We always feel really happy when we see more and more jazz events being made, blossoming everywhere in Indonesia, and all over Asia in bigger scene. That’s always been one of our mission, to introduce jazz to all music lovers in diversity, making jazz becomes acceptable in many different layers of listeners. If before we only had KlabJazz’ Jazz Break Revival as a regular monthly event in Bandung, the capital of West Java, Indonesia, now we are excited to see there’s another monthly event appears in this beautiful city. It’s HALAMAN MONTHLY JAZZ. The fact that it’s held at the famous Cafe Halaman made us even happier. Delicious food, cozy environment, cool atmosphere goes along with jazz, and it’s free. Unbelievable isn’t it?
Cafe Halaman together with KlabJazz present the first edition of Halaman Monthly Jazz today, July 15, 2009. We know this is going to be a start for something big. It’s actually been 2 years in the making. There were two “Jazz Kemerdekaan” (“Independence Jazz”) to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence day. From every year, now it becomes every month. It wouldn’t be difficult to make it happen, because musicians used to hang out in Cafe Halaman whenever they come to Bandung. After a series of preparation made by the owner of Cafe Halaman, Lucky Suryo, ex KSP band and Dwi Cahya Yuniman, the coordinator of KlabJazz, finally here we have another monthly jazz event in a very nice cafe. As for a start, what a huge start it was. Look at the lineups. There’s a senior and legendary musician and entertainer Idang Rasjidi, the authentic Big Band of Indonesia, Salamander Big Band, the new sensation/the next Indonesian diva, Dira, and the young talent together with two senior musicians, David Manuhutu Trio (with Rudy Zulkarnaen and Ariefandi “Ari Aru”), plus Kemala Ayu, Imelda Rosalin and many more. all for free. “It’s like a dream come true..” said one of the audience who sat next to me.
The show started one hour late with the performance of David Manuhutu Trio. David Manuhutu is a young pianist, still 17 year old, but he has appeared in many stages, including the prestigous Axis Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2009. He got the DNA from his dad, a famous senior jazz guitarist Vence Manuhutu. This time he appeared together with two fully experienced jazz musician, Rudy Zulkarnaen and Ariefandi (Ari aru). David Manuhutu is a case of success regeneration of jazz musician in Indonesia, especially with the support of two seniors like Rudy and Ari. The show kicked off with a jazz standard composition “Bud Powell”, a song written by Chick Corea tributing a great jazz pianist from half century ago. Continued with “Flower”, the famous Duke Ellington piece “Caravan” and “Hurricane”.
Imelda Rosalin came on stage together with Rudy Zulkarnaen and Ariefandi once again. They have been playing together for many years, so it wasn’t difficult for them to find their chemistry. It was nice to see Imelda Rosalin trio bringing some great songs. They started with a delicious bossa “If You Never Come To Me” from Jobim‘s songbook. Followed by Mary Coughlan’s “Ballad of The Sad Young Man”, a song that talked about a lonely guy who spend his life alone. Imelda took Bob Marley‘s masterpiece “Waiting In Vain” and switched it to jazz, and closed her session with the evergreen “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” , a jazz standard written by Duke Ellington and Bob Russell. Many famous artists have brought this one including Nat King Cole, Louis Armstrong, Billy Holiday, Tony Bennett, Robbie Williams and many more. Imelda and friends brought the song into their horizon and executed the song really well.
After the break, Salamander Big Band took the stage. As I always said before, for me Salamander Big Band is the window of time travel back in time to see how jazz was when it was still a new born baby. Seing the history of jazz when it became popular all over the world with growing ensembles on stage, producing majestic sound in harmony through tens of instruments sounding together. Salamander Big Band is one of the rare authentic swingin’ big band just like how it was before in its glorious years. Name the years of Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and many other swing legends, we can have those great moments back again through the amazing Salamander Big Band, that dare to go against all odds delivering one of the most classic genre of jazz into the modern age of Indonesian music scene, where the trend is actually against them. Bringing the standard 23 piece big band, all those heavy lineups of brass sections, rhythm sections and vocalists plus the conductor Devy Ferdianto filled up the small stage to the max. Salamander Big Band opened their session with “A Few Good Man”, a song written by Gordon Goodwin. Salamander continued with George and Ira Gershwin‘s classic “How Long Has This Been Going On” with the amazing blind singer Nenden Shintawati. The third song was the jazz standard from 1956,“Too Close For Comfort”. We know “Too Close For Comfort” was brought famous with many great artists from time to time. Name the memorable duet of Madame Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Williams, again famous through Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Dianne Reeves also Jamie Cullum. This song was carried still by Nenden on vocal. Gail Satiawaki replaced Nenden in front of the mike and sang the bluesy swing “Let The Good Times Roll” that was brought famous by Ray Charles and also B.B King. Salamander Big Band ended their performance with the delicious samba song, “Samba del Gringo”. An unbelievable young kid named Adia took the percussion part for this song. Adia is still 14 year old. He started to learn since he was still in the 3rd grade of elementary school with the great percussionist Adjierao, and still learning with him until now.
Dira J Sugandi surprised everyone when she sang together with Jason Mraz at the previous Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2009. She continued to surpirse many music lovers when she became one of the star in Urban Jazz Crossover 5 city tour several months ago. She’s blessed with strong soulful voice, the voice that attracted Bluey of Incognito, and brought her into many concerts of Incognito, as well as becoming the producer of her upcoming debut album. She’s undoubtedly the next Indonesian diva. She came on stage to make a spontaneous performance together with a great pianist, Rio Moreno, formerly the pianist of Cherokee band who is also teaching at Farabi Music School. Together they delivered the evergreen “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” in a chilly lounge style. The next song was another all time jazz standard, “My Funny Valentine”. Again the nice loungish nuance with heavy soulful voice served well from the stage to the audience.
The last band performing tonight was Idang Rasjidi and his band. Talking about Idang Rasjidi means talking about a special natural talent, consistency, endless commitment and effort towards jazz, also the real soul of entertainer. Those are the keys that always come up to my mind whenever I hear someone mention his name. The lovely tune of piano become alive through his touch. So many jazz stages have been graced by one of the truly living legend Indonesia ever has, and he is still going to do so for many years to come. Besides being a really fine musician, he’s also known as a true entertainer. He has a gift with his voice that can mimick many instruments like trombone, trumpet even series of percussions. I can simply say that wherever there is Idang, there is also quality and magic.
It was lovely to see him performing live at Cafe Halaman as usual. This time Idang brought his own sons, Shadu Rasjidi (Shadu Shah Chaidar) that now emerges as a great bassist, and Shaku Rasjidi (full name: Qadra Shaku Chaidar) on percussions. On drums there was Eddy Syahroni. They opened their performance with Idang’s original song called “The Blues”. The senior singer, Kemala Ayu came on stage. Kemala Ayu was famous back in the 80’s with a band called Black Fantasy. It was cool to see her again tonight. Kemala Ayu sang Cindy Lauper‘s “Time After Time”, with her famous deep and heavy vocal just like how it was before. Then two songs of The Beatles came. “Norwegian Wood” and “You Never Leave Me Love” twisted in a fresh improvised version. Kemala Ayu was a show stealer with her expressive performance. Idang Rasjidi and the band gave a full improvisation in every songs too. Then came the jazz standard “Fever” in a really interesting version. Billie Holiday’s masterpiece ballad “You Don’t Know What Love Is” appeared smoothly, followed by another timeless jazz song “The Nearness Of You”. The famous “Route 66” came next, still with full improvisation and lips scatting all over. An additional trumpeter, Brury Effendi from Salamander Big Band supporting on stage. All of a sudden this song became a playing field for many musicians in a really cool piano jam session. It was interesting to see how they prepared different layers for different pianists, setting the pattern to match each pianist’s favorite style. First Imelda Rosalin came in standard jazz style, then when Rio Moreno came replacing Imelda, the layer switched to samba/latin, the field Rio always love to play in. Imam Pras, who was there among the crowds was spotted, then got called to the stage, and the style went into a bluesy session. The young David Manuhutu took over the keyboard next. Idang Rasjidi showed why he is one of the best entertainer we have in Indonesia tonight. He single-handedly led the band, the jam session, controlling all the changing paces, rhythms, patterns and everything else. What a way to close the event.
Again, it was a great start for something big. This is the first event that will keep coming every month. Well done show, great performance from all musicians enjoyed by many people while having nice candlelight dinner with friends and family. We sincerely congratulate Cafe Halaman and KlabJzz for making this lovely event, and thank you very much for making it free! We wish you all the best. Can’t wait to see you again next month!
See more pictures:
[flickrset id=”72157621221230421″ thumbnail=”square”]