December 26, 2011

The Jazzy "Ronald Tomas Nonet Travels" Album

Have you heard of the sexy Jazz music being collaborated with kundiman? How about jazz music with "Mahal na Araw" Pasyon? 

Sounds interesting, isn't it?

I recently heard of this really interesting album: "Ronald Tomas Nonet", Nonet is a musical term for a group of nine musicians. The album, launched by its lead, Mr. Ronald Tomas, formed the collection of the musical collaboration together with his friends who played in various capacities over the years. It happened that they were coming from the same school, the UP College of Music, and through the years, happened to be in the same circle in the local music scene.


Travelling the world, getting various music influences, inspired musician Ronald Tomas to create musical arrangements with his friends and try to record them. The idea of creating an album was not really present during that time. But after few recordings, they noticed that were already working on the 7th and 8th song, and so they thought on working on more to resemble an album. According to Ronald, "It was a wonderful accident".

Ronald Tomas played saxophone for WDOUJI (Witch Doctors of Underground Jazz Improvisation). Their first album, Ground Zero, won in the KATHA AWARD back 2001. He was also a member of the band, Parliament Syndicate.

"It was a wonderful accident" - Ronald Tomas

The album contains ten wonderful arrangements that are truly beautiful and refreshing:

1. Chili Con Pasyon - a groovy, danceable fusion of Pasyon Melody and rhythm from Chile. I always attend the "Pabasa ng Pasyon" every Holy Week but I never thought that I am already listening to our own pasyon music while listening to this arrangement! You'll say its really hot! Chili!

2. Pandango Palawan - a collaboration of Argentina Tango, rhythms from Colombia and Palawan Highland Melody. Are you looking for a different sound of the tango? Yes, this is it.

3. Very Early - Ronald's favorite jazz song written by an American jazz musician, Bill Evans. 

4. Joselynang Baliwag - a kundiman that dates way back 1800's and was a favorite amongst the katipuneros during the revolution, which was contemporized by drum and bass beats underneath. For the trivia, this was the song that signaled the attack against the army.

5. Dum Da Dee Dum - this song was written by Ronald's good friend, Aya Yuson. This song stand on its own (with the use of voice to play the melody) even without the lyrics, and it sounded really good. This is my favorite among all the arrangements in the album. The fresh sound gave me happy thoughts, that, hearing it makes me feel so in love. 

6. Duyog Sunrise - a cool collaboration of modern jazz and a Maguindanao musical tradition. Listening to it gave me a feeling that there is a story of fierce battle inside the song.

7. Ground Zero - a song that Ronald co-wrote with Koko Bermejo on the KATHA award winning first WDOUJI album back in 2001. 

8. Ramut - a song with melodies from a Cordilleran highland song from the Kalinga, translated in jazz style.

9. Natutulog Ka Na Ba Sinta - a jazzified version of the composition from Levi Celerio/ Santiago Suarez which was originally written in the "Harana" genre.

10. Sinulugang Taktak - an interpretation of the Maguindanao musical form called Sinulog, mixed with jazz harmony. 


The new refreshing sound of the collaboration arrangement made this album very distinct and unique from other jazz albums in the music scene. Overall, the album sounded so good that I want to hear it all over, again and again. For jazz lovers out there, maybe this is the album that you have been waiting for!

To hear sample tracks, visit these links:

Visit and like the "Ronald Tomas Nonet" FB Page!

To get more of the group, watch them in YouTube!

You can buy their album in these locations:

Ground flr. Benpres Building
Exchange Road cor. Meralco Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Philippines 1600

2. 70's BISTRO
#46 Anonas Street, Project 2, 1102 Quezon City, Philippines

Visayas Ave, Quezon City

They can also send their CD or arrange a meeting (if you are within Metro Manila) by calling or texting at 09392211271.


  1. The link for the FB Fanpage of the band: