By Percy White
The first time I went to Bangkok was when I performed with the DC jazz Collective sister city program. I quickly became enamored with the city. It has the complexity of big city life combined with the peaceful Buddhist belief system which brings harmony to the perceived chaos. The combination of Eastern and Western cultures blends well together which made me feel at home while experiencing a “new” ancient culture. I got the feeling that life in Bangkok could be as simple or as complex as I choose to make it. I like options. As a bassist, I get to play a wide variety of music, thereby satisfying my desire for options. I find that playing bossa nova music provides similar musical possibilities. The bossa nova feel is laid back and relaxing. However, with the right musicians, the song can get very complex and cycle through multiple styles and feels before returning to the original laid back feel. The Bangkok Bossa has that potential. The melody is simple and laid back. But during the solos, there is the freedom to flex your creative muscle and incorporate other musical styles thereby intertwining complex musical ideas within a simple musical structure. Once you’ve had your fun, you can go back to the laid back bossa nova feel. Bangkok made me feel similarly. I enjoyed the hustle of the city as well as the serenity of the temples and ruins of the countryside. Having the ability to have eastern and western cuisines right next to each other is just another beautiful aspect of living in Bangkok. Bangkok provides lots of life choices. Bossa nova music allows for multiple musical ideas. For me, Bangkok and Bossa Nova music go together.