Let's try that again, shall we ...

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 April, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 April, 2006, 12:00am

A decade after their first successful attempt to put together a jazz guitar trio, Skip Moy and Eugene Pao have finally got around to organising a rematch.

Moy, Pao and Tommy Ho, a Canto-pop producer, will be trading licks and solos this Saturday at a jazz guitar summit that promises to pack Grappa's Cellar in Central with lovers of improvised music.

The experiment was first tried in 1996, with Guy Le Claire in the chair that Ho will occupy. The trio played to a full house at the old Jazz Club and got a rapturous response. 'It was a very casual thing, I remember,' Moy says. 'We just said, 'Oh, let's try this', and a lot of people came.'

The idea of a repeat stayed with him, and one night the opportunity arose to get the ball rolling again. 'Tommy, Eugene and myself just happened to be at the Blue Door one evening at the same time ... and we thought, 'Why not get together and do a little playing?',' he says.

For the gig, called It's Been a Long Time Comin', the trio will be accompanied by drummer Jun Kung and bassist Peter Scherr. 'The fun part will be to see how much we've all grown from where we were 10 years ago,' says Moy. 'Tommy and Eugene both have a rock background, and Eugene is the most versatile of all of us.

'Our common ground might be Wes Montgomery, a bit of John Scofield, maybe bits and pieces of Pat Metheny. Eugene has been working a lot with a steel, six-string guitar, and I've been working a lot with nylon strings. We'll have a lot of different guitars on stage.'

Pao needs little introduction. Hong Kong's home-grown guitar hero has released CDs internationally, and is friends with Scofield and Metheny.

Ho studied guitar in Los Angeles before returning to Hong Kong to become a producer and arranger, as well as setting up a workshop to teach jazz and pop guitar. 'Tommy has worked a lot behind the scenes,' says Moy. 'He's done a lot of Canto-pop producing, and a lot of teaching. It's only in the past four years that he's come out playing jazz again.'

Moy is a native New Yorker, although he grew up largely in Hong Kong. The dyed-in-the-wool jazz player is looking forward to matching his wits and his fingers against Pao and Ho.

'I think it will be a nice combination, because we can play different styles,' Moy says. 'We'll break it up into different combinations, working with different things. There'll definitely be a lot of variety.'

It's Been a Long Time Comin', Sat, 9.30pm, Grappa's Cellar, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Rd, Central, $88 (students), $188. Inquiries: 2521 2322