Serambi Jazz: Dieter Ilg Trio : The Report


Dieter Ilg on the ready-to-quake bass, Rainer Böhm on the fantastic piano, and Patrice Herál on the solid-to-hit percussions/drums. These are the big names that came up front before our very eyes to introduce the splendid rhythms of jazz that they are, performing as the one and only group name Dieter Ilg Trio! A deep-down-from-the-heart contribution to the famous circle of jazz to touch the people with the heartfelt music that they’ve prepared for us – what’s not to be excited about?

Just reminding you again of how this amusing event began to magically entertain our world, Serambi Jazz came up as part of Goethe Institut Jakarta’s program. As we now have arrived to the festive end-month of the year, as usual Serambi Jazz has set before us its last amusing show by, this year, giving a super-skilled trio from the other side of the world; Germany. “You got to watch it, because this one is different and highly interesting”, said Riza Arshad a week before the show, letting us know that this one was going to be special. Indeed it was.


As promised, the trio will perform in three different places in lucky Indonesia particularly in Yogyakarta’s Langgeng Art Foundation on Tuesday, December 11st; in Bandung’s BP Bumi Sangkuriang today (Thursday, Dec 13th 2012) and finally it will appear in Jakarta’s GoetheHaus a day after, on Friday, December 14th.

What’s interesting is this. Along with playing their other repertoires, the trio came up with something different by presenting the interpretation of  some masterpieces owned the great opera composer from Italy named Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi.  It’s the “Otello”, a tragic opera based on William Shakespeare‘s play which premiered in Milan in 1887. It was originally appeared as brilliant classical orchestration, but now, the virtuous double bassist Dieter Ilg and the team presented it with jazz. He kept the dramatic story telling with more than enough space to build the sense of dramatic developments, harmonious turns and of course, catchy melodies, opening  a new access to Verdi’s Otello.


The coordinator of Cultural Program Sulastri Madjid  and the new Head of Culture and Development for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand regions, Katrin Sohns gave an opening speech and introduced the trio in a simplest way. Then the band quickly brought an old German folk song, “Nun Will Der Lenz Uns Gruessen”. This song showed their specialty in building the melodious harmony and also the rhythm, just like an architect creating one grand, majestic building. They moved to the next song “Maienzeit Bannet Leid”, a cheerful composition with reggae spice which was included in the Dieter Ilg Trio’s 1998 album, “Folk Songs”.  They all had fun in it. Rainer plucked the strings of the piano near the end to create the kind of differened soubnd. After this song they continued with “Fuoco Di Gioia” and “O Là”. The beautiful melody, the total fun of exploring and neat improvisations were brought in one package by them. Several times Dieter got carried away by his play. He swiftly moved up and down following the streaming notes while establishing the connection with Rainer thorugh eyes. Patrice provided not only the steady beat but also added the colorful sound with his drumset. Loud applauses were given to them in the middle of this one.

The notes subtly spoke something mysterious in the opening but then turned sweet in the next song . Once again Dieter got his own bass walking in the middle while the rest of the trio guarded him nicely. For the next song Patrice and Rainer let Dieter to run solo, showing his skill in bringing the contrabass alive, but then funny thing happen since there were cats disturbing them by squeaked in high pitch! The audience laughed, and did even more since Dieter pointed his contrabass towards the cat while keep playing it. This solo run was the opening for “Jago”, a  composition with raising intensity. The crowds cheered and applaused once they arrived on top. Patrice placed his voice with effects too in this song, creating something totally different.


The next song “A Questa Tua” was enchanting, started with Rainer’s touching classical play above the keys. This one appeared more like a drama with a lot of feelings attached. Then Dieter Ilg Trio played a song that he knew from his kindergarden years, “Guter Mond, Du Gehst So Stille”. Funk based their next song, pinning another very old folk song, “Die Blümelein sie schlafen”. They carried on with “Orror” right after that.

To close the concert, Dieter Ilg Trio presented “Otello”, Dieter Ilg’s reinterpretation of Verdi’s masterpiece which resulted an album in 2010. As the climax, they poured out everything they have left in this one, including Patrice’s vocal lines, creating one tremendous finish for this very exciting concert. Humor was added in the end by them that ended the concert in unique way. It was supposed to finish, but the audience still wanted for more. Due to the chants, they came back again and gave an encore entitled “Ora E Per Sempre”,  tributing a saxophonist Charlie Mariano who passed away 3 years ago, on June 16,2009.  It was a very sad song made in big respect, at the most lovely way possible.


So, that’s the final end. Bet you would regret if you hadn’t attended and witnessed the powerful jazzed-up show tonight, wouldn’t you? Even the report ain’t a better teller – had to see it for yourself! The biggest, warmest round of standing applause to the perfect closing occasion for the year 2012 of Serambi Jazz. If you catch this article soon, Jakarta jazz lovers, you would still have enough time to catch the final show at GoetheHaus today.

The Serambi Jazz has got it all worked up. If before we have seen some artists from Germany brought their unique crafts into Serambi Jazz events, for example Henning Sieverts Quartett with the theme of “Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider)” and/or Kristiina Tuomi Trio’s way in pinning Shakespeare’s sonnets, Edgar Allan Poe’s poems and Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetic writing in jazz, now we should add Dieter Ilg Trio which has the  Verdi’s Otello into the list. Amusing, different, it gave us new experience in attending a jazz concert.

The passionate, deep music of the trio had our ears shaken in the best way ever and we hope to see more of them, hopefully, to boom up Indonesia with their splendid jazz! Dieter Ilg Trio is amazing in bringing beautiful stream of melodies and controlling the mood of each song. They put a lot of feeling inside, that makes their songs feel alive. In Bumi Sangkuriang Bandung they gave a lot of colors, from smooth and relaxing tunes, dreamy, introspective ballads, intense pieces, funky rhythm to even reggae splash. But no matter what, the beautiful melodies were always on top with enough space to improvise, do the solo runs and explorations. Even the quiet sounds appeared sparkling  in their hands.


As for Serambi Jazz, as nutricious as it has been, we do hope Goethe Institut to continue the program for many, many more years. Aside from the first idea to make this program as an alternative jazz event in Jakarta, Serambi Jazz now has emerged as a very important regular jazz concert with lots of loyal fans, not to mention that it has successfully spread its wings to reach more cities. In the hands of the curator Riza Arshad and the whole team, this event has become one of the most successful overseas Goethe Insitut program.

Other than that, Serambi Jazz has strengthened the friendship between two nations, Germany and Indonesia. Just this year alone, Serambi Jazz has made some breakthroughs like joining the Java Jazz Festival 2012 and of course inviting some of the best jazz artists/bands from both countries. In short, from whatever angle you see, Serambi Jazz carries an important mission to us all. Danke schön. until the next episode in 2013.

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Sharon Patricia Kandou
Photographer: Bayu P Warjiyo