Mostly Jazz XXIV: Indra Lesmana Quartet ft Margie Segers: The Report

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Just like the previous Sunday nights in 2011 Mostly Jazz was held at Red and White Lounge. Last weekend was the 24th edition presented by the Indonesian jazz maestro that we all know very well, Indra Lesmana along with his dear wife, Honhon Lesmana. Besides as the showcase of Indonesia’s jazz movement where we can find the top jazz players delivering their magical skills, this event is also used as a hangout place for them after doing their activities for a whole week. There have been many great ones have graced the event week after week. Right after Tompi‘s performance a week before and the surprising movement by gathering 81 jazz-related musicians of the nation on May 31, 2011, the Mostly Jazz XXIV edition brought a legend with such a golden voice to appear for the very first time along with the other pack of Indra Lesmana, the Indra Lesmana Quartet. We felt like being transported back in time by the special appearance of Margie Segers.

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Margie Segers has a frank and straight-forward character and really nice to talk to. Once you hear her sing, you will know that some people can just have the wonderful gift straight from heaven. She has a very excellent vocal quality, jazzy, soulful and bluesy by nature. Just like wine, Margie gets even better with age. And she’s historically related to the Lesmana family as well. Her talent was spotted by Indra’s father, the father of Indonesian jazz Jack Lesmana first of all and it was him who shaped her to be the living legend she is today.

[flickr id=”5814596632″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] Margie was actually started her career since the 60s. Before she went solo she had a band named “Soul Section” highlighting blues and rock. She even once sang together with her brother Jimmy taking on pop. Margie told us that the first time she encountered jazz was by a crew of TVRI, the state-owned television station that was also supported by Jack Lesmana fully. Eventhough she was a blues and rock singer, but it wasn’t really difficult for her to adapt because she believed blues and jazz are closely related. Still, her career wasn’t always smooth. In the early 70s jazz wasn’t that popular and not so many people liked it. But Margie didn’t give up. Having all the support from Lesmana family and other musicians who walked side by side in doing what they believed in, Margie worked her way bravely until she became the major force in the early jazz scene. Her spirit never fades away. She’s still active until now in the circuit. Highly respectable not only by her heavy vocal with soul that breathes jazz at every note but also by her undying spirit, courage and strength.

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[flickr id=”5814596830″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Exactly at 10 pm Indra Lesmana and Indra Aziz officially opened up the show by greeting everyone. Indra Lesmana then shared his music history. He had been introduced to jazz by his family since he was still 7 years old. As a boy wonder he had even composed his own songs titled “Terlena” with the lyrics written by his mother, Nien Lesmana. This song appeared in Indra Lesmana’s album released in 1978 titled “Ayahku Sahabatku” and also appeared in Margie Segers’ album, “Terpikat”. Indra also shared the memory of how his family’s house at Tebet was the only music hang-out place that opened for 24 hours at that time. The seeds of jazz was poured by Jack Lesmana into the recordings in the 70s, and by his collaboration with Bill Firmansyah of Hidayat Record, the first album was released under the label, featuring Margie Segers in her very first album “Semua Bisa Bilang” (1976). This move was soon followed by presenting Rien Djamain in her first album, “Api Asmara”. Since then, pop jazz albums started to blossom in the cassette stores in the 70s.

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Right after the opening, Indra Lesmana Quartet started to perform. This is a side project formed some times last year as a home for the personnels (with bassist Doni Sundjoyo, guitarist Yohanes Radianto and drummer Sandy Winarta) to unleash their musics. [flickr id=”5814594586″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] “So far we have no plan to do recordings, we just want to have fun in a jam session-like with this group”, said Doni Sundjoyo. Still, the Indra Lesmana Quartet managed to stun the audiences just like what they did at the JakJazz Cares last December. Their music flew beautifully and made everyone felt at ease.  Playing songs such as “Lady Bird”, “Makin’ Whoopee”, “A Very Thought of You” and closed their first round with “I Love You”.

Then Indra Lesmana welcomed Margie Segers on stage. It was absolutely a heartfelt scene to see them together in one stage. [flickr id=”5814025799″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”]We felt lucky to witness this. Eventhough they have known each other for so many years, still they hadn’t got the chance to collaborate as one team on stage ever. They did crossed path once long time ago when Indra performed at Jl Sabang, but it was just a short jam session. “I’ve been waiting for the moment to play with Indra at least once,” she said before the show, and finally the moment came. “On Green Dolphin Street” was the first song from them that loved dearly by the audiences, followed by “What a Difference a Day Made” answering the special request from Indra’s mother, Nien Lesmana. From there they carried on with “Almost Like Being in Love”, making this song as a joyful playing ground. Margie’s vocal hypnotized the audiences fully. She clearly showed everyone that her singing voice is still prime, or even better than ever. Margie also expressed her happiness by looking at how jazz can be accepted widely nowadays, not like at the time when she had just started her career. More than 40 years passed, but Margie Segers still has it all. How many singers could stand the time like her? It’s a blessing for her, and certainly it’s a blessing for us too that can still enjoy her thick, natural jazzin’ voice at present time. She also used the chance to thank Indra Lesmana for inviting her.

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The memorable Indra Lesmana Quartet and Margie Segers session continued on with “Body and Soul” and then closed with “Stormy Monday”. Indra was really into it. He enjoyed every notes he made through the piano, creating dynamic melodies in harmony with Margie Segers’ vocal. We saw Mrs Nien Lesmana really enjoyed her moment as well watching this collaboration playing her favorite songs. Big applauses came from the audiences when they reached the end. Then Indra Aziz took over the stage by opening the jam session. [flickr id=”5814026609″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] Many musicians involved in this part, including a very nice collaboration between Riza Arshad and Indra Lesmana among other participants. By the stunning fully spontaneous jam session, Mostly Jazz XXIV ended a couple of hours after midnight.

Once again Mostly Jazz has given one magic moment at Red and White Lounge. This time we were brought into a journey back in time. The movement wouldn’t be perfect without the support of seniors and legends, and by presenting the legends like Margie Segers, we all can learn on how to bring jazz in the most natural way, also how to have the courage, strength and spirit in overcoming the obstacles. Thank you Indra Lesmana, Honhon Lesmana, Margie Segers, the Quartet, Indra Aziz and all the participating musicians for making up another wonderful Sunday night. The next edition will feature another legend, the maestro of swingin’ guitar, Oele Pattiselano. He will appear in a size of five with Indra Lesmana, Indra Dauna, Sandy Winarta and Jeffrey Tahalele in a special theme of “Swings Rock”. Check out the complete info regarding this event here. What songs will they pin in swing? What kind of magic will appear by having Oele together with the team? Who will participate in the jam session? Get all the answers by attending the next one. Don’t miss it, see you there!

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Banyu
Photographer: Adityo Bayu Noto
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan

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