon of cool, Horseshoe Point managing director, Jate Sopitphongsathorn, all suave subtlety. Drinking it all in with his gorgeousness were an understated impresario from Canada, Josh Keller, managing director of Global Arts Concerts Ltd and a rather ravishing lady from Brighton, latterly Germany, Ina Dittke, who runs B.P.R. (the artists’ agents). Between them, they had made this impossible dream come true (you see, I’m running out of superlatives). Just look at the line up; Marta Topferova, Regina Carter Quintet, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Georgie Fame, McCoy Tyner Trio, Nancy Wilson, Chris Botti and Kenny G. Read through the list again; line ups just don’t get any better. Tremendous.

Veteran performer Georgie Fame pounds the ivories.
Marta Topferova, a young woman who grew up in Czechoslovakia and Seattle (not simultaneously) delivered South American music written by her own fair hand, in Spanish, with genuine tenderness. Her clear voice, low but not mannish, was sweet and melancholy and full of a musical gravitas beyond her 29 years. Hers was a Latin lullaby to enchant.
Amongst an audience which rendered age barriers irrelevant and was wonderfully cosmopolitan, there was a palpable sense of double celebration; it was with His Majesty’s love of jazz in mind that the promoters, in conjunction with Horseshoe Point and the Tourist Authority of Thailand, had organised this most prestigious series of concerts. “Jazz Royale” says it all. In this most auspicious of auspicious years, His Majesty the Kings 79th birthday and the 60th year of his ascension to the thrown, one respectfully hopes that such a landmark event would have met with the seal of approval.

Marta Topferova, shown here with Pedro Giraudo on bass, delivered South American music written by her own fair hand, in Spanish, with genuine tenderness.
The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, a veritable “Who’s who?” of jazz musicians, was formed in 1998 to continue the legacy of the late master’s classic big band repertoire. This show was real foot stomping jazz, suitably enhanced by the helter skelter voice of Roberta Gambarini.
The mood switched again, with the world’s leading female singer, elegant two-time Grammy award winner Nancy Wilson. Her sweet pop ballads and soulful blues mark her as the prototype of a contemporary female singer and she graced the stage with the confidence and poise of someone who has made more than 60 albums in four decades. Although in the late summer of her years her voice retains her trademark earthy, gritty character. She was perched delicately on her chair and had everybody’s ear; it was like being told bedtime stories by a Princess. She took great pleasure in acknowledging her fellow musicians and was manifest in her delight at taking part in this wonderful festival. In honour of His Majesty, here was a truly regal performance from one of the world’s great musicians.

The Legend himself: McCoy Tyner
As Georgie Fame, a blast from the past steaming into the future, bridged the musical river between rock and jazz, it struck me; once you’ve experienced it live, there’s very little else that can compare. There were thousands smothering themselves in melodious satisfaction, either semi-recumbent on the verdant pasture or seated on those silver encased cushions around tables laden with consumables, which have become synonymous with Horseshoe Point’s sensuous attention to detail. The ambition was not without risk; this was a concert on the grand scale. Yet remarkably, they had retained a sense of the intimate, a sensation wonderfully, dramatically and spectacularly enriched by both Chris Botti and Kenny G, who moved and played amongst their disciples.

The musicians were as captivated as the audience.
It’s just a personal preference, but I have never and I mean never, heard trumpet like I heard that glorious evening, such was the soft, gentle, subtle yet powerful and intense purity of sound. I was under a spell. Sure, Botti’s a good looking guy, sure he was dressed to woo in electric ultramarine that set the heart ablaze, but the sound, oh the sound! There’s something untouchable about the pure brilliance of a note launched into the night, that satisfies the soul in the most beautiful way imaginable. His band was as tight as a rope too, their intuitive control impeccable; they played as one but out there, far beyond the stage was Botti, shining brighter than his silver trumpet. The highlight of his set was a rearrangement of the love theme from the movie Cinema Paradiso. Composed by Ennio Morricone, it was as if Botti was on a mission, serenading each and every one of his spectators, with music of the Gods.

Kenny G, rivulets of flowing flaxen locks a bundle of natural harmony, appeared as if hailed from above. From nowhere, suddenly under a spotlight, there he was amongst his followers. From the first bewitching note, his saxophone coaxed, cajoled, nurtured, sang, suggested, swooned, swooped and seduced. It was as if the stars, surely the place from whence he had come, were listening too. There was one note that lasted minutes, a plaintive cry that grew into a surge of hope and then exploded into rapture and blinding climax. Then silence. Then he spoke. In Thai. I mean give the man credit; the dude speaks Thai. Respect.
Jazz musicians always seem so cool; so nice (I hate that word usually) but I had to hand it to Kenny G. Him, his band, they were all unbelievably impressive. Quite a few of them had grown up together in Seattle (what is it with that place?) and had been playing together for twenty years or so. It showed, frankly. There was a most enviable and obvious unity which translated into a free flowing, flexible and sometimes frenzied fluidity which was at once both intoxicating and liberating. At the centre of it all was Kenny G, loving every minute - and the audience loved him too. They dared him to do more and he did, running an hour past time no less, sharing his abundant gifts with his insatiable fans.
The Average White Band’s ‘Pick Up the Pieces’ was one last rush, causing the sky, by now as black as Prussian blue, to light up and get down, whilst his soulful interpretation of His Majesty the King’s compositions was the most appropriate tribute conceivable to a glorious year and a simply sensational evening.
Highlights of Jazz Royale, including exclusive interviews with Chris Botti and Kenny G, can be seen on PMTV on Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd of December.

Chris Botti and Mark Whitfield.

The magical sounds of Mark Whitfield who performed with Chris Botti, mesmerized the audience.

Nancy Wilson’s sweet pop ballads and soulful blues mark her as the prototype of a contemporary female singer, and she graced the stage with confidence and poise.

Trombonist Slide Hampton and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.

Kenny G, rivulets of flowing flaxen locks a bundle of natural harmony, appeared as if hailed from above.

Booths spread about the grounds offered everything from souvenirs to refreshments.

An oasis of jazz lovers bathed in the sweet sounds emanating from the Regina Carter quintet.

The crowd loved it when artists like Chris Botti moved and played amongst them.

The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, a veritable “Who’s who?” of jazz musicians, performed real foot stomping jazz.

Kamala Sukosol (2nd right) was amongst the dignitaries at the show.

An evening of blood, sweat and beers

The Singha Challenge ‘Taste of Thailand’ at The Hard Rock Hotel, Pattaya

Paul Strachan
The Singha Challenge ‘Taste of Thailand’ was held at the Hard Rock Café, December 3rd and although billed as a cross-cultural event, it actually proved to be a night of music, madness and mayhem put on by organizers Singha Beer, the Hard Rock Hotel and Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd.

An acquired taste? The ‘delicious’ fried grasshopper went down a treat.

To get the crowd going the up-and-coming band Futon performed an outstanding set with a sound that was tight, rhythmic and energetic.
Then it was time for the games to begin, and the emcee introduced four foreigners on stage - two young ladies from Russia and two men from Australia.
The purpose of the game was to find out “Can Farang ever be Thai?”
The game was divided into five rounds, the first being “Wai like a Thai” where, after a demonstration, the Farangs did a very good job, getting cheers from the enthusiastic audience.

Shows some promise but a few things need to be worked on
Next up it was time for a snack Thai style where the willing contestants had to eat that famous Thai delicacy ... a frog!
The Farangs managed to devour the creatures and then it was onto round three where they had to recite the name Bangkok. Easy enough, possibly, but the snag was it had to be the full, original, Thai name, recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as the longest place name in the world: Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanu Kamprasit.

“Bangkok” sounds easy to remember but to recite the capital’s full name a piece of paper comes in handy.
At this, the crowd burst into laughter hearing the Farangs try to recite something that all Thais know very well. One of the Russian girls got the loudest applause with this one.
There was still more to come, with a beautiful demonstration of Thai dancing that then had to be emulated by the Farangs.
Then it was into the final round called “The Beerhunter”. Cans of beer (courtesy of Singha, of course) were placed on a tray and only one was vigorously shaken.
The contestants had to hold the can against their head, mimicking that famous scene of Russian roulette from the movie The Deerhunter and then open them hoping that they wouldn’t be covered in beer.

Eat your heart out De Niro. The “Beerhunter” hits town.
However it turned out that all the cans had been shaken! Needless to say it was a beery mess, although happily without all the blood of the original.
One of the Russian girls received a crate of Singha as first prize and as the emcee made his closing address the effects of excess drinking mixed with eating frogs was obviously too much for one of the Aussies, who promptly threw up on stage. Yes, it was a truly cross-cultural evening.
By this point the crowd were well oiled and the party continued with some blues courtesy of an all-Farang line up called Cannonball.

The correct way to do it.

“Wai like a Thai”: This charming custom can be confusing to some.

Futon performed an outstanding set to get crowd in the mood for the madness to come.

Blues band Cannonball kept the party rocking into the night.

Charity Club, Jameson’s brighten Camillian Centre children’s lives with exciting Christmas party

At 11 a.m. on Saturday 9th December the Charity Club of Pattaya greeted all the children from the Camillian Centre, a home for children and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS to Jameson’s the Irish Pub to the first of their Christmas treats.
Kim Fletcher brought in extra staff to help with the 55 VERY excited children, as well as providing them with soft drinks, food and entertainment.

Malcolm and Christina help Santa Narong hand out presents to the children.
The Christmas decorations in Jameson’s are fantastic, and the look on the faces of the children as they arrived really brought home what a magic time Christmas is.
As soon as the children arrived they were served with an array of soft drinks to refresh them from their journey from Rayong. Ten minutes later the Jameson’s chef brought out a mountain of food, which the children all tucked into with great gusto!
As the plates were being cleared the children were seated ready for the magic show, and Hey Presto Dr. Magic the magic man appeared complete with a shocking pink Mohican haircut!

Some of the presents were nearly as big as the children receiving them.
The children couldn’t believe their eyes as Dr. Magic produced chickens, doves, potato crisps and sweets out of thin air! The children shrieked with laughter as one of the children began producing water through a funnel as DR Magic pumped his arm! The Magic show ended with raptures applause from the Children.
No sooner had Dr. Magic disappeared the children heard the HO HO HO of Santa arriving! Santa was soon surrounded by 55 children, all waiting with the wide eyes of anticipation to see what he had in store for them, and boy did he have some toys to give out!
Some of the children’s gifts were bigger than the child, which added to the wonder in the children’s face … wondering how to carry it home.
As the real Santa was busy getting everything ready for the 25th the Charity Club arranged for a special Thai Santa to stand in for him, in the shape of Narong Srichiangmai. Narong is one of the Charity Club’s supporters who was fortunate enough to be plied with a couple of Heinekens to agree to be the Thai Santa.
The children were amazed to see a Thai Santa this year, which added to the magic of the day.
After Santa had handed all the gifts out the children sang Christmas carols and then took the opportunity to thank Santa Narong, Malcolm and Christina Boden and Kim Fletcher for the wonderful start to the Christmas season.
Many of the Charity Club’s supporters turned out for this pre Christmas event, including John Seymour of Northern Thai Reality, Kevin Fisher of Cranes and Equipment Asia, and Peter Rottmann past president of Rotary Krasang-Buriram, who was attending to visit one of the children who through the Charity Club had been received into the Camillian Centre when she was found living with HIV/AIDS with her grandmother, who was unable to afford any medication for her. Peter, who lives in Krasang, keeps in touch with the Charity Club and often asks for their help.
The money for the presents was raised at Kilkenny’s and the Queen Victoria Inn plus private donations from Duane Pebworth of GessweinSiam Bangkok and Dennis and Hilary Hill.
The Charity Club of Pattaya would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to Kim Fletcher of Jameson’s and his staff, Dr. Magic and of course Santa Narong for all the help making this Christmas treat for the Children such a joy to watch.
[email protected]

The Christmas decorations are great this year at Jameson’s.

Dr. Magic and his shocking pink Mohican haircut keeps the children mesmerized.

Hard Rock rocks on with Funky Beach Party

(From left) Dumrong Thaveema, director of loss prevention & security; Kamoldech Emsawana, front office manager; Mrs. Rosalind Khoo; Andrew Khoo, general manager; and Raymond M. Dumanauw, director of IT operations & development from Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya, joined the annual party

“Hard rockers” one and all.

Narisa Nitikarn
Hard Rock Hotel employees enjoyed a Funky Beach Party to close their annual sports festival on December 7.
Along with the clothes that each employee selected to match the theme, the staff was divided in four team colors and there was a Funky Beach Boy and Girl competition.
The Funky Beach Boy winner was Dude “JR”, Teerayuth Yimpra from the rock agent department. Funky Beach Girl was Girly “Nicky” Varavlan Laokermhun from the sales and marketing department. General manager Andrew Khoo presented each of them with a prize of 1,500 baht.
Following the contest was music and dancing, led by a DJ, and live music from the Rock Freedom Band.

“Hey, is this the beach? It looks different today.”

The orange team puts on a fun show.

Pattaya’s first Christkindlmarkt nets 140,000 baht

Elfi Seitz
Saturday December 9 saw the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club, led by its president Marliese Fritz, presenting its first “Christkindlmarkt” in the ballroom of the Pattaya Marriott Resort.

Steve Ryser, future president of the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club, encouraged by current president, Marliese Fritz, was eager to sell donated champagne for a hundred baht a glass.
Traders from Pattaya and Bangkok, along with individuals and clubs, came along to display their goods. Some planned to donate their revenue to charity associations, such as the Mercy Center, the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club, the German women’s circle “Plauderstunde”, and the Soul Searchers meditation group.
Once again Ursula, the owner of Ursula’s Antiques shop, showed her generosity by handing over the profits from her sales to the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club and donating three main prizes as well. Casa Pascal, Flamboyant, Bruno’s, Rabbit Resort, Cucumber, Swiss Paradise, Mini Golf, Häfele, and Amigo Tailor were also amongst the warmhearted supporters.

Once again Ursula, the owner of Ursula’s Antiques shop, showed her generosity by handing over the profits from her sales to the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club and donating three main prizes as well.
Marriott Resort offered their ballroom, while Pattaya Blatt took care of making the event public. The first prize, a moped, was provided by the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club, and of course there were many sponsors of other smaller prizes.
On sale was a diversity of goods ranging from bread, jewelry, books, furniture and Christmas ornaments, through to dinnerware and even spiritual healing pyramids and stones.
Steve Ryser, future president of the Eastern Seaboard Rotary Club, was eager to sell the donated champagne for a hundred baht a glass. His stall always seemed to be crowded with many guests and traders. Heinz Fritz and his helpers were successfully busy selling heaps of items. The big prize went to Tony Müller, a Swiss living in Surin, who came to visit Pattaya with his Thai wife. He is currently trying to find out how to transport his brand new red-colored moped to his home in Isaan.
This first Christkindlmarkt in Pattaya can be regarded as a successful event, as the net profit for the club equaled almost 140,000 baht. Organizers plan to hold this event every year from now on to guarantee a real flavor of Christmas for tourists and locals.

The Soul Searchers meditation group took part in the first “Christkindlmarkt” in the ballroom of the Pattaya Marriott Resort.

BCCT finds the point in life

And Raimon Land finds a good party

(L to R) Greg Watkins, executive director of BCCT; Mark Butters, director of BCCT; Richard Belair, managing director of Ink it Group Co., Ltd.; and Simon Matthers, general manager of Manpower.

By Dr. Iain Corness
The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand (BCCT) found the point of life and living in Wong Amat, in fact the Northpoint, described by Henri Young, marketing director of Raimon Land, as absolute beachfront living, on Wong Amat Beach. As a venue it was superb, with the 100 plus members and guests enjoying the cool breezes on the boardwalk, while mingling and munching.

(L to R) Dueanpen Thongsombat, sales manager of Mantra Restaurant & Bar; Martin Kroeni, executive assistant manager of Amari Orchid Resort & Tower; and Ampawan Kuhasak, assistant sales manager of Mantra Restaurant & Bar.
With the food coming again from the Mantra restaurant, the Amari’s people were out in force, with assistant GM Michael Goetz, executive assistant manager Martin Kroeni, the Mantra’s restaurant operations manager Geev Bahrampoori, complete with two lovely ladies from the sales team, Dueanpen Thongsombat and Ampawan Kuhasak, who very quickly ran out of business cards! However, it seems that Mantra means business!
Others in the food business that were pressing business cards furiously included Michelle Lippert from Manhattans Steakhouse (for man-sized American steaks), David Han from the Timeout Gelato Bars (best gelato in Pattaya without a doubt), and Karan Singh, the GM of the new Taj Taste of India restaurant opposite X-Zyte disco on Third Road.
The waterfront venue seemed to relax everyone (or was it the wine?) and there was much enthusiasm being shown in the spirited conversations (did they have spirits as well?), but nobody more enthusiastic than Joe Assarasakorn from the Asian University talking clearly about IT fuzzy logic and artificial intelligence! For ‘real’ intelligence, The Economist Intelligence Unit was also present, represented by Ekjaree Thanasawangkui, Business Development manager for Dataconsult.
Looking for people looking at a Northpoint unit were Colin Beech and William McKinnon from Credenda Associates, a group that can find money for you, to be able to buy a part of Henri Young’s “absolute beachfront living”. Unfortunately, to qualify for the largesse you need to own property overseas, thereby dashing all my hopes of a penthouse in the skies.
Of course there were the stalwarts, executive director of the BCCT, Greg Watkins, who publicly acknowledged the good relationship that the BCCT has had with the Pattaya Mail for many years, helping his chamber become the largest in Thailand. The BCCT vice-president, Graham Macdonald was everywhere, with his usual infectious smile. Another in this category was Andrew Wood, the GM of the Chaophya Hotels and Resorts, a group that has gone from strength to strength since Andrew took over the reins three years ago. Other regulars in this very British group included Peter Smith and Malcolm Scorer from AA Insurance Brokers (and Malcolm can get you a Thailand Elite card as well).
But the thought of a good party certainly brought in more than a few non-Brits, including American George Strampp and Aussie Paul (Tinfish) Whyte (whose jokes had not improved since the Australian chamber evening a few weeks ago). The party also brought in some residents of Raimon Land’s other Pattaya development, Northshore, with American Ron Pitelka seen enjoying himself with the food and wines and the company.
As an Xmas networking evening, this was one of the BCCT’s best, and Pattaya is looking forward to what the BCCT will be arranging next year. As usual, details will be published in the Pattaya Mail.

(L to R) Greg Watkins, executive director of BCCT; Andrew J. Wood, general manager of Chaophya Park Hotel & Resorts Co., Ltd.; Graham Macdonald, vice chairman of BCCT; George Strampp, VP Business Development Asia Pacific of Interstar Technology Group Co., Ltd.; and Geev Andre Bahrampoori, restaurant operations manager of Mantra Restaurant & Bar.

(Front, L to R) Malcolm Scorrer managing director of Watermark Capital Management Co., Ltd.; Sasichol Thongnak, asst. director of sales Amari Orchid Resort & Tower; Tim Gladwin, managing director of Sallmanns (Eastern Seaboard) Limited; Dr. Christopher Oates, managing director of Agro Food Resources (Thailand) Co., Ltd.; Jitra Wongjuan, account executive of Watermark Capital Management Co., Ltd.; and (back) Michael Goetz, executive assistant manager at Amari Orchid Resort & Tower.

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