Javana Jazz Bistro (Premiere Edition) : The Report

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Paris van Java, the most happening shopping centre in Bandung went jazzy last Sunday, June 14, 2015. Right at the last weekend before the fasting month of Ramadhan, Javana Bistro and us, Jazzuality.com held the premiere of JAVANA JAZZ BISTRO, an event sponsored by MLD Spot that intends to announce and welcome jazz as an integrated part of this trendy Indo-Western eatery. To make it work, we invited wo groups with strong characters and awesome skills. Plus, we provide open mic and jam session. We thought, how cool it would be if musicians could jam in Paris van Java. Don’t you think so? Well, it’d definitely make a strong statement that both parties are serious of bringing jazz accessible here in the ground floor of Paris van Java.

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The first one performing was an all ladies jazz band, Jazzy Juice. Dyah Sekar on piano, Adisty Zulkarnaen on drums and Arnie Christanty on bass, Only three in numbers, but these girls are more than able to bring a party in well-arranged flow. “Night in Tunisia” gave a strong introduction of this event.  They quickly switched to Jobim’s “One Note Samba”. Jokes, cheerful smile and showcase of skills were shown by these three ladies.

We already saw their potential since they were formed in 2012. Why not? Three cute, stylish and trendy girls with more than enough skill. Good chemistry and strong teamwork. They are fun to watch and nice to listen to. What else would one need? But interestingly, these girls aren’t easy to satisfy. They keep improving, expanding and growing. Now, three years later, they are better than ever. They already have original songs, single, and already found the exact character needed in live appearance. They have reached Malaysia and look forward to land on many other soils abroad.

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They added more flames on the next songs. It was Adisty’s turn to sing, and surprisingly she took Van Halen’s “Jump”, twisted in vintage jazz style with a little folkish touch by Dyah. They even included some nursery rhymes inside. Then some of the guests demanded Arnie to sing. She chose today’s hit from Ed Sheeran, “Think Out Loud” . Due to our request, they played their original single that we think is their masterpiece so far. The song’s called “Pohaci” (Goddess of Beauty). This Sundanese-coated song is dynamic, not easy to play and somehow mystical and mysterious. “Aqua de Beber” brought everyone back to the joyful mood, and for the last song, they played the medley of their original song “Happy Selalu” and “Blue Rondo ala Turk”.

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We mentioned them as the Jazzy Charlie’s Angels not for nothing. These girls are sweet and trendy, but when they are in action, they can flip you upside down. It was again a very fun session with them. Everybody happy, not only the audience and they should too.

After the ladies done their thing, the crazy gang of lads took over the center point of the Javana Bistro’s outdoor side. This second show belong to a man who stands above genre, from reggae, jazz, blues, pop, folk, indie and so on. He’s famous with his hit, a funny song “Sumitro Rojali” released in 2011 but is still played here and there until today. And now, he’s just released a new album titled “Uye is Back”. The single “Mana Kopinya” (“Where is the Coffee”) is doing very well in top radio stations and gains popularity more and more. He is Erwin Saz, a very cool entertainer, multi instrumentalist and natural artist.

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What a joy to be able to have him along with heavy artillery, an all-star cast for this first installment. Along with him were great musicians who share the same perspective in playing music: the one and only Nissan Fortz, a guitar genius who’s known as one of the blues movement frontmen in Bandung, also half of the famous Sarah N Soul, one of The Trias and currently busy establishing his solo career. Then Dede, a rockin’ bassist most likely will be there too and Dani Irjayana, the drummer of Tesla Manaf ft Mahagotra Ganesha among others. With a players like this, only God knows what could happen. Yes, just like our prediction, Erwin Saz and the gang made their show like a joyride in a theme park. Many guest stars involved in his session which pretty much opened for everyone to join in. Spontaneous twists with lots of surprises, some cool manouvers in a split second, unpredictable, and great, great fun.

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How generous for them to perform not only one but two hours straight! All the way until near midnight, Erwin Saz and friends delivered lively crossover, borderless music where sky is the limit. Imagine, the attendance which varied from jazz lovers, the guests of the bistro and mall-goers who then chose to join us could enjoy mixture of genres, from reggae, rock, blues, jazz, folk, pop and everything else in between. Even ethnics when these mad guys felt like it.

Erwin Saz led Nissan, Dede and Dani to sing Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain”.  Erwin sang and played trumpet in this one. Right from this first song, we could already feel their incredible spontaneity. He carried on with his own song, “Cuma  Teman Biasa”.

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As the size of the crowds grew more, Erwin Saz then delivered his big hit, “Sumitro Rojali”. Joining them on stage was Fearman, the vocalist and founder of Poinkustik. This is cool, since Fearman used to sing this song in his gigs, even recorded it, posted it in Youtube and showed it to Erwin. Now they sang together which also started the jam session right at Erwin Saz’ session.

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What’s cool is that Sarah Saputri was there too and ready to jam. Erwin called her and quickly we got Sarah N Soul in front. Two third of Jazzy Juice, Dyah Sekar and Arnie Christanti were back again in action. They chose Eddie Brickell’s classic, “Good Times”. If you think they just sang it plain, you’re absolutely wrong, because they actually used this song as an even bigger playground. Imagine, in the middle they made a Sundanese twist which lead to a traditional song, “Cingcangkeling”. Sarah showed she’s an excellent blues harp player also amazing singer too. It was a blast, the applause were above the roof.

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Erwin kept the intensity by playing his new hit single, “Mana Kopinya” which began with dynamic guitar collaboration between Erwin and Nissan. “Love Me Do”, a song from Erwin’s “Uye is Back” album once again reflected this man’s free spirit in writing and composing. No specific genre, we even got the traditional keroncong style in the middle.

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Singing multi instrumentalist Felix Andre replaced Dani on drums for Benyamin S’ “Nonton Bioskop”. Then they embraced Jimi Hendrix’ gem “Little Wing” in deep blues tone. An ageless Johnny Nash song which is popularized again by Jimmy Cliff one decade later titled “I Can See Clearly Now” was the next song. Felix now served as a singer along with Erwin.

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A guitarst with character, Izky Mudza was in front with Nissan, Dede and Dani. John Mayer’s “Gravitiy” felt so much alive from him. For the last song, Sarah and Arnie were brought in again, and they sealed the whole show with The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Oh yeah, Arnie sang again in this song.

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No plan, no rehearse, just flowing down the river of notes freely. Erwin Saz and friends were generous enough to add extra one hour for this event. Erwin Saz is indeed a true artist and entertainer.  Tonight he played trumpet, guitar, harp and sing. Nissan Fortz is a guitar wiz since he brings magic by using guitar as his magic wand. Dani and Dede were solid in providing the rhythm. The special appearance of Sarah Saputri added more vibrant colors into this edition. Huge applause and loud cheers from pretty number of audience were given to these music wizards many times. So many passers-by stopped to watch these mad boys. For us it’s a joyful scene. We are happy to be able to bring jazz to Paris van Java, and proud to have Javana Bistro as our partner in crime.

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As a pilot project of the availability of jazz regularly at the Javana Bistro, we believe we nailed it. Two featured bands were fun-tastic, they all are master in doing their thing. Jam session was taken by many participants The flame was on and well kept up until the end. We are happy and satisfied with the result, we hope Javana Bistro and MLD Spot as the sponsor too. If this event continues to run, we are going to bring more amazing jazz bands in rich variety. But if it’s not, let’s say that we’ve tried to bring jazz into this happening mall, and it suits perfectly with the atmosphere and surroundings. Thanks to all the performers for painting a vibrant jazz colors tonight, thanks to the guests who came. Hope to see and jazz with you again.

See more pictures:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan

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