It was a clear night in Jakarta, the wind was good and the traffic wasn’t so bad at all. Still, the stress from everyday routine has already piled up. Their spirit was dried up like a desert, but fortunately an oasis was ready to quench the thirst. Once again Goethe offers music lovers, especially those who are into jazz, a good place to rest while enjoying a good music. Even though the Head of Culture and Development, Southeast Asia has changed from Frank Werner to Katrin Sohns, Riza Arshad are still standing tall as the curator to continue the success of Goethe Institut’s program in Indonesia, the Serambi Jazz. Florian Ross, Ligro Trio, Pitoelas Big Band, Wolfgang Heffner, LLW, and many other outstanding musicians from Indonesia and Germany have given their signatures in Serambi Jazz stage, all with great result. And tonight they have done it again. A band of legendary musicians combined with young talented singer stunned every audience of Serambi Jazz. Oele Pattiselanno, Jeffery Tahalele, Cendy Luntungan, Riza Arshad, and the stunning songstress Monita Tahalea proved that jazz is still and always be jazz, and it’s still enjoyable to everyone’s ears, no matter who, where or how.
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Oele Pattiselano would be one of the most frequent names to mention if you ask about the living legends who have given so many things towards the long history of Indonesian jazz scene. All the experiences he’s been absorbing for as long as half a century has shaped him to be the outstanding person in jazz, with or without his lethal weapon, guitar. He never intends to show his skill off, yet it all comes out naturally whenever he holds his guitar. He’s famous for being an outstanding swing player, eventhough he can play any tunes just as good. His expression is quiet, cool, calm but confident, but make no mistake, because he can always hypnotize his audience with the kind of swingin’ jazz sensation like no other. It might sound simple, yet full of magic.
[flickr id=”8078243775″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Born as Julius Sjoerd Pattiselano, he already started playing since the very beginning. He was trained by his own father Pieter Pattiselano, a prominent Hawaiian musician and leader of Rame Dendang Group in Surabaya. From his father’s jazz collections he found his passion in jazz early. Not only him, but his other brothers drummer Jacky Pattiselano and the late Perry Pattiselano (bass) are also listed as the legendary jazz giants in Indonesian history. He’s involved in many bands too like Crescendo in mid 60’s (while he was still in Surabaya), the Savoy Rhythm (later became The Savoy’s) when he moved to Bandung in the late 60’s and Jazz Riders (with Jack Lesmana) which was into dixieland at that time. Today he’s still active as player and teacher, something that makes him stand as a highly respectable man in the business. Not only he still plays with other big cats, he also has the passion to support younger generations either in the studio or on stage.
[flickr id=”8078235532″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] All the seats were filled fully, many people had to stand and sit on the stairs, waiting for the show to start. Riza Arshad along with the new program director, Katrina Shons opened the night with a short speech. They said they were happy to once again held the Serambi Jazz. Without further ado, Denny Sakrie came to the stage as MC. As usual, he threw some jokes and put up a show like a standup comedian. It was a good warm up nonetheless, and then the audience were ready for the real deal. Oele Pattiselanno, Jeffrey Tahalele, and Cendy Luntungan get to the stage as the Oele Pattiselanno Project. They played a tune by The Jazz Crusaders which they forgot the title. A tune of fusion jazz opened up the show. It was superb. Seeing experienced musicians playing like this made us curious to see how they could surprise us more. Young musicians are creative, but experienced musicians can certainly give something more. All those experiences that they have can give a bliss, even just by looking at them holding their instruments. Next tune is called “The Five Brothers” which appeared as a beautiful swing package. Oele also made a composition named “Song for Geva”, a song dedicated to Geva, Oele’s own son.
[flickr id=”8078236808″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] After that, Monita Tahalea came along. She was stunning and very beautiful tonight. Not only her looks, her sweet soft voice also stunned everyone in there. “God bless the Child”, a song that was popularized by Billie Holiday was brought nicely. Simply a voice to adore and to love. Relaxing, soothing, calming. We spotted many audiences closing their eyes to get deeper into the beauty of the song. “My One and Only Love” was brought by Oele alone. Such sweet melodies. There were no lyrics in it, but we believe everyone would clearly feel that Oele put all his heart and love into his strings and brought out a romantic ambience through the hall.
Jeffery and Cendy joined up again and they played “Recorda Me”, a famous tune from Joe Henderson. Many people nodded their head. Again, it created an enjoyable moment as smiles appeared from the faces of the audience. Riza Arshad and Monita Tahalea then joined the stage. Riza Arshad is famous for being an excellent keyboardist, but this time he used accordeon to stun us. Together they played the evergreen “Blue Moon”, a sweet song popularized by many artists from Billie Holiday to Elvis Presley among others. And now, once again, Monita brought it nicely. Such a world class singer we should say. After that she sang “Waltz for Debby”, a classic from Bill Evans’ collection. Being spoiled, the audience wanted them to keep going, so as the last song to appreciate the wonderful audience, they played “Speak Low” , a song from 1943 which has been widely recorded throughout generations. Cendy gave his solo in this last song and it was a ‘wow’! He played like a maniac. His calm and composed expression gave out another highlight to his outstanding drum beating.
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Another good news from this event, Riza Arshad said that he’ll re-released album “Talks”. This album had been released with Oele Pattiselano in early 2000. From our point of view, this album appears as a superb work from them, which you can find an intimacy between guitar and piano in relaxing harmony, just like two friends having a fun, interesting conversation, but this time through their instruments not their voices. Not enough to make us happy with that news, Riza also said he’ll arrange another jazz event fills with nothing but pure jazz. “I really want to make something different.” he said exictedly. We wish the best for this idea, and we’re ready to support it anytime.
And that was it. It might look short but it was another beautiful moment to remember. Once again, Serambi Jazz success in presenting a good event, amazingly all for free. Free but high quality event doesn’t come everyday, and yet, Goethe holds Serambi Jazz for everyone. It was so beautiful that we think it would be too bad if one missed it. As for uncle Oele Pattiselano, we wish you the best of health and success. We still need you and your lovely swing. The same wish goes to the rest of the performing artists. Schönen Dank, Goethe Institut Jakarta and everyone involved in this event, thank you for a very wonderful night.
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