IS SHE THE COOLEST MUSO IN HK 1

I really can’t figure her out. Not because she’s Chinese, diminutive and plays drums with a smile on her face and a kick up her bass drum, but, because, even though I’ve met her so many times, I still don’t know what makes Anna Fan tick. Or maybe I do.

IS SHE THE COOLEST MUSO IN HK 2

On the weekend, after finally finding Visage One- hair salon by day, and, on Saturday nights, jazz sessions by MaRK- Marcus Ho, Anna, Ricky Wong and Kenny Lin- playing to a wonderfully young, International and eclectic audience- I saw a girl who is passionate about her music- as is the band- passion in short supply in Hong Kong where young musical talent barely exists- or is allowed to breathe, grow and multiply.

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As in the city’s incestuous music industry filled with nepotism learnt from the old-timers and so-called “legends” of music who milked this place dry and feathered their own nests, today’s generation of music executives are even more greedy and far more corrupt.

Whether intentionally or not, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has sure messed up miserably in showing up those who made millions from the music industry when the going was good.

IS SHE THE COOLEST MUSO IN HK 5

But let’s get back to Anna Fan and where, perhaps because of her gender, and as female drummers are as rare as White Stripes, Anna comes across as the leader of Mark. Wrong.

This is a TRUE band with a very definite game plan- and talent and youth on their side.

Though I loved her creating rhythms with anything she got her hands on despite not having a drum kit with her, what hit me where it hurts most- the heart- was the band improvising and bringing it all all back to the standard My Funny Valentine.

These people know the roots of Tin Pan Alley and are charting out what comes next- and on their own terms.

Money? Pfffft. No, their music comes first.

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Over the past few months, I’ve heard about the band backing up an unknown overseas Pop/Folk singer, but that’s just gibberish and wishful thinking.

MaRK has new music coming out- more rhythmic and less low-key eclecticism- a performance at the upcoming Shanghai Jazz Festival, and gigs outside of Asia.

That’s fine, but if I had my way, I’d get this new music to Don Was, head of the legendary Blue Note label, and have this quartet from Hong Kong help pioneer a new local music industry- OUTSIDE of Hong Kong, and without any “due diligence” and having to pay tedious lip service to all those many losers in local music companies who wouldn’t know Jazz from jizz.