Yes, it’s been a while since we posted a VotW, but then we won’t post anything shot on a handheld smart phone. Thankfully, iCan Studio offers professional services.

Elfa Z., of the Jongers Quartet and Tuslah, and numerous other gigs and sessions, has given a new slant to the first classic Indonesian jazz track.

IndoJazzia looks forward to the expected album.

Riza is remembered with affection, as a modest and unfailingly courteous man. Yet he had a drive as a musician, and was ever willing to explore and develop his music, whether following his muse …

or mentoring the next generation …

Like many of his generation of Indonesian musicians, Riza had a grounding in classical music, but under the influence of his elder brother Luke he soon gravitated to British prog-rock (Yes, ELP, Genesis etc.) In 1978, when he was just 15, Riza joined his brother in forming an art-rock group, Rara Ragadi, which recorded one album, released in 1979.

Ragadi – Lost Zen

Luke then moved to the US to pursue his studies and Riza enrolled in the art department of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and joined the jazz community there. From 1983 to December 1989, Riza studied jazz techniques with tutors, the most notable of whom were Jack Lesmana and his son Indra. (video)

Riza released a solo album in 1992 and formed his first band, Dialogue, with “long time cohorts” drummer Arie Ayunir and guitarist Dewa Budjana. A change in personnel, brought a change in name to simakDialog (meaning ‘listen to the conversation’). Arie remained on drums, Tohpati replaced Dewa B. and Indro Hardjodikoro was on bass.

After the sD Sampler Tape circulated in 1995, the more polished album, Lukisan, was issued in 1996. Pat Metheny had played in Jakarta in 1995, and the album showed his obvious influence, as did Baur, the follow up released in 1999.

By the time of sD’s third album, Trance Mission, released in 2002, the regular drum set up had been replaced with Sunda percussion, and Riza’s path was set. As he said in 2009, “playing in an entirely western mode is no longer a challenge to me  which is why I like to have a specific sound and colour in my music.”

Subsequent sD albums have reached audiences outside Indonesia through MoonJune Records, the boutique label curated by Leonardo Pavkovic in New York. He has released albums by Tohpati, Dewa Budjana, Dwiki Darmawan, I Know You Well Miss Clara, and Tesla Manaf, with more in the pipeline, and Leonardo acknowledges the role played by Riza who realised his “dream of making Indonesian music widely heard everywhere in the globe.”

Riza had a parallel career producing albums for other musicians; however this compilation tracks his own twenty or so years of music making.

Tracks
1996. simakDialog – Perjalanan Pulang
2000. Riza Arshad & Oele Pattiselano – 1st Talk
2002. simakDialog – Finding The Path
2007. Ubiet (Nyak Ina Raseuki) – Keroncong Tenggara
2009. Trioscapes – Get Ready (live)
2012. W/H/A/T – Say WHAT
2013. simakDialog – For Once And Never
2014. Riza Arshad & Robert MR – Seminal Distinction

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Riza Arshad. Born 2nd November 1963 – Died 13th January 2017

It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing today of Riza Arshad, keyboardist extraordinaire, at the early age of 53.

I first heard his name in 1995 when a student of mine learning English told me that she was learning jazz piano from Riza. We later met on 22nd October at the first Pat Metheny gig in Jakarta, and she told me that Riza was there too, and she gave me a copy of simakDialog’s ‘Sampler Tape’.

It wasn’t until 2008 that I got to meet Riza at the launch of their album Demimasa and was suitably blown away at the blend of free jazz and Sundanese percussion. Following that, I interviewed Riza* through an email exchange, some of which I incorporated in the second edition of Culture Shock! Jakarta.

What came through was his wide musical interests, not just in jazz pianists, and that his “efforts [were] devoted for the growth of jazz in Indonesia.” He was the curator of Serambi Jazz at Goethe Haus in Jakarta, a bi-monthly gig “featuring loads of talented musicians that have always dedicated their lives to music.”

Away from simakDialog, Riza recorded a number of albums which demonstrated his willingness to spread his musical wings.

Riza played accordion on Ubiet’s Kroncong Tenggara (’07), around the same time that he was playing ‘subtle fusion’ with Trioscapes, with Arie Ayunir, the first drummer in simakDialog, later replaced by Aksan Sjuman, and Yance Manusama on bass.

Riza was a link with the early jazz generation – he felt honoured to play with Bubi Chen – and was a mentor to the next.

There was W/H/A/T with Sandy Winarta, Sri Hanuraga, Riza Arshad and Indrawan Tjhin. “I think it’s natural and normal that we like to work with the young stars. They have high energy, high idealism and are amazing with their instruments.

Later, with Tuslah (yet to release an album), with Sri Hanuraga, Elfa Zulham and Adra Karim, he was playing music of outstanding quality. Riza told me after one of their gigs that he was very happy playing with younger musicians because he felt energised by them.

IndoJazzia offers condolences to Riza’s immediate family and his many friends who are immensely saddened by his premature passing.

In his memory, we offer simakDialog’s ‘Sample Tape’ from 1995.

Tracks
1 Time Has Changed
2. On The Way Home
#1, 2 by Riza Arshad
3. Conscience
4. Remember
#3, 4 by Tohpati
Download from here.

*Note: Read Jazzuality’s interview from 2010 here

Terry Collins on behalf of IndoJazzia.

One of Billie Holiday’s most iconic songs is Strange Fruit, a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. What you may not realise is that the song was written by a school teacher in New York, Abel Meeropol, who wrote a poem because he was ‘haunted’ by a photograph of a lynching.

This is a BBC podcast about the song which became a standard ….

The first five versions of Strange Fruit in this compilation from the IndoJazzia archives are in the order of the snippets played in the podcast. Artists: Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, Sidney Bechet, John Martyn, Nina Simone, Cassandra Wilson, Cocteau Twins, Diana Ross (who played Billie Holiday in the biopic Lady Sings The Blues), Lucia Cadotsch, Robert Wyatt, Tori Amos, Siouxie and the Banshees, Marcus Miller.

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Here’s the second one of IndoJazzia’s compilations of Jazz by Numbers – vocals.

Enjoy!

01. Annette Peacock – One Way
02. Etta James – One For My Baby
03. Meshell Ndegéocello – Tie One On
04. Luciana Souza – No One To Follow
05. Nina Simone – One September Day
06. Blossom Dearie – Johnny One Note
07. Maria Pia De Vito – The One-Eyed Man
08. Billie Holiday – Just One Of Those Things
09. Rickie Lee Jones – One Hand, One Heart
10. Cassandra Wilson – My One And Only Love
11. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross – One O’Clock Jump
12. Cleo Laine – I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket
13. Peggy Lee – If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
14. Nellie Lutcher – The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else
15. Frank Sinatra – One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)

January is the first month of the year, and that’s excuse enough to delve into the IndoJazzia archives for this compilation of ECM tracks which have ‘One’ in their title.

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01. First Avenue – Band One
02. Tom Van Der Geld – One
03. David Darling – Cycle One (Namaste)
04. Kenny Wheeler – Phrase One
05. Antonio Sanchez – One For Antonio*
06. Jan Garbarek – One Goes There Alone
07. Eberhard Weber – One Summer’s Evening
08. Arve Henriksen – Loved One

*Not from an ECM album, but this track does have Chick Corea on piano.

We are pleased to announce IndoJazzia’s favourite Indonesian jazz albums released in 2016.

We have been involved in three of them. IKYWMC’s First Chapter was originally released in 2013 on Leonardo Pavkovic’s NYC based MoonJune Records. However, it wasn’t until February that the album was released by DeMajors here in Indonesia.

Adi Wijaya, keyboardist in IKYWMC, released his first album, Railroad Therapy, and we were pleased to be asked for input on the packaging and to write the sleeve notes.

We also wrote the sleeve notes for Erik Sondhy’s Abbey Road Sessions Vol.1. In Bali, Erik is known as a very entertaining pianist yet his first solo album is intensely personal. He asked IndoJazzia to take on the task of spreading the word internationally. Several favourable reviews were published in the USA, Europe and Japan, and the mp3 downloads of the day from All About Jazz, who described the album as “an intriguing and auspicious debut“, were extremely popular.

Our key benchmark is originality and the stretching of personal and genre boundaries. You may not agree with our choices, but do yourselves a favour and listen to our selection of tracks from the albums that came our way last year.

If you like what you hear, please buy the albums.

Download from here

Tracks
01. Railroad Trio – Lost
02. Black Merlin – Fire Dance
03. Mo’ong & Friends – Gandrung
04. Senyawa – Abu (Not on album)
05. I Know You Well Miss Clara – Pop Sick Love Carousel
06. Erik Sondhy – The Love Of My Life (bonus track)
07. Dwiki Dharmawan – London In June
08. Dewa Budjana – Zentuary
09. Joey Alexander – Criss Cross
10. The Trees & The Wild – Zaman, Zaman

A certain young lady of IndoJazzia’s acquaintance has her heart set on being a jazz singer. Following a meeting with Nesia Ardi last November, Rifka Aola arranged to have some lessons from noted vocal coach Indra Aziz.

This being the dawn of a new year, when folk focus on goals, hopes and dreams, IndoJazzia offers a selection of women jazz singers who have successful singing careers in their home countries. We hope they inspire aspiring Indonesian women jazzers to find their voices.

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Singers in alphabetical order: Julie Driscoll, Luciana Souza, Madeleine Peyroux, Maria Pia De Vito, Meshell Ndegeocello, Radka Toneff, Solveig Slettahjell, Susanne Abbueh, Viktoria Tolstoy.

January
3. Paul Bley, 83, “a genuine jazz visionary(video)
13. Giorgio Gomelsky, 81, “one of the more important non-musicians in rock and jazz history

February
4. Gato Barbieri, 83, Grammy-winning Latin jazz saxophonist

March
6. Ireng Maulana, 71, Indonesian jazz and blues guitarist, founder of JakJazz.
9. (Sir) George Martin, 90, “The world’s most famous record producer.”
10. Ernestine Anderson, 87, singer (Quincy Jones: She was the sound of “honey at dusk“)

April
9. Tony Conrad, 76, experimental film maker and musician
—–You don’t know who I am, but somehow, indirectly, you’ve been affected by things I did.”

May
2. Paul William McDowell, 84, singer (with Temperance Seven), actor and writer
11. Joe Temperley, 86, “Scotland’s greatest ever jazz musician“, a baritone saxophonist, mainly worked in the USA.

June
16. ‘Sir’ Charles Thompson, 98, jazz pianist

August
15. Bobby Hutcherson, 75, virtuosic vibraphonist (video)
20. Louis Stewart, 72, Irish jazz guitarist with international reputation.
22. Toots Thielemans
, 94, Belgian who popularised the harmonica as a jazz instrument.
26. Rudy Van Gelder, 91, legendary recording engineer for Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse!, Verve.


Documentary and interview with Rudy van Gelder

October
27. Bobby Wellins, 80, jazz saxophonist and composer

November
3. Kay Starr, 94, jazz (pop and country) singer.
11. Victor Bailey, 56, bass player with Weather Report ++ (video of improvised solo.)
15. Mose Allison, 89, jazz, country and blues singer-songwriter-pianist who influenced ’60s blues groups.

COMPILATION

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Tracks

01. Paul Bley Quartet – Solemn Meditation
02. Chris Barber – Battersea Rain Dance (prod. Georgio Gomelsky)
03. Gato Barbieri – Milonga Triste
04. Ireng Maulana All Stars – At The Jazz Band Ball
05. Dudley Moore – Sad One For George (prod. George Martin)
06. Joe Temperley – Single Petal of a Rose
07. ‘Sir’ Charles Thompson Quartet – Honeysuckle Rose
08. Bobby Hutcherson – Tranquillity
09. Louis Stewart – Yesterdays
10. Jean ‘Toots’ Thielemans – Imagination
11. Bobby Wellins – No Good Boyo
12. Kay Starr & Tony Bennett – Blue And Sentimental
13. Victor Bailey – Low Blow
14. Mose Allison – Was