Artist : Mahesa Santoso
Album : iPlay
Released Date : 2013
Label: MIX Pro
It’s always great to see a talent emerges early especially in jazz, one of the most influential genres that needs proper skill when playing it. It’s great having them play in the real squared circle and noticing their steps further in the recordings will be another great one too. There are a lot of things to consider in creating an album and it’s not an easy task for most of the players. Let’s now focus on drums, instruments that, for many, are mainly used for keeping the beat during a song and even dance. Some questions may arise. What do drummers have in mind when composing songs for an album? Do they only deal with the beat or also work on the melody like the way players do with melodic instruments? Is it necessary to have a lot of solo drummings in each song? Is it a must to make the listeners aware that the album belongs to the drummer? From the recordings of many great jazz drummers, we can see that it doesn’t always have to be like that. Quoting what Idang Rasjidi says, “What’s important is to play well. No need to overdo or show-off, and when drummers actually have the solo drum, they have to be able to ‘sing’ through the beat to fit the song.” To play well, to make good songs that can entertain the listeners. Isn’t that the most important thing? The young drummer Mahesa Santoso seems to root himself in it, as he embraces this philosophy in his newest solo album, “Mahesa meets Idang Rasjidi : iPlay.”
Perhaps you have ever heard the name of this boy who resides in Jogjakarta. We mentioned him when we reviewed his group Rekoneko’s debut album “Moonlight Dance” 3 years ago (http://jazzuality.com/album-reviews/rekoneko-band-moonlight-dance/). But in case you forget, let’s take a quick look of his resume. Mahesa has bagged many awards since 2003, that is when he was still 8 years old. The Best New Talent for Jazz Goes to Campus 2005, winning the first prize of Yamaha Student Competition: Solo Junior Local, First Winner of Drum competition Yamaha Student Contest 2007 in Surabaya, The Best Drum Senior II Gilang Ramadhan Studio Drummer 2008 (Cental Java and Yogyakarta) and The Best Drummer of Jazz Fusion Music Competition 2010 (Semarang) are just a few of his achievements. Since he was a kid he has played with many older jazz musicians to legends including Idang Rasjidi, Benny Mustafa, Luluk Purwanto and The Helsdingen Trio, A.S Mates and Andien. He is a certified drummer up to the Advanced III level, a jury in some competitions and now also as a drum instructor. It’s remarkable to see a teenage boy could already do so much in his musical career. He possesses more then enough skill to produce nice beat and rhythm. In his hands, drum feels alive. While many of the teenagers around his age still find it difficult to control their emotions, Mahesa can already do it. He knows when to play cool, soft, smooth, steady, subtle and when he can roar wild and ferocious with his equipment. Rising early will also give him benefit since he still has many-many years ahead to improve, upgrade and enhance himself. Don’t be surprised if we see him as one of the all-time greatest drummers of Indonesia and being noticed as the brilliant one in the world.
In this album he brings Idang Rasjidi not only as his ‘crime’ partner during the play, but also as a partner in composing and other creating process, he’s a music director and mentor. Mahesa met Idang for the first time when he won the Best New Talent for Jazz Goes to Campus 2005. From that moment, he met and played with him several times such as in Pekalongan at Idang Rasjidi’s workshop in 2007 and has been given a private workshop at home. Along with his family, he has visited Idang’s home in Bogor too.