A special mid summer night in June for all the jazz lovers in Jakarta. Once again Serambi Jazz was held at GoetheHaus Jakarta, presenting two distinctively unique groups in one great jazz concert.
Following the success of Serambi Jazz’ two previous concerts, Ligro Trio & Donny Suhendra Project and the concert plus workshop with Florian Ross Trio, this time Serambi Jazz delivered two outstanding groups that might still rarely appear in public, AKORDEON and BEATBOP, Indra Aziz Project wih Riza Arshad.
BEATBOP, that’s the name of Indra Aziz Project, consists of four heavy talented personnels. Indra Aziz (alto sax and vocal) is a multi-talented jazz artist that has worked with diverse groups or vocalists all through his career. He’s also known gifted as saxophonist, vocalist, arranger, and many more, including the most recent one, beatboxer. Riza Arshad (fender rhodes) is the man behind the internationally famous simakDialog and also the new Trioscapes among many other groups he’s been with. Riza is also known for his continuous effort in jazz education. Riza is also the curator of Serambi Jazz. Indra Perkasa (double bass), known as the bassist of Tomorrow People Ensemble, also a well known composer/arranger who is focusing in movie soundtracks at the moment. Last but not least, Billy Tamnge aka BdaBX (beatbox). Tamnge is one of the founder of Indobeatbox community that is presenting the unique art of making beats and rhythms in terms of percussions using human’s mouth. These four heavy talented artists have collaborated with each other before, but never got the chance to work together in one project.
At their performance tonight, BEATBOP Project presented some Indra Aziz’ original compositions with some artistic touch in arrangements by Indra Perkasa and Riza Arshad. Their creative ideas fused together, and that created magic on stage. The full crowds who filled the GoetheHaus last night were mesmerized. In one song entitled “4 O’Clock”, Indra Aziz surprised the audience with his act. He stood just like a clock, and used his arms mimicking the clock’s hands, slowly he moved his arms to point at 4 o’clock.
In another song, they told a story about the big earthquake happend in Yogyakarta several years ago. This song composed smoothly with some bossa touch attached in the song blending with a beatbox, making this one stood as a stunning composition.
Billy Tamnge is an amazing beatboxer. He made the audience wonder how he could sound so many instruments came out from his mouth, all the sounds that seemed to be impossible to produce by human’s vocal cords. Especially when he produced some sounds of DJ plates, that I believe would take many hours of practice to master. Billy Tamnge aka BdaBX is a Papua born beatboxer. He established the Indobeatbox community along with Tito aka Titz G Fade 2 Black and some other chief members in Indobeatbox. Beside active in promoting beatbox throughout the nation, he’s also active in a singing choir. Indra Perkasa great double plass play contributed a lot to make their performance stronger. Riza Arshad did an excellent exploration through familiar sounds you could find in jazz. Plus the touch of Indra’s saxophone, all created a superb project as a result. From they first performance at this Serambi Jazz, they will continue the project to enter the recordings. The sounds produced by them were all unique. It was more like semi-electronica, simply because the sounds come out from the beatbox could sound like MIDI. This blending concept between beatbox and instrumentalists is not something new. There were many bands have done it overseas, such as Lilo Rantala Trio with Felix Zenger, also Mouth Organ, the duet between beatboxer and hammond organ. But this is the very first time to have this unique marriage that goes deeply to jazz compositions that are packed with full improvisations.
The second group performing was also unique. It was AKORDEON, led by the Indonesian bass maestro, Bintang Indrianto. He first apologized because his kendang (the traditional double headed drums) player Kiki Dunung “Moving” couldn’t come to perform due to his European tour schedule that was moved earlier. But the absence of Dunung wouldn’t make the performance down, he assured. As how we know, accordion is a reed organ in a portable form. Historically speaking, accordeon was found in the beginning of 19th Century. Today, this so called “romantic” instruments is widely used to various forms of music. From classical to folk, world music and so on, including jazz. What this group planned from the start is to push the sound of accordion forward, to appear in front. And yes, right from the first song played, entitled, the audience were hypnotized to enter a road trip in a fusionesque world. Followed with the furious “Hotwheels”, the song that originally entitled as “B.F”. Bintang even joked with the audience, asking which name fits more to the song.
Besides having Bintang Indrianto, AKORDEON also has Taufan Siswadi on drums and Imam Garmansyah on keyboard and accordion. This group also featured some guest stars, including Emerald band’s bassist, Roedyanto, Steve Wilson and Sherly O on vocals. They explore the musical traffic brilliantly based on the “mixed marriage” between various music instruments. AS the result, they successfully created new themes and colors of music, the same essence captured through their new independent album that was released couple of months ago with the same title, “AKORDEON”. (Check out the review of “Akordeon”) This group is offering something different to add a beautiful alternative in the music world. So, if any of you started to fed up by listening to nothing but the same music as how the trend goes today in our music, this group is surely need to be checked, learned and understood. Accordion in this group is not meant to dominate the whole concept, but blends evenly and harmoniously along with other instruments in the group. In other words, all instruments have the same portion, proportionally.
Sherly O sang two songs stunningly. She sang “Ole Olang Wanita (The Answer)” and “Rasa Hati”. Sherly Octaviani, her real name also sang those songs in the album version. She has launched her debut album two years ago, raised in the Land of Goddess, Bali. Sherly’s vocal has given more taste for this group.
Steve Wilson also brought two songs that night. He was very interractive and playful. He successfully made the crowds clapped their hands and sang along with him together on “We’re All Children”, the song that closed their performance at Serambi Jazz.
The appearance of AKORDEON that night at Goethe wasn’t long. They brought about 7 songs, but it was enough to deliver the message to the audience that accordion doesn’t always have to be played with the real instrument, but it can also appear nicely through the touch of Imam Garmansyah’s keyboard. The great performance by Bintang and Taufan were also essential to shape the exact taste of the group. This is something that needs to be appreciated and supported.
It was great to see how Serambi Jazz emerged as one important jazz event in Indonesia. Great quality, various and diverse talented musicians in each edition, well planned and nicely done. An event like this is important for Indonesian jazz development. It’s very educative, symbolically confirmed the good relation between two big nations, Germany and Indonesian, and the most importantly presented in an always enjoyable jazz concert. This month’s edition was even free. That’s incredible. Big applause to Goethe Institut, Riza Arshad and everybody who have been working hard for Serambi Jazz, we really appreciate it. We do really hope that this event could be continued in years to come. See you at the next Serambi Jazz concert in August.
See more pictures:
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ps: Check out the exclusive interview with Riza Arshad and Indra Aziz