2018: A Year In Food
In 2018, my gym coach assigned me to keep a food blog so he could track my meals. Through developing healthy eating habits to satisfy all of my nutritional needs and a rigorous exercise programme, I lost the 21 kg between January-August 2018 I'd gained on anti-depressants.
I wanted it to be somewhere more private rather than being shoved down people's throats (literally) through Instagram/WhatsApp. Hence I've posted my culinary creations here.
Being vegetarian and/or vegan always presents a challenge in terms of hitting the protein target so this was particularly the most interesting challenge for me.
I made a conscious decision to stop food blogging in 2019 (due to time restraints), but it's useful to have a year's diet documented as a reference and a source of inspiration!
Samara @ 606
Read the first part of this focus HERE
Last year, I witnessed this beautiful Brazilian band, and I wrote that it “combined heavy, rock solid percussion with clinging, clamouring piano solos and an explosive melt of saxophone, flute and vocals.” Well, I’m happy to say that this year, the band has gone from strength to strength. The band, led by Steve Rubie (alto saxophone, flute), fronted by Jandira Silva (vocals), and starring Ivo Neame (piano), Dill Katz (bass), Nic France (drums), Dawson Miller (percussion) and featuring Michael Roydon (soprano saxophone), samples some of the finest talent from in and around West London.
Steve Rubie, musical director and owner of the 606, is an immensely talented performer and director, exemplifying real skill and sophistication on flute and saxophone. Just listening to him play lifts your spirits. He also displays a deep understanding of Latin music about which he is so passionate, with his arrangements and percussion. His repertoire is a little bit different, a little more rich and refined, than the usual Brazilian gig. Tonight, he put together a tasteful selection of tunes from Tom Jobim, Elis Regina, Alcione and Roberto Fonseca to Joe Henderson, among others.
Ivo Neame (piano) was only called in at 5pm, yet he responded to the complexities and demands of the gig as though he had been playing the selection of charts all his life. A versatile and energetic musician, jazz being his specialism, yet having a tight knowledge of Clave and Latin rhythms, impresses all with his meaningful, compositional intention, and astounding speed and skill - it is easy to understand why he is so sought after as a pianist in London. His free, improvised introduction to Elis Regina’s ‘Cai Dentro’ took everyone’s breath away with its serendipity and magic, propelling the band into a wonderfully pumping samba, to which it is impossible not to dance or move your hips and feet.
Michael Roydon (soprano saxophone) happened to be visiting the 606, and was invited to feature as an impromptu guest. With a steadfast, all-out style comparable to Hermeto Pascoal, he flies through the modulations and changes, their means and directions nailed securely under his fingers, underpinned by Nic France (drums) who seemingly has an entire batucada section emanating from his kit, complete with buoyant surdo and caixa rolls. Michael Roydon was particularly ‘all over it’ in the band’s slinky cha-cha-chá version of Joe Henderson’s ‘Recordame’.
Jandira Silva once again excelled herself as a vocalist and performer, her vocals all at once sensuous and extravagant. She looks so comfortable onstage, interacting with the audience, and endearing everyone to her glowing warmth. Being able to spend time in her company, discussing her music, background, influences and ideologies, was a humbling, thought-provoking experience. Every now and then you meet a performer who is so accomplished, and yet so open, kind and selfless with their music, and generous with their knowledge - someone who is a true, creative spirit, always striving to learn, develop and reach new levels.
Samara play a cracking mix of Brazilian music and jazz, with a great rhythmic style, every last Friday of the month at 606.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have their reward.