Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz) 2012: Day 1 Report

Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz) 2012: Day 1 Report

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Where were we all in 1988? A question that everyone has a different answer to. Well, as for Jakarta International Jazz Festival, there was one. It was the birth of a music event that has resounded through time and emerged clearly in Indonesia’s music development. And until now, Indonesia’s participation in the globalisation era of music has reached to another step and keeps getting better. After it’s warm and delightful welcome since years ago, The Djarum Super Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2012 is back and is ready to fulfill your jazzilicious cravings. For the thirteenth time, this three-day event (19,20,21 October 2012) held at Istora Senayan Jakarta holds the theme of “Jazz The Way You Are” and marks another history in the national and also international scope. This event prepares the finest artists and performers from a variety of backgrounds uniting with one vision to deliver a great passion towards music highlighting jazz as it’s main course. With eight stages of amazing showcases, this event will surely get you up and going in enthusiasm to satisfy your wants and needs for jazz.

Jazzing up this fine friday evening, opening performances started off on separate stages with The Doctors, Time Warp, and Karim Suweileh & Friends. What words come instantly in your mind when you hear the word “The Doctors”? If you ponder about a bunch of medical professionals, you got it exactly right. Instead of only discussing a range of various health-related topics, they also teamed up to share their passion in music. Yes, this is a music community whose members are genius, talented doctors. A group that has “Music is the Medicine” tagline consists of dr. Noel (vocal), dr. Bram (piano), dr. Yassin (keyboard), dr. Fariz (gutiar), dr. Rizky (bass), dr. Hery (guitar) and dr. Bima (drums). It’s their fourth time performance at JakJazz and they brought an instrumental of “Perjalanan Panjang“, “Lupakan Diriku” by Noel feat Nina and continued with G Voice’s “Capacity of Love” and “Masihkah“. Then there was “Hanya Bayangan“, “Is It You“, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New“. Their last numbers ended with “September” and the maestro Gesang’s “Bengawan Solo“.

Using Time Warp as a band name? Why not. This band of expatriates from USA, Australia and UK together with some Indonesian suit the word if we take a look at the concept. They play infectious road blues really well, but they move on by opening various dimension through time and space by infusing jazz, funk, classic R&B and soul (sound of Motown) all the way to rock and roll and stuff. In the end, it’s like having a wonderous party over some eras, just like riding into a time warp. They delivered a few songs such as “Peter Gunn“, “Cant Turn“, “Everybody Needs Somebody” and “Sweet Soul Music“.If they claimed to be the South East Asia’s premier Blues Brothers revival band, they really do, because their act and song choices always remind us of the legendary Blues Brothers. They also jazzed away with “Respect“, “Hold On I’m Coming“, “Funky Nassau” and “New Orleans” A whole lotta fun indeed we got from their stage.

We saw Devian at JakJazz 2008 (that time featuring Dina Mariana) when it was served big. Now we watched him again at this edition. Yes, we finally got the chance to see the great saxophonist Devian coloring the jazz sky above Istora Senayan. Playing at Anggrek room at night, Devian once again saw that he can play more than just pop and smooth jazz. He explored jazz in wide perspective view, making the audience drown in extacy. Joining him on stage were Triono on piano/synth, Faisal (guitar), Fajar Adi Nugroho (bass) and Dezca Anugrah Samudra (drums). We digged his show as much as we loved his action 3 years ago at the same event.

This event also includes mini-workshops, performances and Coaching Clinics by IMI (Institut Musik Indonesia) on all three days of this event. And on the first day there was a vocal session by Indra Aziz who is a well known vocal coach for most of us. He is also known for his skill and ability to compose songs, and play the saxophone. This clinic featured Anjuan Julio for the guitars.

 

Syaharani and the QueenFireworks or mostly known as ESQI:EF is a group who certainly knows how to entertain the crowd. It is because that they are not only presenting ear catchy songs but also by involving their fans into their performance. Syaharani, the queen herself positively enjoys about how she communicates to audiences, both on and off stage. A very delightful group to watch and listen. ESQI:EF appeared right here at JakJazz along with Donny Suhendra (guitar), Kristian Dharma (bass), Sirhan Bahasuan (drums) and the backing vocals. As how we predicted, they gave a highly entertaining performance which a real satisfaction for the crowd. There’s nothing better than serving a party with songs like “Say A Little Prayer” and an acoustic version of “Anytime” and “Kiranya” with a beautiful French nuance. There was also a special touch of accordions by Andy Gomez. It was truly an act the way we expected from ESQI:EF. Way to go!

There was also DAC, Emerald Bex and another Clinic by IMI from a guitar session with Andre Dinuth. DAC or short for Dynamis Action of Chord which describes their music concept of jazz fusion/pop group from Semarang with Momo (Guitar), Dudut (Bass), Aditya (Drums), Iga and Atok (Keyboards) and Shanty (Additional Vocalist). They have been around since 1987. If you’re an adult jazz fans who had listened to jazz albums in the 80’s, you might remember them. They’ve also released an album in 1989 then stepping into hiatus for quite a long term. They came back in 2010 on Fusion Nite 80’s at Jajan Jazz Teras Kota BSD City. Fusion flowed thorugh our ears as they let their fresh modern touches tingle too. The 80’s fusion hype with some fresh and modern treatment was the menu that enjoyed by many of their fans and the passers-by.

Also from the same era and fusion jazz is Emerald Bex, which was formed on the 11th of July 1986. They are Iwang Noorsaid(Keyboards), Roedyanto(Bass), Morgan Sigarlaki(Guitar) dan Inang Noorsaid(Drums). Both these groups, entered the Band Explosion (BEX), a music competition held by Yamaha. Andre Dinuth, yes a guitarist you might remember from several groups such as Tohpati Band, Magenta Orchestra, Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, Indro Hardjodikoro Band, Glenn Fredly Banda and Rio Febrian Band. With his guitar he’s travelled from one stage to another and this time he gives out more than just the music. With his experiences also as session palyer for various artist and recording guitarists, who doesn’t love a plus on the guitar and the jazzy side of it. The Emerald-BEX is the embryo or the earliest formation of the band. We didn’t hear the band at all since that hey-day, but then they decided to come back since last year for good. If you love them back then, you’re going to love them even more today. Why not? Wild exploration of jazz-rock, fired-up stage action, all wrapped with the experience, passion and love make this band stands in the different fusionesque corner. The setilst such as 11 July, Altimeter and Night Walk became the benchmark of people’s expectation watching this group. In the end you’ll find out that you’re not watching a group of musician playing their instruments anymore, it’s become a show where the jazz-rock comes alive. Oh yeah, before we forget, the young man named Muhammad Iqbal did very well too in providing the raunchy beat over the drums.

 

The Quatro consists of musicians who have appeared often in jazz festivals in Indonesia. They are Eka Dewanto (bass), Hosdiman (saxophone), Donny Prasetyo (keyboards) and Hanli Saputra (drums). This circle of friends decided to form the band to fulfill their passion and simply chose the name based on the number. In this gig The Quatro got empowered by two vocalists, Sherly’O and Hans Bartelz. Resides in Bali, Sherly’O made her solo album entitled Pop Jazzy in 2007 which got good response from the market. She also participated in Akordeon and Totong Wicaksono’s albums. About Hans Bartelz, this guy has the kind of soulful voice like black singer and labeled as Phil Perry from Rote/NTT. Showing an appreciation for this fest, they made a special instrumental song named “Song For JakJazz“, written by Donny Prasetyo. “A Night in Tunisia” and “Sexy Back” was sung by Sherly’O before Hans joined her for a duet on the evergreen “Moody’s Mood For Love“. Hans carried on right after by groovin’ the audience with Al Jarreau’s “Boogie Down“. To close this session grand, Sherly’O came back to do another beautiful vocals on “Every Breath You Take“. Carrying well known song in pop jazz tunes like this including “Don’t Ever Wonder” delivered by Hans, made the audience could sing a long merrily, it was nicely done and entertaining.

There was also Higher D and another Clinic by IMI from Willy Haryadi with the keyboards who majored in Film Scoring with emphasize in computer music techonolgy. Fascinated right? Well he let out his knowledge of tips and tricks with his incredible fingers tapping the notes. His proffesional experiences are worth double thumbs up being a composer and music programmer for tv shows and movies including international movie “The 1985″. A glimpse of where passion can take you. Higher D went on stage with their colorful costume. They presented their “Album Maluku” by recycling “Ayo Mama” and “Tanase“. There was also an appearance from Danila which also completed a unique performance. Their energetic aura and colorful costumes lit up the atmosphere. With different voice ranges, they created a beautiful harmony in delivering their sweet Ambon songs.

Talk about a lady who’s done a tremendous job in many fields, the name Yuyun George should always be the perfect role model. She’s highly experienced in the music scene since she plays saxophone and sings really well, she’s great in composing/arranging, a standout band leader and also teach. Off the stage, she’s a full loving and caring wife and mother, not to mention that she’s warm hearted and very friendly as well. Her family supports her fully, that should be one of the factors that enable her to give her best in multi-roles. Yuyun George & The Jazmint Band is her brainchild that was formed in 2000. Starting only with 6 musicians and pop singers, it kept growing both in experience and creativity. Swingin’ jazz appears grand from this band and seemed set to give a joyful entertainment to the audience. No matter how often we cover her gig, she never fails to surprise us. Some classics from the American and Indonesian Songbook appeared beautifully from Yuyun and the band. To complete the vocal position, there was Grace Simon with her first song Ismail Marzuki’s “Kopral Jono” and Titiek Puspa’s “Kupu-Kupu Malam“. She also let the crowd sing along with her making it an interactive performance while Yuyun blew away the saxophone elegantly. Nunus Utomo with his musky rocking voice singing songs taken from the Rod Stewart versions with “What A Wonderful World” and ” I Love You for Sentimental Reasons“. Yuyun Jazzmint also made a different arrangement with George Irfan singing “Bujang Dara” a number from his album The Indonesian Songbook. Really nice!

 

Some people would refer Jeff Lorber as a fusion jazz respected artist and one of the smooth jazz pioneer. For us, Jeff Lorber is someone who has contributed many things for passion and his eternal love of music. He has become a prominent figure in the movement of jazz fusion. Jeff himself performs regularly at the  Java Jazz Festival, or what we usually call it better as “In-House Residence”.  Tonight at JakJazz, Jeff Together with (his band or some other artists) they treated our thirst for jazz. This is his project which first honed their craft in the Portland, Oregon Club scene and rapidly expanded their aim for national and international audience. Their formation of Jimmy Haslip (bass), Eric Marienthal (saxophone), Vinnie Colaluta. They have just came back from Manila, Phillipines. While the strong fusion smell attracted the fans like having the best coffee beans to sip joyfully, the all-star casts in this session really brought something great yet natural. What a challenging stage we got, we are happy to have Jeff Lorber Fusion at this JakJazz 2012.

A senior fusion guitarist formerly known as the member of Cannizaro and Canzo, Totong Wicaksono continued his participation after the Road to JakJazz 2012 held several months ago. Just like at that time, he delivered the kind of classy 80’s jazz fusion with some Latins and jazzy pop. His Hollow body guitar and the classical acoustic nylon guitar are his favorite weapons that he believes can represent his musicality at best. Some songs from his solo project album were played nicely too at this festival.

Well they say, two is better than one. But three makes the musketeers. Dewa Budjana, Balawan, and Tohpati are known as guitar virtuosos in Indonesia. Normally guitarist at this level would prefer to play alone, but that’s not the case of these masters. They surprised us some years ago by joining forces and called themselves as Trisum. What’s even more surprising is they can actually blend harmoniously with high tolerance guide to one another. The first album received huge success, the second one received the same acceptance from the market. They synchronize each other to create a whole new world of music, they rock the jazz like no one have done before. Three wizards showed us how far guitars come in handy entertaining us, courtesy of these masters. Unpredictable twists, heart-pounding manouvers, acrobatic improvisations were all over their stage, all thanks to the harmonious connection between them. Eventough they busy with their own agendas, we hope it won’t obstruct them to make another album after “Five in One” and participate in more events in the near future. Kudos to Trisum for making such an unbelievable show. Tonight, accompanied with Muhammad Iqbal (drummer), they played “5 in1″, “Bubi“, “Keroncong Kemayoran“, “All You Can Eat“, “Guitar in the Midnight“, “Saka/Lukisan Pagi“, “Pulang“, and “Rahwana” to entertain us.

 

One Man Acapella Boris Savoldelli, vocal performer from Italy just has no limits in learning. He’s been singing through classic, rock-funk, avant-garde and yes, jazz. A list of albums such as “Biocosmopolitan”, “The Miss Kiss”, “Protoplasmic”, “Insanology” and a vocal solo arrangement of The Beatles’ classics “Get Back Evolution”. Many fans who hadn’t known him before were pleasantly surprise with the treat. The concept had A Capella in it, but still it wasn’t like the way a capella we used to hear. Imagine a singer who does more than just singing, instead he used his voice as the whole ensemble roled as one. He placed the base, the rhythm, the backing vocals and then he put his singing on top of them. What a miraculous work, something that might seem impossible came true through his voice. As the title of these followong songs appeared, the Mexican-feel “Mindjoke“, then “Blue Child” that he played in the name of remembering his grandmother not in sad but sensitive way, Monk’s “I Mean You“, Miles Davis’ “All Blues” and no forget to mention about cover of one Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows“, all in a way no one ever did before. Talk about unique, you gotta see this man. He’s like having the whole instruments in his throat while he also used his whole body as a part of the ensemble. On top of everything, this is the man that strecth out the concept of ‘having-fun’ on stage to the max. Man, you gotta see to believe.

 

Like a mix of everything with toppings of each? Jazz funk, soul jazz, nu jazz and acid jazz, you have it. It’s all there in Incognito! You know the names, yeah, Jean-Paul Maunik, a.k.a Bluey (Guitar & Vocals), Matt Cooper (Keyboard), Pete Biggin (Drums), Julian Crampton (Bass), Jamie Anderson (Saxophone), Sid Gauld (Trumpet) and Alistar White (Trombone). Arriving from the United Kingdom, they have flew in to Jakarta to greet the crowd. This legendary band never fails to create a communicative interaction with the crowd making it such a welcoming atmosphere. Their positive vibes in songs such as “N.O.T“, “Still a Friend of Mine“, “I’ll be Loving You Always“, “Always There“, “Colibry” were delivered on stage. Bluey’s introduction to the next song started off with “Larc en Ciel”. Bluey called his bestfriend, our lovely Indonesian diva: Dira Sugandi and rock the stage with “Talkin’ Loud” surely with the high tone of her voice, flawlessly powerful. No need to wait longer, another surprise came up suddenly, each of the personnel switch their role in playing musical instrument and had Bluey as the main vocalist within the song.There were many great moments such as when there was a saxophone moment which amazed the crowd. There was also a duo double session by the percussions and drums. With eyes closed they just flowed with the rhtyhm and the beat. At the end of their performance,

 

It’s a pleasure too watch Dixieland Crackerjacks, why? Because we can ride the time tunnel to visit the early jazz scene around the early 20’s and enhance our lore about the jazz history. From its name we know that this group played dixieland music, an embryo for jazz musical. This genre really close with swing, one of the earliest styles of jazz that is still known by the jazz fans. For you who are still unfamiliar with the name/style Dixie, this genre born from combining the early blues and ragtime which is believed as the root of the modern jazz. This Netherlands based band formed in 1994 and still goes on strong up to this day. What’s unique about Dixieland Crackerjacks is that the band  can change the formation/member, from small combo to supersize orchestra, depend on the event they participate.Lodewijk Johannes Bink, Michael Bruno Wijnand Muller, Arend Gerard Huisman, Anne Van Der Wal, Lielian Tryfena Tan were the ones behind this amazing band. This unique formation also affect they musicality, therefore they can play a lot of jazz genres no matter the classics or the modern ones.

 

Appeared in unique vintage Happy-Dixie outfit they added up the color to this JakJazz Festival 2012. With loads for song list from the past including “Maskrut Rumble“, “Bourbon Street Parade” and plenty of other classic songs like “Basin Street Blues” and so on. We have been waiting long enough to have a Dixie style in jazz festival in Indonesia. Finally we got one, and that’s from one of the best in today’s jazz scene, thanks to JakJazz. We hope their appearance can stimulate the Indonesian bands to form a dixie groups, because, no matter what, Dixie is one of the most important legacy we have to preserve. Dank u wel Crackerjacks Dixieland, it was like riding a time tunnel to see where jazz started came from.

About a month ago, Rio Moreno, a keyboardist we first knew as the Cherokee member released an album entitled “El Montuno”. Here in this album he poured his passion which seems to be rooted in jazz and Latins, like samba and salsa, something that we can always clearly discover from him. At this year’s JakJazz he appeared with that concept, playing the songs from the album and also the popular ones such as “Moliendo Cafe” and The Beatles’ “Come Together“. Something that no many knows, he also did a good dance. As the album is still new, it’s good to see him introducing the music of the album by playing live in front of the audience. Rio Moreno is a great keyboardist that can play as good as his idol, Arturo Sandoval and Michel Camilo. We hope the best for you guys and the newly released album. Long live Rio Moreno and the El Montuno!

And then there was Manna which name comes from the combination of the two personnels who established the group, the legendary bassist A.S Mates and superb guitarist Achmad Ananda plus the power rockin drum beats of Jessi Mates and vocalist/rapper Fajri Rusani. They deliver their music through the eye of progressive rock jazz yet also having a touch of blues and funk.

So from the era of flashbacks to the present, from fusion to blues, from instruments to education, Djarum Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2012 Day one gave it all to you, but there’s still heaps more names and performances you just don’t want to miss. National, international, you name it! See you on day two jazz lovers!

See more pictures!

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Reporter : Riandy Kurniawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Dwi Ratri Utomo, Ata Michaella, Apey Idris, Ghea Sagita, Novan Yahya Renatal
Photographer: Praditya Nova, Omar Maulana, Bayu Warjiyo, Wowo Wahono, Akhmad Ikhbal

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