First, a mini review of the launch of Erik Sondhy’s album of solo piano improvisations, Abbey Road Sessions, Vol.1, last Thursday (30th June) at Paviliun 28 in south Jakarta.
Many familiar faces, and a few new ones helped set the mood for Erik’s showcase. His album is familiar, after all it’s the first on the IndoJazzia label and why we were at the gig. He introduced each number, but once he became immersed in his keyboard, he/we discovered hidden depths to his muse. This writer, also of the album’s sleeve notes, realised that Vol.1 is intensely autobiographical, and Erik is without doubt a major talent.
[Note: Vol.1 is getting radio airplay in the USA, France and Japan, and All About Jazz, the major jazz website, will be posting the track ‘Hope’ as their Download of the Day. We’ll let you know on our Facebook page when that happens.]
Once his well-appreciated, absorbing set had finished, the regular Thursday night jam session began. Agam Hamzah, the guitar maestro in Ligro, is the coordinator-curator and quickly demonstrated his affinity with Erik, so much so that the floated notion of recording together may yet became a reality.
And then Nesia Ardi, a pint-sized bundle of energy, took the microphone and we were ‘wowed’. A powerful voice, clear diction, yet with scatting and varied phrasing, a familiar song such as Route 66 became much more than a karaoke cliché. The synergy with Erik and Agam produced a memorable performance, one which involved all of us.
She told IndoJazzia that for her “singing jazz is a passion, I don’t expect many people to buy my CD or pay a lot of money to see me singing; the only thing I really want is just to sing, not to impress but to touch and move people’s hearts because that’s what jazz does to me.”
We have chosen a video of a recent performance she gave in Jakarta. The sound quality and camera work is poor, yet there is a quality about her talent which shines through. She says that “it is my original composition with the chord progression commonly known as a 12 bar blues. I put new melodies and lyrics on it.”
*In depth analysis/rant is here.