I met with Eddy just prior to his band’s gig at Saint Kitchen in St. Pauls Square in Birmingham as part of Birmingham Jazz Legends Festival. The festival comprised three days of concerts devoted to the work of or influenced by the Legends of Jazz including Monk, Brookmeyer, Giuffre, Hall, Evans, Parker and Sun Ra. Eddy’s gig called on the standards repertoire played in a fresh and exciting way. Prior to that however he gamely braved the drizzle of Charlotte Street in the Jewellery Quarter to pose for his Stolen Moments portrait.
By Garry Corbett
Malaysian born Eddy is a vocal graduate from UCSI University and began playing alto saxophone towards the end of his time there. After graduating he devoted himself to playing saxophone full time as a member of the DBKL Orchestra which was semi-government funded. He also worked as a freelance musician and performed with various bands throughout Malaysia during this period.
A band of which he was a member, Got A Match, made it to the top ten finalists of the “1st Passport to Fame Battle of the Band” competition in 2011. He was also a member of Juanophobia, an eight-piece fusion outfit playing everything from rock to Motown via funk and jazz. During this time he recorded an album with the band for Sony Malaysia. He joined the KLYJO (Kuala Lumpur Youth Jazz Orchestra) formed by his then sax tutor, Julian Chan, and American saxophonist Patrick Tebrack who was based in Malaysia. This experience ignited his true love of jazz. It was this growing passion that led him to pursue his Masters in Jazz Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire from where he will soon graduate.
Eddy cites his three great tutors, Percy Pursglove, Mike Williams and Jean Toussaint as great influences. His aim aside from playing his own music is to become a music educator and bring on future generations of young musicians back in his home country.
Eddy recommends the following 5-a-day:
Any Julian Cannonball Adderley recordings between 1959 – 1962. especially Them Dirty Blues. “I just love his playing on that album”.
A daily dose of your favourite snacks. Sour Plum is my favourite.
Avishai Cohen’s Seven Seas (EMI France)
Chris Potter’s Underground Orchestra – Imaginary Cities (ECM Records)
WVC Jazz Ensemble (a Malaysian jazz ensemble), personnel: Tay Cher Siang – piano, Julian Chan – saxophone, AJ Popshuvit – bass, KJ Wong – drums.