What a showdown of talents. The team of Tesla Manaf and Gerald Situmorang Trio finally nailed their album showcase called “Duality” in two cities. Last Monday, September 8th, 2014 they successfully hit Indro Hardjodikoro’s Jazz Spot at Rolling Stone Cafe, Jakarta. Before they visit UPH Jakarta next week, on the beautiful but cold night of September 12, 2014 Bandung got the chance to enjoy the package of these two brilliant young guitarists.
As we know, Tesla Manaf and Gerald Situmorang are young guitarists who have fought for their music since many years ago from one stage to another. The appealing point of this show was how two distinct styles and concepts of music could be cohered and blended harmoniously in one single concert. The collaboration of creating this concert occured since they both need to promote their new album, which, coincidentally or not, is being realeased during close period of time. Gerald and Tesla is around the same age, they have the same passion in music by playing the same instruments. Eventhough they are based in different cities, both of these guitarists have made big impact in Indonesia’s jazz scene. They gave a strong statement that a calling is worth fighting for. Look at how these boys struggle in their early career. But then, look where they are standing now, while they are still considerably that young. It surprised us when they announced this collaborative event, but it does make sense and should happen sooner or later.
What Gerald brought into this event is his trio, simply called Gerald Situmorang Trio which has just released an album entitled “Time is the Answer”. Gerald started the show with him alone playing a sentimental composition “Natural Thinker”. This composition brought out the sensitive side of us. Actually, Lawang Wangi is a cafe and art space that located in Bandung’s high land. Since the event was set outdoor, a very beautiful scenery of sparkling Bandung’s city lights was the background that naturally made a perfect harmony with the music, especially in night hours.
Before we carry on with this report, let’s take a closer look at Gerald Situmorang first. This man is skillful as a guitarist, great in composing and also ‘restless’, in terms of never stop producing something. He’s been active with variety of bands where each of them has different concept. BAG Trio came out at the first time as a jazz band, then they added more flavor and changed the name into BAG+BEAT with more team-mates and urban sound. He also shaped Hemiola Quartet and of course, his probably most famous band to date, Sketsa. It was born nine years ago, mainly as a guitar-duo concept (that stays until today), a showdown between him and Dimas Wibisana. However since they always love to place more sounds and wish to avoid stagnation, Sketsa’s formation is made flexible. They can appear as a trio, quartet or even bigger with vocals, violin, contrabass, percussion, clarinet and accordion.
Back to the concert, the second song was “P & L”. He called his team mates to play with, bassist Ankadiov Subran and a drummer Jessilardus Mates. They came out and brought a fun medium to fast beat. Jessilardus Mates was the spotlight on the third song, “Keeps Coming Back”. The syncopative drum beating, the long-duration solo run and cool dynamics made him gain applauses from the crowds. Gerald and Ankadiov gave him comfortable space to show off his ability. The next song was called “Debu” which allowed Ankadiov to set his bomb. Gerald played a pretty catchy melodious jazzy tune in it. “This song is a reminder that we’re all formed of dust, so arrogance should have no place in us.” Gerald said in explaining this song. This reflective song relaxed our minds.