Sunday Jazz has rolled again! After one month hiatus due to the fasting season, live jazz is back on the menu, along with the variety of delicious foods and beverages served at Potluck Kitchen. In cooperation with Klab Jazz as the organizer, this month’s edition of Sunday Jazz presented a surprising lineup. Besides the great local jazz band Vassagie and the band who knows how to bring some jazz flavor into the blues Iman Brata Trio, this October edition brought the wonderkid David Manuhutu and Friends, also a stunning trio consists of the senior keyboard wiz Riza Arshad, Doni Sundjoyo and Aditya Bayu.
Riza Arshad is one of the most important men we should always mention if we’re talking about progress of jazz in Indonesia. He is one of the musicians who has been consistantly pursuing his career in jazz from the start. He is highly creative, a visionaire. He always know what to make out of all the gifts he has inside. Many projects have been brought by Riza, some has gotten the international acclaims, like the cross ethno-jazz progressive simakDialog or the explorative subtle funk Trioscapes. That makes him as one of the most important Indonesian jazz ambassadors to speak out loud in the international scene. He’s highly respected in our music business. Many younger musicians have him as the figure to look up to, proudly admitted that he’s their mentor. Not only amazing as a jazz player, he also has a big concern about the future of Indonesian jazz. And he is doing whatever possible to bring it into the new height. Riza Arshad is also the man behind Serambi Jazz, a program made by Goethe Institut that now emerges as one of the most successful program by Goethe, internationally. Simply put, it’s a blessing to have someone like Riza Arshad in the jazz scene.
Having him playing at the cozy jazz cafe, Potluck Kitchen is indeed a privilege. Especially when he appears with two superb younger musicians. Doni Sundjoyo is one of the busiest contrabass player in Indonesian jazz today, while Aditya Bayu is the rising guitarist with the ability to play like a senior. Together they bring a delightful concept tributing someone who is very influential to the jazz history, the one and only Bill Evans.
Bill Evans was a man that reshaped the face of jazz in many ways. He has reformed the chord voicing system which widely adapted by many musicians up to this day. His idea of free playing with impressionist harmony, his landscapic nuanced touch, the clearness of his music, the spontanity, the boldness to bring the inventive improvisation over traditional jazz repertoires and styles, the way of playing which often appeared by blurring the line between soloist and accompanist, all are just a few of the legacy of Bill Evans that are still well preserved until today. His Bill Evans Trio era on ECM was monumental, especially by breaking the new ground of jazz. From there, the ECM emerged as one specific jazz style that are still loved and played widely by many. He released over 50 albums as a leader between 1950’s to 1980, and played as the sideman nearly about as many.The impressionistic “singing” melodic lines has become the inspiration for many pianists all around the world.
David Manuhutu is in fact one of the rare diamond found in Indonesia. Starting by learning classical piano at the tender age of 5, he choosed to get deep with jazz. That’s a right decision because now David has emerged as one of the best young talent from our country. He inherited the musical talent from his father, Venche Manuhutu, a senior guitarist who also owns a music school, the Venche Music School (VMS). As a student of Imam Pras, he quickly showed his amazing talent and hatched very fast. Still in his 18 years of age, he has now become an all round jazz pianist with the ability to play like somebody who’s been playing for decades. He’s participated as the member of Indonesian Youth Regeneration Project (IYR Project), a group that has been performing on many prestigious events. Remarkably, they bagged the Gold Medal and the Grand Champion of the Great Eastern International Kids Performing Festival, in Singapore. Just a while ago he performed together with Rudy Zulkarnaen and Arifandi at the Shanghai Expo. It was just one of the stage he has graced, besides the Jazz Goes to Campus, Java Jazz Festival and many more. He will continue to study to US soon, so it’s good to have him on stage while he’s still here in Bandung.
Right after Dwi Cahya Yuniman the coordinator of Klab Jazz officially opened the show, Abank Sulaiman Kramadibrata (guitar/vocal), Ade Sulaiman Kramadibrata (drum) and Gabriel (bass), the personnel behind Iman Brata Trio came on stage and the rockin’ blues was on right away by taking a song of Miles Davis. Abank kept roaring with his guitar, giving the nuance of the vintage rockin’ era in the early 70’s. The exploitation guitar taking on Joe Satriani‘s “Cool number 9” was massive, including a part where Abank played heavily with the effects. Iman Brata Trio continued with Kenny Burrell‘s “Tin Tin Deo “ and closed their session with Coltrane‘s “Mr PC”. Having Iman Brata Trio always means fun, especially if you like the kind of guitar exploring style in roaring rockin’ style.
Coming from Elbe Jazz Big Band, some personnels went on to build their own band and named it Vassagie. Aldi Nada Permana (piano), Jalu Rohanda (electric bass) and Herwin Parta (drums) were the ones behind this band. They grabbed the runner up for 2007 Jazz Goes to Campus and since then they have been playing on many stages. Vassagie plays in mainstream, funk and also bebop. Vassagie got the second turn. They brought the first song, “Ku Tahu Kau Ada” in groovy fusion. Bop was the menu on the second song “Moaning”, in which they gave a delightful trading with each other. “It Was You” appeared nice from them, followed by “Donna Lee”. They closed their session with Miles Davis‘ “So What” with Aldi went on fire with his keyboard. 5 songs were enough to show their tremendous skill and passion to explore the jazz side with their own touch. It was another nice performance by Vassagie at Sunday Jazz.
Harry Pochang was called on stage to talk about Tula Samdjoen who has passed away on September 23. He has started his career many years ago in the 60’s, and still active until the end. “If you talk about scat in Bandung, you would remember him”, Harry Pochang said. Dwi Cahya Yuniman shared some memories of Klab Jazz about Tula Samdjoen. “with or without pay, he would always enthusiast in supporting any kind of jazz event.” he said. Our condolence to Tula Samdjoen. Your legacy will always live inside us.
David Manuhutu brought some of his friends this time. Featuring Adisty (drums), Sonny Hollandia Situmorang (electric bass) and Muhammad Tulus on vocal. Together they brought Herbie Hancock‘s classic: “Cantaloupe Island” in a very nice package with a cool rockin’ solo line on drums by the great female drummer, Adisty. The heat became hotter with seriously stunning improvisation by David taking on his own composition with a little pentatonic touch, “Rhytmico”. Tulus came on stage and brought the delightful swing with the standard originally from 1931 that has been covered by hundreds of artists, “All of Me”. The swingin’ afternoon continued on with “Dream a Little Dream of Me”. Tulus’ crooning voice has been improving more and more. It was a great decision for him to pin the standards with the kind of vocal he has. An evergreen from Indonesian song collection was the third song. It was Ismail Marzuki‘s masterpiece, “Juwita Malam” that uniquely started with drum solo. Hypnotizing voice of him spoiled the crowds and chilled the afternoon. They close their performance with another swing classic, “Please Don’t Talk About Me when I’m Gone.”
The final group for tonight came from Jakarta, led by the brilliant Riza Arshad. Having two all round musicians with him would surely give more space to explore. The melodic chord voicings by Evans is never easy to play, but we knew from the start that those would be brought perfectly by this amazing trio. “We can’t skip Bill Evans if we’re talking about the history of jazz” Riza said. “There were moment when all the jazz musicians were influenced deeply by Evans, and it still continues on until today. He’s a big legend, definitely.” he continued. “Interplay”, taken from Evans’ 1962 album was the first song to choose, and they delivered it smoothly. Riza’s fingers danced on the keyboard to interpret Evan’s complex singing chords. The beautiful “Turn Out The Stars” was the next one, presented chilled, soft and smooth. All the beauty of this song was captured perfectly by this stunning trio. The ever lovely “Peri’s Scope” was next, again delivered flawlessly. A song rarely brought even by Bill Evans himself entitled “Carnival” was next. This song has a very high degree of difficulty, but nonetheless it’s a remarkable composition that can always introduce the genious mind of Evans. Again Riza, Doni and Aditya sent a clean one to the crowds. “Very Early” was the next one, followed by a well known song written for Evans’ little girl, Debbie entitled “Waltz for Debbie.” How nice it was to hear this very famous composition once again that appeared wonderfully through the trio. Tonight it felt as if Bill Evans was back alive. It’s never easy to play any of Evans’ songs along with his style, but Riza Arshad and the trio have done a remarkable job. “We want to remind the jazz fans of Bill Evans as a great composer, therefore we play their own compositions, not the covers.” Riza explained. And seriously, it’s an important cause, because without Evans jazz will never be the same.
It was an afternoon with full satisfaction at Potluck Kitchen. The audiences were entertained with quality of jazz from start to finish. The cooperation between Potluck and Klab Jazz has successfully given more variety of events to choose in Bandung. High quality live jazz event served regularly in this relaxing jazzy nuanced cafe, and the good thing is, it keeps getting better each and every month. And the music lovers in this city really digged it as we saw the huge number of crowds filling up Potluck Kitchen, especially the space in front of the stage which is located in the middle of the garden. We’re happy to see that the majority of the crowds were the youngsters who seemed able to enjoy the complexity of jazz. Thank you Potluck, Klab Jazz and all the performers for a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Keep jazzin’, hope to see you again soon!
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