Indro Hardjodikoro is one of the most influential jazz bassist in Indonesia. His name is the most frequent name to mention when someone ask with whom they should learn to play the bass. It’s no wonder, since Indro has been active as a bassist in our jazz world for two decades. His professional career started when he joined the famous fusion band Halmahera in 1990 together with his “soulmate” Tohpati. Later on he joined Riza Arshad‘s simakDialog first formation, and then followed by hundreds of appearance as the side man (session player). Even with loads of activity on stage, he still manage to share his time to teach. Many of his students now have emerged as top players. Barry Likumahuwa for example. He’s a very popular young bassist now. However, he proudly stated that Indro was his teacher especially on mastering the bass technique even until now. In Barry’s eyes, Indro is an up-to-date bassist in technique mastering.
Other students testified that Indro is a complete player. He always know how to give his touch on different genres. Not only he masters the technique, but he’s also known as a “speed” player. He always reminds his student how important it is to master the speed. “It will help you a lot especially in recordings.” he once said. He is really a complete bassist who knows how to play in every field he’s in. As the evidence, we can see why Indra Lesmana, Tohpati, Dwiki Dharmawan and many other artists always love to have him play in their bands or gigs. And to everyone he’s known as a humble man. He smiles a lot and act very friendly. For many years he’s been a session player, now he believes it’s the time for him to appear in front. Just like what he said to us at “Serambi Jazz”. “There is a certain time when we, as musicians wish to compose and play our own songs freely.” He is actually right. And we think it’s the perfect time for him to deliver who he really is, idealistically, as the jazz fever is rising fast lately.
To make this wish come true, Indro established a trio with him as the leader. Indro Hardjodikoro Trio, that’s the name of his band, has started to appear since 2009 and has been getting more intense in 2010. The band appeared in many events, such as Serambi Jazz and the most recent Java Jazz Festival 2010. It’s great to see him enjoying his new role as the frontman of the band like this. He brings two great musicians in his trio: the phenomenal young drummer/percussionist Demas Narawangsa who is also active as the drummer of Balinese fusion band KulKul and Lal Intje Makkah, a stylish keyboardist. He seems to really enjoy it. It’s about time for him to step forward, and we believe his band Indro Hardjodikoro Trio will speak loud and clear to the growth of jazz in Indonesia.
To support the album launching, “Feels Free” as the debut album of Indro Hardjodikoro Trio and also as the “warming up” for their participation at the International 2nd Annual Jazz@Fort Rotterdam in Makassar, from July 31 to August 1, 2010, a very special concert has made. We believe this is the point to see the new Indro Hardjodikoro, no longer as a side man but now as the leader of the band. It’s also the time for us to see who he really is, in music and spirit.
Indro Hardjodikoro’s Feels Free concert was held at Erasmus Huis, located at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kuningan area, Jakarta. Erasmus Huis is known as the center of art and culture. Not only the Dutch but also made as a home for Indonesian art and culture. Besides presenting classical and jazz concert, Erasmus Huis has also held many movie screening and lectures on a regular basis in their auditorium. Many of Indonesian top musicians have performed on the auditorium of Erasmus Huis. And now Indro Hardjodikoro used this historical place for his historical moment.
We saw many Dutch and the expatriates from other countries among the audiences. More than half of the available seats have already been taken when we entered it. Shortly later the empty spaces were quickly filled with more audiences right before the concert started. The light went off at 7:30 PM and a projector showed a short highlight about Fort Rotterdam, the venue of the upcoming Jazz@Fort Rotterdam 2010. Denny Sakrie, the MC for this concert threw some jokes to make the audiences feel at ease.
Then came the moment we all had been waiting for. Indro Hardjodikoro appeared on stage together with Demas Narawangsa and Lal Intje Makkah. Together they played “I Like Surprises” to start the show. All the audiences got stunned immidiately, hypnotized by Indro’s excellent play. He’s already stole the show even when he’s just played the first song. He performed with his six string bass ferociously. What an awe-inspiring appearance as a result of the combination between skill, experience and stage action. He kept on smiling from one song to another. Obviously he really enjoyed it and wanted to share his happiness to all the audiences. And that’s been his style, just like what Tohpati said about him once. “One word to decribe Indro… it’s laugh.”
The next song was “Greenland”, again capturing our attention completely. It was an intimate concert as Indro kept the connection with his audiences through words he said from the stage. Tohpati, the “soulmate” of Indro joined the band on stage for a special performance. They have been friends for so long and have performed together in many gigs. Together they brought “My Angel.” This song followed by “Lost City.” The audiences loved every single second of their collaboration. Huge applause came often showing how much they loved the concert.
The next session appeared by featuring Quatro Bass. This time Indro brought three of his own students who are now ready to sail in Indonesian jazz scene, Fajar Adi Nugroho, Nissa Hamzah and the son of Idang Rasjidi, the new rising star Shadu Shah Chaidar (Shadu Rasjidi). All of them played amazingly, and that’s no surprise, considering they all had Indro as their teacher. When they played altogether, we saw nothing but four skillful bassists performing in a jam session. Indro even admitted that what they gave on stage was really different than their rehearsals. “It wasn’t like this when we practiced, this is so cool.” he smiled proudly.
Indro called Oele Pattiselano to join him on stage. Oele Pattiselano is the legendary guitarist that still very active appearing in many gigs. The classic song “All the Things You Are” were brought perfectly by them. “Menyapa Pagiku” came right after. Oele is still playing great as always. Age really means nothing to him. After Oele left the stage, Indro delivered “Drum and Bass.” Demas said this song was a real challange to him. And then came the last song for the concert, it was “Titik Awal.” It was an amazing concert indeed. The audiences gave standing ovation directly to show their respect and love.
Through this concert Indro Hardjodikoro has marked the new step in his career in a very special way. He’s been showing his excellent and complete skill as a side man for twenty years, and now it’s time for him to shine on his own as the leader of the band. Now we could finally see his leadership and composing ability as he steps forward to stand in front. It’s a new dawn for Indro, and we are sure he will shine even more with his own band. As for the warming up to the 2nd Annual Jazz@Fort Rotterdam, we believe the audiences would agree with our opinion that they are more than ready to blast that event. We salute you, Indro, we wish you all the best on this new path.
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