Exposé Online banner

Dwiki Dharmawan — So Far So Close
(Moonjune MJR075, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-10-31

So Far So Close Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Tohpati, Jerry Goodman, Dwiki Dharmawan

Latest news

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Lees' Barclay James Harvest - Legacy Live at the Shelpherd's Bush Empire 2006 – The 2006 resurrection of Woolly Wolstenholme’s Maestoso gestated into a full on BJH reunion tour once guitarist John Lees got on board the rock and roll bandwagon. Picking a representative set list...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues