We have launched three editions of monthly jazz event as a part of cooperation between Jazzuality.com, Venche Music School and the historical venue, BP Bumi Sangkuriang. The name of the event is Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night, holding a mission to bring jazz back to one of its earliest home in Bandung as well as supporting jazz talents to have a friendly playground. In all edition so far we featured reputable musicians from Jakarta who have given remarkable contribution towards jazz development and its future in Indonesia. Two guitarists (Robert MR, Dion Janapria) and one saxophonist (Ricad Hutapea) joined the selected local talents who we believe important to feature. (Read the report of the first edition here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-1-the-report/ and the second here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-2-2/
The third edition was held on Thursday night, 10 March 2016 at the beautiful Concordia Ballroom. We are honored to have a support from a legendary jazz guitarist who long illustrious career spanning over 50 years. It’s none other than the master of swing, Oele Pattiselanno. Having him in this edition made the distribution of lineup became interesting. From Oele (age: 70) to the youngest one Nayra (15), there were 55 years in between. In other words, the lineup for Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #03 involved three generations of musicians. All joined hands in harmony, sharing the love of jazz together with the audience inside a vintage ballroom built in 1957.
Performing first was the sweet girl, Nayra Dharma. But before that, we invited her father, legendary bassist Pra Budi Dharma to the stage. Exactly 32 years earlier in 1984 Pra was active playing in the same hall, on the same stage with his band, that later became the supergroup Krakatau. “To me this is like going through a memory lane. The hall and its atmosphere is still the same, only the sound system is more enhanced now.” he said. He told the audience that his band actually called Mesopotamia among other names. “But it sounded too difficult. Later we saw the name Krakatau somewhere, then decided to use it.” This historical fact is important. 32 years ago it was Pra who began his journey, now it’s his daughter’s turn to follow her father’s footstep. Pra also stated that his daughter is really focus and determined to make her dream come true. “She now practices around 6 hours a day.” he said proudly. No wonder she could hatch this fast eventhough she started learning still less than a year ago.
Establishing herself as a singing freestyle jazz guitarist is not easy to do, especially for a 15 year-old girl. “I want to be like Joe Pass, but I also sing.” she said. She directly got applause and cheers right from the opening of her first choice, “Satin Doll”. After that she sang a song dedicated to her sister, a timeless gem from 1925, “Tea For Two”. She turned to bossa nova with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Watch What Happens” by inserting Ted Greene’s solo guitar piece. This is the song that placed her as the winner of Yamaha Competition for West Java just a while ago. Then she played Joe Pass’ version of “Misty”.
She again drew loud applause when she sang “La Vie en Rose” in French language. This song suited her sweet, soft and smooth vocal character really well. She continued with “L-O-V-E” and then called Alman Naufal to do guitar-drum duet with her. They chose two fast swing songs, George and Ira Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” and “Four” which required the ability to stream fast over the melody with both vocal and fingers. She successfully did it.
Nayra clearly inherits her father’s talent, she is lucky to have someone like papa Pra Budidharma to mentor her. But let’s not forget that she has strong commitment to learn. She is diligent, spending around 6 hours a day to practice, she also is a strong-willed, highly motivated girl to achieve her dream. Her determination plays an important part that makes Nayra as who she is today.
Month after month we see tremendous growth on her. From a shy young girl to sweet girl full of talent who feel at ease on stage. What’s amazing is she is repeating her father’s history. If Pra found his success after winning the Yamaha Bands Explotion in 1985 which marked the international debut of Krakatau, Nayra has won the same competition for West Java region. She is going to compete in the national scale next week. Let’s wish her the best. She’s a darling with talent, she is determined and a fighter. what’s not to love about her.
After sweet swing and bossa package, the hall suddenly painted with strong fusion color courtesy of Four Brothers. This band was born more than 20 years ago, starting as a high school band. The first drummer was Bambang Dole, but he was killed in a car accident. Deva Permana once sat as the drummer but then he moved to Australia and built a wonderful career which goes on until now. Imelda Rosalin has been found in this band too for many, many years.
This event actually became a sweet reunion and huge comeback of Four Brothers. Two original members were in, Ari Firman (bass) and Erwin Indrawan on guitar, who’s also known as Erwin Bragi, based on his role as the member of famous Bragi band. Sitting on the drummer was the drummer of Jazzy Juice and SHE, Adisty Zulkarnaen. Plus one of the best jazz trumpeters in Indonesia today, Brury Effendy. Ari, Erwin, Imelda, Adisty and Brury, that’s a super formation. “Enjoy our performance, hopefully we are still as wild as how we were back then.” said Imelda.
And yes, they are still wild if not even wilder than before. Probably the joyful atmosphere of reunion was the thing that fired them up. Erwin’s new original composition titled “I Will” directly created high octane jazz-rock flame on stage. This song is an epic, no wonder they instantly caught the attention of everyone inside the ballroom. Imelda addressed the audience to the next song, taken from Roy Hargrove’s collection titled “Strasbourg St Denis”. Brury Effendy did very well on trumpet, injecting sharp tunes like Hargrove. They continued with a song from The Manhattan Transfer, “Love Zoo”. They went mellow with a ballad from Diane Schuur “Love Dance” in which we could enjoy Imelda’s heartfelt 5-star voice and then sealed their showcase with another epic composition from Erwin simply titled “I Will 2”.
Erwin and Ari, the original members from the first formation were just lethal as always. They threw sharp punches throughout the songs that knocked people out in extacy. As Imelda isn’t a stanger to the band, she understood what the boys needed and added more beautiful tones into the pallette. Brury Effendy really enhanced the musical painting with more vibrant colors and speaking of the additional on drums, Adisty Zulkarnaen was amazing in providing the exact stream of beat.
The band has some really good compositions that would be great if could be documented in an album. A band with skillful musicians found inside, being inside the scene for more than 20 years with all the ups and downs. From what we see, they are still as passionate as before. May the band live on and maintained well. There’s always plenty of room for fusion in this nation in which Four Brothers could always fill in.
We called Angga Wardhana of Butterfield Jazz on stage and asked him to share how bands from Bandung was doing at the Java Jazz Festival 2016. He told everyone that actually the bands did very well in it. “If before we only saw musicians from Bandung mostly among other performers, this time we got them in full bands.” he said. He also said that some even played alongside international musicians. He has helped building some jazz bands now in his community and took them to the prestigious stage. We are proud of that.
What’s good about Bandung today is, there are many jazz communities found in it, and the organizers actually work in harmony, supporting each other, join hands towards the same goal. If you haven’t heard it, the union is called Bandung Jazz Community Association, consists of persons behind the jazz communities in Bandung including us. No rivalry, no competition, and that should give benefit to musicians, fans and of course the jazz development of the city and nation.
The last performance belong to the legend with long spanning career for more than 50 years, Oele Pattiselanno. He is now 70 years old, but God blesses him with good health. He is still passionate to play music especially jazz everywhere, making recordings and so on. He often found playing with the same legendary team mates, but he loves to collaborate with much younger players too. He has a strong character, swing flows naturally whenever he sounds his guitar. What’s also interesting is that he’s no stranger to Bandung since he has been playing in this city since the late 60’s, including having a regular gig at Savoy Homann hotel in a band called Savoy Rhythm during that era.
Oele started first playing two songs alone: “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and “Montevideo”. The room filled with romantic and smooth ambience by him. Nayra joined him, the two played another swing standard “Moonlight Serenade”, with Nayra sang beautifully.
The VMS Rhythm Section (Alman on drums and Aries on bass) then took their position. The trio played more standards “You Don’t Know What Love Is” and Irving Berlin’s classic from 1932, “How Deep is the Ocean” followed by “Ciora”. After “My One and Only Love”, Oele led the boys to play two last songs “Darn that Dream” and “Bluesette”.
Having a legend like Oele in our show is indeed a blessing. Everyone can feel how swing actually is, and for young musicians who came to the event, they should be able to learn something out of his play. He is a musician with strong character, ellegant and classy. He never pushes anything too much or tries to show-off. He simply plays by involving his heart and soul. Honestly, without any pretention, and invites his audience to feel whatever he feels during his play. That’s why we always get pure beauties out of his show. The VMS Rhythm Section did well to serve Oele tonight. The cross-aged collaboration like this will definitely push the young musicians forward. A learning by doing method from a man who has done it all.
For us, this third installment marked another good round. Involving three generations of musicians, where the variety of jazz could be enjoyed by the attendances. Having a legendary musician inside a legendary ballroom is actually perfect. Plus, the daughter who finally stepped on the same stage where her father established a supergroup more than 30 years ago creates another story.
Remember, Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night is served every Thursday at the second week of each month. The event will be back again next month with more bands and variations. Do let your friends know about this regular jazz community event and bring them along. The more the merrier, we look forward to swing with you in the next episode.
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