Here comes our last report for the second day by reporting some of the last stages which played late. Enough said about this band. We mean, if you talking about Indonesiaís blues band, who else are you looking for? Gugun Blues Shelter always comes up in our mind first. A band that consists of Muhammad ‘Gugun’ Gunawan (vocal/guitar), John Armstrong (bass), and Aditya ‘Bowie’ Wibowo (drummer). have played internationally in few festivals such as in England, Skegness Rock and Blues Festival, in Timbre Rock and Roots Festival in Singapore also Shanghai World Expo in China.
In 2011, they even won a band competition which brought them to London, England and played on stage along with world notable rock band, Bon Jovi.
Representing the blasting rockin’ high blues line with unstoppable funk, Gugun Blues Shelter burned their stage in this festival as always. If hearing them play is already great, this time they brought the game higher by featuring rhodes player Tony Monaco and the funk/soul man Robert Randolph. Marvelous and fire burning show it was, where we got more vibrant colors by still listening to the soul of Gugun Blues Shelter.
Having a band who has reached the international scale like them will always be a pride for us, and certainly they should perform in the world-class festival like this, especially when it’s held in our own soil.
Talked about the late Barry White, this legend of romantic soul has enchanted us with the sexy image from his unique bass voice during his long career as singer-composer and a songwriter. Many 70’s audience considered White as a disco-singer in that era, with the massive hits such as “You”re The First, The Last, My Everything” and “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love” among so many other hits.
He won 2 Grammys and lines of gold to platinum album and singles, Barry White also formed Motown-like girl groups “The Love Unlimited” and later in 1972 with some hits including “I’m So Glad That I’m a Woman” and “I Belong to You”. Then we also have to mention his classic “The Love Unlimited Orchestra” with the everlasting instrumental composition” Love”s Theme”, which set a record as a first instrumental recording reached the #1 on Billboard Pop Charts. The way he used the orchestra in bringing ‘feel-good’, sexy, seductive melodies to fit the disco/funk music which was in at that time. He still carried on many years later until his last day in 2003. He’s truly a legend, and absolutely one of the legends to be remembered. In this year’s festival, we might not have Barry White himself as he already left us his music legacy. But other performers will sing his hits in a full-length performances, The Barry White show courtesy of Pleasure Unlimited Orchestra.
Let’s take a look at the Pleasure Unlimited Orchestra. The multi instrumentalist/talent (drummer, keyboardist, vocalist, producer, director and composer) James Simpson is the founder of it. He’s been in the business for over 25 years and built the orchestra in 2008. What he and the whole gang intended to do is to reproduce the sound and high standard of live Soul, R&B, Funk, Pop and Jazz music as it was in the 60s, 70s and 80s, or if you want to put it simple, to bring back great musicians playing ‘real music’ just like the old times. One of the famous products of this orchestra is Barry White Show, where they brought the silky smooth voice vocalist Sire interprets and pays tribute to Barry White.
Anyone who was born between 1970 to 1980 would remember Barry White’s hits. So this show brought all those memories when Barry’s romantic, soulful and fully melodious songs ruled the music scene. Right after “Never Gonna Give You Up”, they continued on with many other hits such as “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”, “You’re the First, the Last, My Everything” and Just the Way You Are”. “There were many people sang along and even dance in the disco-fashioned way during this show. James Simpson’s Pleasure Unlimited Orchestra and Sire were really great in bringing Mr White back alive. “It’s like as if I’m watching Barry White himself on stage..right guys?” one of the audience said to his friends which got approved instantly. Tribute to Barry White can’t be better than this. James Simpson and his orchestra did a marvelous job tonight. Again, a very lovely show that we will remember for a long time.
Six Japanese musicians gather at A1 BNI Hall stage in an outfit with a mission presenting pulse live act in Soil & “Pimp” Sessions that includes Shacho (spirit, agitator), Tabu Zombie (trumpet), Motoharu (sax), Josel (piano), Akita Goldman (bass) and Midoryn (drums). It is a pleasure to see their second shot to play in Java Jazz Festival 2012 after their first strike to Indonesia on the previous year of 2009. As a matter of fact that they are electro jazz players but they define themselves as deathjazz possesor due to the detail that their music always anesthetizes the crowd. They carry out jazz with bebop and hardbop inside, with lively trumpet sound, free exploration in the spirit of punk that also attached. Furthermore, they are rebellious as their attitude. As you can see an agitator added in the group by catching sight to Shacho’s role in doing the primary mantle as the spectator stimulator by messing around both part of emotion.
Moved to Outdoor stage 2. “No other bassist in Indonesia can present funk music in the groovy way Yance Manusama does.” This line was written in the official Java Jazz Festival’s magazine “Music”, 2010 edition. The writer wasn’t exaggerating at all, because this man can make you get into the groove in no time once he touches his bass. For this edition of Java Jazz Festival Yance was quite busy. Not only playing as Trioscapes with Riza Arshad and Aksan Sjuman, he also played under his own group, the Funky Thumb.
This is the group where he can unleash his tasty and strong flavor of funk freely. If you are a long time jazz fans in Indonesia, you should remember when this group appeared often around 2004 to 2007 with quite large formation. They played at the first ever Java Jazz Festival in 2005 and a charity show for the Aceh tsunami victims called “Jazz Untuk Aceh” (Jazz For Aceh). At this special show, Yance Manusama brought a full lineup including Glen Dauna (piano), Rayendra Sunito (drums), Lian Panggabean (guitar) plus the brass section featuring Arief Setiadi (tenor sax), Dony Koeswinarno (alto sax) and Kevin Walsh (trumpet) plus Tompi on vocal. After being on hiatus for some years, suddenly we got them back again on March 2011 as the featured star of Mostly Jazz XII. Again the group appeared at the newest form of Mostly Jazz, the Red White Jazz Lounge as one of the artists for November 2011 program.
It’s about time for Yance Manusama’s Funky Thumb to reappeared on the stage of Java Jazz Festival where Yance delivered a cool funkylines over his bass with his thumb. Joining him on stage were the complete team including Tompi and Simon also featuring Najwa Mahiaddin (usually called just by Najwa), a strong soulful singer from Malaysia. Najwa is one of the shining young female vocalists in Malaysia. Once in our interview with Atilia four years ago, she mentioned Najwa together with Kokokaina and Noryn Aziz as young talents who have developed a style all their own. (Read the interview here). Najwa’s appearance as a featuring artist in this session continued their fruitful collaboration after Yance’s involvement in Najwa’s album “Innocent Soul” produced by Widi Puradiredja. It was a delightful show where we could taste the funky beat brought by the man with the magic thumb, Yance Manusama.
Now let’s have some groove with Soulvibe, a groove pop jazz band from Indonesia which formed oficially in 2003 after having several personnel changes. They released debut album in 2008 by pouring message of love, mainly for young listeners. Seven guys who really delivered the energy and vitality into their musical instruments, already have number of lovers, particularly since their second album “Antartika” that has a very popular single with the same name. Fresh electro jazz is more prominent in the second one.
If you love the catchy melodious groove, this group is one of those that you have to listen to. This popular band consists of Bayu Adi and Rizqi Ranadireksa (Abenk) (vocal), Ramadhan Handyanto Jiwatama (bass), Adhika Satya Winasis (guitar), Mohamad Caesar Rizal (drums/percussions), Adrianto Ario Seto (synth) and Frans Martatko Filman (keys). They love to bring the dancing tune from the stage but other than that they can also bring some unique concept, just like the way they did in last year’s Soulnation when they collaborated with DYZTRK in adding up some 8bit ‘chiptunes’ under the name of VIBETRONIK. It was really unique, as if we were listening to Soulvibe inside the Gameboy. (Read our coverage from that moment here). So musically speaking, they are not just great in making people dance but they are also smart in ideas.
For their landing on this year’s Java Jazz Festival’s soil, they brought their well known songs taken from the whole three albums such as” Masih”, “Tiada Kusangka”, “Adinda”, “Berlian”, “Dan Bila”, “Dilema”, “At Least Today”, “Sya La La”, “Arti Hadirmu”, “Your Smile”, “Biarlah” and one encore, “Antartika”.
This is the end of our report from day 2 of the Java Jazz Festival 2012. So far this year’s edition has brought so many highlights until we lost count. Stay tuned for our last day report from stage to stage here at Jazzuality.com!
See more pictures:
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Team on duty:
Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Ata Michaella, Mellysa Anastasya, Ghea Sagita, Bintang S Tania, Fardhani Ramadhana, Daniel Irawan, Vierna Mariska, Muhammad Fadhly
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana, I Putu Surya KB, Praditya Nova, Dwi Ratri Utomo, Febrian Dirga