Dwiki Dharmawan — So Far So Close
(Moonjune MJR075, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-10-31
Moonjune is never short on surprises when it comes to introducing outstanding jazz-rock acts from Indonesia, and keyboardist and composer Dwiki Dharmawan is just the latest of many, with So Far So Close, his first international release. Already a star in his own country, he is well known as a solo artist, collaborator, and a member of his fusion band Krakatau for over 30 years with eight full length releases, as well as other projects like his World Peace Orchestra. Here, Dharmawan is teamed up with renowned jazz bassist Jimmy Haslip (who also played on Dharmawan’s previous release, 2014’s Live in USA), famed drummer Chad Wackerman, Indonesian guitarists Tohpati and Dewa Budjana, I Nyoman Windha playing an assortment of traditional Indonesian instruments and vocals on what is perhaps the album’s most adventurous track, the ten minute “Jembrana’s Fantasy,” and on the opening track “Arafura” none other than Jerry Goodman on electric violin. The bulk of the pieces here echo the golden age of fusion from the early 70s onward through the mid-80s, occasionally recalling greats like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, but with his own unique stamp which brings in elements of the traditional sounds of West Java and Bali. The second cut, “Bromo,” honors East Java’s most famous volcano with beautiful and memorable melodies and a sound that may remind some listeners of the jazzier tendencies of Japanese band Kenso. Other standouts include the gracefully melodic “Whale Dance,” the more hard edged and funky “NYC 2050,” where Budjana graces the proceedings with a sterling guitar solo, and the album’s closer, “The Return of Lamafa,” where the ancient and traditional take a tour through the modern idiom of classical-informed jazz. All taken, So Far So Close is proof positive that fusion is alive and well.
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more