It’s very quiet around Jakarta at the moment, and that’s unusual for a Tuesday. However, next Sunday is Idul Fitri, the day which celebrates the end of Ramadhan, the Muslim fasting month. That means that the mass exodus from Jakarta and other urban areas known as mudik (going home), which happens every year, has already started.

There is an official week’s holiday allowing folk to return to their home towns and villages, a holiday some save up all year for so they can reconnect with the families and friends perhaps unseen since the previous year. Presents are handed out, children are given crisp bank notes, and a lot of mum’s home cooking, is eaten.

Non-Muslims may well take the opportunity to take holidays too, and every year it is advisable to book trains and boats and planes up to three months in advance. Some may be able to use the free transport laid on by companies and local authorities, although it seems that the family motorcycle is the most popular conveyance. But whatever the means of transport, the roads are hell.

IndoJazzia’s compilation is about the anticipation, the journey and the final homecoming.


Chris Barber – aged 83!

Blue Skies, a jazz standard became a hit by sheer chance.

The song was introduced by actress/vocalist Belle Baker in the 1926 musical Betsy with music written by the song writing team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. She was unhappy with the piece the two had written for her solo (This Funny World), and contacted old friend Irving Berlin in hopes he might have something that would suit her needs. He had, in fact, just put the finishing touches on a number dedicated as a Christmas gift to his newborn daughter, Mary Ellin. Baker liked the song, and it was inserted into the musical, much to the chagrin of Rodgers and Hart, who were not consulted and wouldn’t have allowed the change. The tune was the hit of the show, and Baker received 24 encores on opening night, December 28, 1926. Despite this, the show itself was a disaster and closed a month later.

However, a year later, in 1927, the first feature-length motion picture with sound, The Jazz Singer starring vocalist Al Jolson, had nine songs including Blue Skies. and it was a hit.

There have been hundreds of recorded versions, yet you’ll have to make do with the (just) eight found in IndoJazzia’s archives.


1935-39. Chick Webb
1938. Benny Goodman
1942. Nat King Cole Trio
1946. Peggy Lee
1949. Art Tatum
1954. Dinah Washington
1981. Ray Brown & Laurindo Almeida
1988. Cassandra Wilson
+ bonus track

+ Rod Stewart in 2005 …

This compilation is of pairs of guitarists harmonizing live rather than playing with themselves via multi-tracking, such as Les Paul did. It’s not about rock groups either, although Keith Richards and Ron Wood in the Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck with Jimmy Page come readily to mind. If you’re in the mood for that, then check out this page for more examples to listen to.

This site is essentially about jazz, a genre of imagination rather than scripted charts, of empathy and a willingness to push boundaries together. Guitar-guitar is the title of a Herb Ellis & Charlie Byrd album released in 1963, and the initial inspiration for this compilation. However, we’ve gone back some thirty years to the pioneers of jazz guitar, and perhaps the greatest guitar partner, Eddie Lang.

As for current guitar duettists, seek out Bill Frisell with, at various times, Vinicius Cantuária, John Scofield and Pat Metheny, and Metheny with the late Jim Hall. This compilation is vocal free and, with one exception, all acoustic. I’ve included the Andy Summers and Robert Fripp track because … well listen to the difference.

Perhaps of more importance is that Andy Summers has a new album out, Triboluminescence, which, he says here, is partly inspired by Balinese gamelan. He plays it live here

Meanwhile …..


01. Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Lang – Handful Of Riffs
02. Eddie Lang & Carl Kress – Feeling My Way
03. Carl Kress & Tony Mottola – Boogie Woogie For Guitar
04. Carl Kress & Dick McDonough – Chicken A La Swing
05. John Cali & Tony Guttuso – Hittin’ On All Six
06. Sarane Ferret et Le Swing Quintette de Paris – Deux Guitares
07. Herb Ellis & Charlie Byrd – Things Ain’t What They Used To Be
08. Pat Martino & Bobby Rose – Sunny
09. Jim Hall & Pat Metheny – Improvisation 3
10. Andy Summers & Robert Fripp – In The Cloud Forest
11. Duo Sonare – Tubular Bells Part 1

IndoJazzia’s first ‘Jazz Guitar Pioneers’ compilation is here.
It says here that the painting above, Two Guitars, was created by SACHA with toothpicks.

… and half of dozen of the other.

A polydactyl human hand

You probably won’t want to know that the Pythagoreans acknowledged number 6 to be the first perfect number. But I’ll tell you anyway: in mathematics a perfect number is when all the number’s divisors (excluding the number itself) are added, the sum equals the number itself:
1+2+3 = 6.
In addition when including the number itself and dividing by two the result is the number itself.
(1+2+3+6)/2 = 6.

Do they teach that in kindergardens? Is that why here in Indonesia state schooling is obligatory from age six, and that there are six grades in primary (SD) school?

With those irrelevancies in mind, maybe it’s best to say that today is the sixth day of the sixth month of the year 2017, which just happens to be a prime number (only divisible by itself and 1). Therefore please download and listen to a nice round dozen (2×6 = 12) tracks from the IndoJazzia archives.

01. Michael Mantler – Number Six, Part One
02. Harry South Big Band – Six To One Bar
03. Eddie Palmieri – Sixes In Motion
04. Ben Webster – Jive At Six
05. Charlie Christian – Six Appeal
06. John Cali & Tony Guttuso – Hittin’ On All Six
07. Django Reinhardt – Chez Moi À Six Heures
08. Langston Hughes – Six-Bits Blues
09. Meade Lux Lewis – Six Wheel Chaser
10. Miroslav Vitous – Number Six
11. Jan Hammer – Sixth Day.The People
12. First Avenue – Band Six

Jazz Bugs

I’m bugged: you all look like insects In your brand new sunspecs.

So sings XTC, and here are some more photos to illustrate our anthropomorphism.

Mohammed Ali floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee, while others are as slow as a snail or snug as a bug in a rug. Insects inevitably crop up in music titles. An early example is Poor Butterfly, now a pop and jazz standard, which was inspired by Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, and was published in 1916 for a Broadway show.

Then there was the 30s Jitterbug dance craze …


01. Valaida Snow – I Can’t Dance (I Got Ants In My Pants)*
02. George Shearing – Samba Da Borboleta (Butterfly Samba)
03. Benny Goodman Sextet w. Charlie Christian – Poor Butterfly
04. Oscar Moore w. Inez Jones – Poor Butterfly
05. Jim Hall – Poor Butterfly
06. Radka Toneff – The Butterfly
07. Nguyên Lê – Butterfly Dream
08. Ray Brown & Jimmy Rowles – A Sleepin’ Bee
09. Cassandra Wilson – Sleepin’ Bee
10. Lionel Hampton & Gerry Mulligan – Blight Of The Fumble Bee
11. Alain Caron – Flight of the Bebop Bee
12. Palle Mikkelborg – Beauty M. & Free Bee
13. Leszek Mozdzer – Chasing Moth~Evening
14. Nina Simone – Funkier Than A Mosquito‘s Tweeter

*The African American Valaida Snow (1904 -1956) was a multi-instrumentalist, although primarily a trumpeter, singer and all round entertainer. She would be better known if she hadn’t travelled extensively through Europe, Russia and Asia. From 1926 to 1929 she toured with Jack Carter’s Serenaders in Shanghai, Singapore, Calcutta and arrived in Batavia in 1928.

My original title was Women Jazz Singers of the 1920s and 30s, but that’s too long. And it’s taken me a long time to assemble the 20 tracks of 20 different singers I invite you to download.

It’s been an interesting ‘journey’, not least because I didn’t know that Cab Calloway modelled his act on that of his older sister Blanche. I’d also forgotten that before Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire recorded with his sister Adele. However, I ‘dropped’ her and him because he’s still famous. Few will have heard of, let alone heard, most of the others, so I’ve given links for your further interest: they deserve to be remembered.

Billie Holiday is widely labelled as ‘The First Lady of Jazz’: in fact, numerically speaking, she wasn’t. It’s easy to say that Bessie Smith was one of her inspirations, but then she too had someone, the ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey to show her “the way of the world“.

It is known that Valaida Snow came to Batavia with the Jack Carter Orchestra in 1928. Given that most jazz bands in the Dutch East Indies and the immediate post war era of Indonesia relied on sheet music and ‘imported’ 78rpm platen, one may reasonably wonder if some of the music you’re about to listen to has been heard here before.

Mediafire / Zippyshare

1920. Mamie SmithCrazy Blues (the first jazz record with female vocalist)
1921. Lucille HegaminArkansas Blues
1922. Brox SistersBring on the Pepper
1923. Ida CoxI’ve Got the Blues for Rampart Street
1924. Alberta HunterNobody Knows The Way I Feel Dis Mornin’
1925. Eva TaylorCake Walking Babies from Home
1926. Bertha ‘Chippie’ HillPratt City Blues
1927. Bessie SmithAlexander’s Ragtime Band
1928. Sophie TuckerHe’s Tall, Dark And Handsome
1929. Helen KaneI Want To Be Bad (She claimed to be the inspiration for Betty Boop but …)
1930. Lee MorseCooking Breakfast For The One I Love
1931. Blanche CallowayCrazy Song
1932. Connee BoswellSay It Isn’t So
1933. Valaida SnowMaybe I’m To Blame
1934. Ethel WatersI Ain’t Gonna Sin No More
1935. Elsie Carlisle I’ve Got An Invitation To A Dance
1936. Billie HolidayA Fine Romance
1937. Maxine SullivanLoch Lomond
1938. Una Mae CarlisleHangover Blues
1939. Mildred BaileyMoon Love

Well Worth A Listen Dept.
Five streamed programssurveying the often overlooked Jazz Blues and Swing Women of Jazz.”

We’d already made our selection when we discovered this page. So, if you want to learn more about the jazz guitarists of the late 20s through to the early 40s, please read it.

In short, you’ll have heard of Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt, but possibly not of the earlier and contemporary, pre-WWII, guitarists, most of whom, like Charlie Christian, made their reputations in the bands of others.

Unfortunately, no live footage of Charlie Christian has surfaced, but this video has photos of him plus Lester Young (tenor saxophone) Count Basie (piano), Harry Edison (trumpet) Benny Goodman (clarinet), Arthur Bernstein (bass) and Nick Fatool (drums) at Carnegie Hall, NYC, on December 24, 1939. We bet you can’t keep still!


Al Casey – Buck Still Jumps
Allan Reuss – I Never Knew
Bernard Addison – Toledo Shuffle
Carl Kress – Peg Leg Shuffle
George Barnes – Blue Lou
George Van Eps – I Wrote it For Jo
Ikey Robinson (aka Banjo Joe) – My Four Reasons
Jimmy Shirley – Jimmy’s Blues
John Cali & Tony Guttuso – Satan Takes A Holiday
John Trueheart – Lonesome Moments
Les Paul – Moten Swing
Nick Lucas – Teasing The Frets
Remo Palmieri – Blues a la Red
Sarane Ferret et Le Quintette de Paris – Surprise Party
Ted Tinsley – Gravel Pit Stomp
Teddy Bunn – Blues Without Words
Wilton Crawley – She’s Forty With Me

And the last shall be first: note that these are listed in alphabetical rather than chronological order

This compilation is posted in response to recent events here in Indonesia.

Jazz started out as dance music, then became a staple of concert halls, an entertainment.

That simplistic line omits one important ingredient: improvisation. When musicians are so completely in their zone that audiences have little choice but to follow, then magic happens. Such moments can be truly spiritual, albethey sadly rare.

The first time I went to a Pat Metheny gig, in London in 1982 (?), I didn’t know what to expect. We got sublime, saudade spine tingling melodies played acoustically, heard the fingers slide up the strings, loud synthesised orgasmic group singalongs, and Ornette Coleman free-formish what was that?

Being British, we applauded politely after each piece, some of which we recognised from the then few albums. None of us waved cigarette lighters (now camera-phones) in the air to say “Look at me, I’m at a Pat Metheny gig”, something which Americans posing as audiences are prone to do.

When they finished playing some of the tightest ensemble playing I had ever been privileged to witness ~ whoosh ~ the entire audience stood as one and roared for more. I still get goosebumps recalling that magic moment.

The group came back and stood at the front of the stage looked around, looked up, their arms around each others’ shoulders and you could almost hear their mutual thought ~ “What the f**k have we done here?” ~ as they realised that we had given them the ultimate accolade. They played another half an hour and seemed to surpass themselves. They knew we could take it.

More recently here in Jakarta, at the Tuslah gig when central Jakarta was in lockdown because Prabowo was having a hissy fit having lost the presidential election, and just last November at the Freedom Jazz Awards I felt similarly spiritualised. Tuslah played for themselves, were in their zone and we joined them. At the latter gig, Tesla Manaf, alone, got lost in his playing and we were lost with him, like rabbits caught in headlights, we were hypnotised.

As audiences, we’d been captured; entranced we entered the separate heavens created, not by gods, but by musicians seeking theirs through their playing.

Yes, there are many gods, and those who threaten us for not following their creed need to be told that they are worshipping a false idol … which is forbidden by their god!

©Terry Collins

It’s the fifth day of the fifth month …

for this compilation from IndoJazzia’s archives.

Mediafire / Zippyshare

01. Sidney Bechet – Four or Five Times
02. Hersal Thomas – The Fives
03. Jimmy Yancey – Five O’Clock Blues
04. Jack Duff Band – Five Miles Blues
05. First Avenue – Band Five
06. Guthrie Govan – Fives
07. Lenny Breau – Five O’Clock Bells
08. Giacomo Gates – Take Five
09. Pete Erskine – Jive Five
10. Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra – Fifth Thread
11. Neil Ardley – Rainbow Five

Trivia fact: fives is an ancient wall sport similar to squash, but hands, not racquets, are used.

While selecting tracks from the archives for the Jazz Waltzes For … compilation, several Blues For … tracks popped up.

And here they are:

Mediafire / Zippyshare

01. James P. Johnson – Blues for Jimmy
02. Tete Montoliu Trio – Blues for Perla
03. Sri Hanuraga – Blues For McCoy
04. Red Norvo – Blues For WRWA
05. Dorothy Ashby – Blues For Mr. K
06. Coleman Hawkins & Ben Webster – Blues For Yolande
07. Kenny Burrell & Jimmy Smith – Blues For Del
08. Count Basie – Blues for the Count & Oscar

09. Joe Pass – Blues For Basie
10. Herb Ellis – Blues For Janet
11. Charlie Byrd – Blues For Felix
12. Gerardo Núñez – Blues for Pablo
13. Django Reinhardt – Blues For Ike
14. John McLaughlin Trio – Blues for L.W.
15. NKRO Quartet – Blues For Wilarene
16. Joe Diorio – Blues For Jim Hall