It’s been great to see the jazz scene in Bandung lately. There are so many regular community events appearing everywhere, and what makes it even better is that the initiator of each community are united in beautiful harmony. Other than communities, there are more and more place to accomodate the talents and fans. For us, this is a good sign of the future of jazz in Bandung. It will give benefit to us all.
Bawean Resto is a part of Bawean Bakery, a legendary bakery factory in Bandung. It began its business in 1946, so if we count it until today, they have been running for 70 years. It was called “Sweetheart”, but in 1995 they had to change the name to Bawean Bakery since the government discouraged foreign names back in those days. They started with bakery, today the business has expanded to Gelato, Resto and Cafe.
Starting at the first day of March, Bawean Resto will serve jazz alongside their delicious cakes, breads, foods and beverages. From now on you can have some jazz in it every Tuesday night. To mark this new move, they launched a special concert as the premiere edition. The event is called Sweetheart Jazz Romantic #1, featuring legendary, internationally reputable musicians. From those who have been active for several decades (up to 5 decades), a pianist who establishes his career successfully both in Indonesia and USA, and a stunning Bandung duo who never stops getting better. This event was a success. They got many guests, the resto filled with crowd who were eager to match good foods and performances. It was a success.
Agis Bape started the concert. This duo, like we said before somehow keeps on getting better and better. The harmonious pairing between swingin’ acoustic guitar of Opik Bape and artistic, well-crafted, heartfelt soulful voice of Agis Kania build each song to perfection. They have supported each other for many years, including in the stunning Gypsy swing group Satura which is now inactive. Being together for so long makes them able to unite their souls. They are charming, full of emotions and dynamics. That makes any song they sing a winner.
The duo of Agis Bape gave tasty setlist. A song firstly heard in Charlie Chaplin’s movie Modern Times in 1936, of which melody was composed by Chaplin himself, “Smile” became their choice. They carried on with more songs including Ismail Marzuki’s “Sabda Alam”, Rose Murphy’s “Peek a Boo”, the controversial song once banned “Gloomy Sunday”, Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages” were done nicely. Then they sang their single “Embun Pagi” before pouring one final swingin’ picnic with a popular song from the 50’s, “Singing the Blues”.
A lot of emotions were captured from their show. Even if one doesn’t understand the lyrics, the way they sing the story makes the audience understand what’s the story is all about, at least capturing the feeling. This is a duo that’s decided to being true to themselves. They go digging specific collections from specific era that suits their ‘old soul’ nature. Now Agis Bape has one EP that you can buy in one package with the official T-shirt, let’s hope they can get through the industry, because a very good duo like this really, really deserve to be heard.
The second performance came from a trio consisted of senior musicians who have been playing for many, many years ago. It’s called Pattiselanno Trio. Led by the living legend Oele Pattiselanno on guitar, the trio has his long time partner Jeffrey Tahalele (contrabass) and Arief Setiadi (saxophone). If the trio alone should do, but they got remarkable reinforcement from a pianist graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA and The Juilliard School, New York (in which he was mentored by jazz master Kenny Barron) who build his career both in USA and Indonesia: Nial Djuliarso.
The Pattiselanno Trio recently released an independent album titled “Doa & Restumu”. What’s unique is that the trio has no drummer, yet still they got strong rhythm. Arief Setiadi used a plastic bag to imitate the sound of brush sticks on toms. That of course made an attraction. Miles Davis’ “If I Were a Bell” was first, then they went on with Nial’s composition written for his wife “Hello Gib”, and Oele’s “Song for Maya” and “Song for Geva”.
Remember Nayra Dharma, the 15 year-old freestyle guitarist who performed in our Braga Jazz Walk #19? She joined the team as a guest star, playing and singing two songs, the classic swing ballad written by Glenn Miller “Moonlight Serenade” and a song made famous for the first time by Julie London, “Cry Me a River”. It was really beautiful. Then, a surprise came when a 6 year-old kid named Nada stepped forward and sang “It Had to Be You” which included scat-singing! “Nobody taught me that. I learnt from Youtube”, he said innocently which made the crowd popped.
Pattiselanno Trio ft Nial Djuliarso created a grade-A combination that sparks and glows jazz in its very own nature. This is the kind of group that can give you more than just a lovely entertaining, because you can also learn from how they do it. A showdown of jazz masters like this is priceless. May there be more, may they keep stimulating the young musicians to follow their steps.
The final show was a remarkable cross-generational collaboration between Shadow Puppets Quartet and a legendary singer, Harvey Malaihollo. We saw their performance at TP Jazz Festival 2015 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/tp-jazz-bandung-festival-2015/) a couple of months ago as they were releasing an album entitled “Indonesian Songbook”. This album holds an important mission, to re-introduce 10 of Indonesian masterpieces from the 50’s to 60’s era, written by our own maestros. We got a chance to interview them, you can read it here: http://jazzuality.com/interview/exclusive-interview-with-shadow-puppets-quartet-and-harvey-malaihollo/.
They were back again in Bandung tonight, presenting the classics found in the album. The founders of Shadow Puppets, real life couple Robert Mulyarahardja a.k.a Robert MR (guitar) and Irsa Destiwi (piano) made beautiful rearrangements of these songs. Joining them on stage were two friends: Kevin Yosua (contrabass) and Ignatius Adrianta (drums).
They presented most of the songs from the album. Starting with Bing Slamet’s “Nurlela”, they proceed with two songs of Sam Saimun “Kasih Tak Terbalas” and “Bujang Dara”, Mochtar Embut’s “Biduk Kasih”, Ismail Marzuki song “Siapa Namanya”, Rahmat Mantovani’s “Irama Hidupku”, “Diwajahmu Kulihat Bulan” and then reached the end in style with fast swing on “Ilhamku”. This song included cool tradings by the band.
It’s not easy to find these songs anymore. Some are forgotten, but actually these songs are really beautiful even for today’s ears. Thanks to this triumphant team, we can listen to the songs again, presented beautifully by Shadow Puppets Quartet and Harvey Malaihollo. They made brilliant rearrangement, fitting the songs to their jazz style to suit the modern days, but at the same time still capturing the beauty of the originals when they were first heard around 50-60 years ago. It was a sweet concert. Classy, elegant and holds an important mission. Like a swingin’ time tunnel, they brought us back to those glorious eras and tasted the best of it. We thank you for that.
8 March: Imelda Rosalin Trio
15 March: Pineapple Corner: Venche Manuhutu (guitar), Imam Pras (piano), Rudy Zulkarnaen (bass), Arifandi ‘Ari Aru’ Renaldi (drums), Brury Effendy (trumpet) and Puspallia Panggabean (vocal)
22 March: VMS Jazz Quartet
29 March: Pineapple Corner
In case you are looking for jazz on Tuesday, now you have it. There will be more special edition like this a couple of months from now, stay tuned on our website.
See more pictures:
Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Indra Purnawan, Reza Aldilla Adiputra, Riandy Kurniawan