Recorded during the simakDialog's first USA tour in 2013 at Orion Studios in Baltimore. On this double album of almost 2hrs of music, the Indonesian band offers up their own brand of inspired and spirited music of extreme integrity which listens as much as it speaks.
Leader, composer and (Fender) Rhodes scholar, Riza Arshad, possesses one of the most capable sets of hands ever to grace a Fender Rhodes. His manipulation of this classic keyboard, whose warm and slightly rounded metallic voice has helped define modern jazz, brings out the very best it has to offer as he charts out new territories of sound. Arshad’s wonderfully sophisticated compositions form the perfect armature for the musicians to flesh out the sound in a very organic way that compels the listener to deeply take it all in. Tohpati’s guitar work is the perfect dancing partner to Arshad’s keys as he can lead or follow depending on the needs of each composition. His subtle atmospherics bring to mind David Torn, Terje Rypdal and Nels Cline, while his leadwork can possess both the fluidity of Holdsworth and the aggressiveness of Jeff Beck. Though there is no shortage of acrobatic axe-wielding on “Live at Orion”, Tohpati’s democratic interplay with Riza’s gorgeous Rhodes is the real star here – creating a powerful synergy that gives voice to the whole of the music over its parts. The rhythm section of Endang Ramdan and Erlan Suwardana, each on Sudanese kendang percussion, along with Cucu Kurnia on assorted metal percussion and the understated and convincing “Bitches Brew” funk groove of bassist Rudy Zulkarnaen, creates a formidable foundation of one of the most original and innovative progressive electric jazz artists today. NYC based Uruguayan guitarist Beledo is guesting on the closing tune of the album.
International debut of Tesla Manaf’s, the young and gifted Indonesian guitarist from the city of Bandung, who delivers his main goal as a musician – “to convert spoken words into notes”. Two al;bums on one cd: "A Man's Relationship with His Fragile Area" (2014) and "It's All Yours" (2011)
Tesla Manaf’s guitar work pairs the string texture and physicality of Andres Segovia and Django Reinhardt, with the phrasing and pacing of Ralph Towner and Pat Metheny, through to the present compositional ebbs and flows of Mary Halvorson and Gilad Hekselman. Mind you, these are merely scrap-book points of reference — the end result is extremely original, fresh and inspiring. There is at work here a youthful and enthusiastic sense of risk-taking which is most revealing and rewarding listen after listen.His unique approach to modern composition assures that you won’t necessarily find the traditional song elements of verse, chorus, solo, bridge or refrain and, if you do, they very likely will not occupy the accepted position or possess the interrelationship you have come to expect. This “turning on its head” approach to composition, along with each player’s technique and choice of instrument tone color, gives great impact to the experience of listening deeply to each track. "A Man's Relationship with His Fragile Area" (his last album recorded in 2014 - first 8 compositions on the CD) is all about movement – you find yourself taking the journey with Tesla Manaf(guitar), Hadis ‘Hulhul’ Hendarisman(clarinet, tarompet pencak, Indonesian flute), Rudy Zulkarnaen (upright bass) and Desal Sembada(drums). Your route is paved with gorgeous arpeggiated guitar lines intertwined with sinuous dancing clarinet and fueled by subtle yet insistent basslines with the most delicate use of drumkit. Midstream reflection of this musical experience is granted through the equally composed use of silence and pause. The effortless performance of these idiosyncratic songs belies their complexity. The second half of this cd includes Tesla’s earlier album “It’s All Yours” (recorded in 2011)featuring the Balinese ensemble Mahagotra Ganesha. Tesla’s guitar work on this recording possesses the playful melodicism of King Sunny Ade and is perfectly complemented by the resonant metallic voices of the Mahagotra Ganesha ensemble’s Gamelan, Gangsa, Ceng Ceng, Kantil, Gong and Kemplug.
CHECK OTHER RELEASES OF INDONESIAN ARTISTS ON MOONJUNE RECORDS:
simakDIALOG, TOHPATI, I KNOW YOU WELL MISS CLARA, LIGRO, DEWA BUDJANA.