Pergelaran Tunggal JAVAJAZZ (JAVAJAZZ Solo Concert) : The Report
13.12.2009 11:47 PM
For some of the young generation, the name "JavaJazz" might be associated to one of the biggest annual jazz festival held in Indonesia. But make no mistake, as for most of adult jazz lovers, "JavaJazz" is also referred to a such phenomenal group that has a certain place in Indonesian jazz historical timeline. JavaJazz is one of the most important milestone in our music history, so important that even when they were in silence for 11 straight year, the jazz lovers still talk about this group, and wished they would return once again. That wish now has came true. Many were surprised to hear the news several months ago about the resurrection of JavaJazz. And this concert quenched the thirst of jazz lovers. It was amazing to see JavaJazz gave a very strong performance to mark their return. It was a dream come true.
JavaJazz has always been known as a group where the maestros teamed up in harmony. With these extraordinary talents plugged inside a group, we could know that the result would be fantastic, and thatís the fact. The formation might change, but the quality stays on. The spirit of JavaJazz will never dissapeared, even when they were inactive for such a long time.
JavaJazz went dissapeared from the jazz scene when the saxophonist, the late Embong Rahardjo passed away. The group might have felt a massive loss and decided to put JavaJazz to sleep. We could understand the decision as Embong Rahardjo, one of the spirit of JavaJazz was irreplacable. But after 11 years, somehow JavaJazz found its way to deal with it, gloriously. The rest of the group didnít bring a new saxophonist in, but instead they combined the guitarist from first and second formation together. Donny Suhendra (first formation) and Dewa Budjana (second formation) now joined forces in a delightful new concept without changing the spirit of JavaJazz. As Embongís saxophone was influential in both of their previous albums a decade ago (1994ís "Bulan di Asia" and 1998ís "Sabda Prana"), some people wondered how the music would turn out to be without the saxophone. The concert gave the answer, and weíd say it was surprisingly great. The most recent lineup of JavaJazz now are: Indra Lesmana (keyboard), Gilang Ramadhan (drums), AS Mates (bass), Donny Suhendra (electric guitar) and Dewa Budjana (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo). What a strong composition. With this formation, JavaJazz is alive again and ready to continue their journey in the music world.
We arrived at 5:00 PM at Graha Bhakti Budaya, Taman Ismail Marzuki, and did the media registration right away. We could hear JavaJazz doing sound check while registering, we knew we would have an amazing concert really soon. The press conference started at 6:30 PM, and all the personnels got many questions from all the reporters. Indra Lesmana explained that it took 6 months for them to prepare this concert, while entering the studio to make the new album, the now-released "Joy Joy Joy" at the same time. Indra also stated that their tight schedules as musicians has became a problem as well. For all the personnels, this would be a very special moment for all JavaJazz fans and the fusion jazz lovers. "All these times we have received many emails from the fans that always been very supportive." Indra said. "We hope we can keep our existence and keep our passion and love in music. We all really miss Embong, but we are sure his spirit will always be here." Indra continued. They also introduced the new album, "Joy Joy Joy", the album with the new concept in different color.
At 8:00 PM the concert hall was opened. The hall was very big including the balcony. I guess there were at least 500 seats inside. The stage was big and wide, with cool lightings attached all over the stage. Half an hour later the show was finally started. The light went off, the crowds popped and cheered. JavaJazz started their show with the first song, "Drama" , a song written in 1991 and was included in Sabda Prana album 7 years later. All the audiences enjoyed it, they moved their head following the steady beat of the song. The next one was taken from the new album, "Joy Joy Joy". It was "Exit Permit" followed by "Lembah". "We are all married, so itís always kind of hard for us to ask the permission from our wives to rehearse, thatís why the song called "Exit Permit", Indra joked about the title. As the brand new album called "Joy Joy Joy", Indra asked the audiences to put joyful face during the concert.
After a brief intermezzo, JavaJazz continued with "The Seeker", "I Wish" "Crystal Sky" and. Unlike the first three energetic songs, We felt relaxed to hear the softer side of JavaJazz that were shown through these three songs. The concert continued with "The Border", then the great "Bulan Di Atas Asia" and "Violation". The title track of the most recent album, "Joy Joy Joy" was played to wrap up the concert. My favorite were "Bulan Di Atas Asia" and "Joy Joy Joy", both of the songs were felt cheerful and playful. In the end, everybody gave a standing ovations, something that they really deserved.
What a flawless concert. We could really see the difference when the maestros teamed up together showing their skills in perfect chemistry with each other. The expectation were paid fully, even more, since for the fanatic fans of JavaJazz and all the audiences attended the concert, it was really an unforgettable one. Back to the duo guitarists concept, at first we thought one of the guitarist would replace Embongís saxophone role. But apparently it wasnít like that at all. Surprisingly Donny and Budjana blended together, in unisound, and that was amazing. We experienced the new color of JavaJazz, and it was marvelous. Congratulation to JavaJazz for the return, we hope that this formation will last for a long time to come. Our jazz world really needs you all. Once again, it was a flawless and perfect concert! Bravo! Donít forget to see another performance of JavaJazz at UGM (Gadjah Mada University) Jazz 2009 in Jogjakarta next Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Be there and experience the best of fusion through the high skilled performance of 5 maestros.