I Know You Well Miss Clara — Chapter One
(Moonjune MJR057, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-08-28Moonjune pulls another great band out of their Indonesian hat. This four piece with the unusual name hails from Jogjakarta in central Java, the capital of the ancient kingdom of Java, and a hub of Javanese fine art, music, dance, and culture in general. Their sound wanders freely between idioms, with a heavy jazz accent all around and blasts of avant-progressive and 70s Crimsoid rock, 100% instrumental. The mood shifts between dark and pensive to more colorful and joyful sorties into the bright lights of jazz-rock, but escapes anything that might be called fusion in the traditional 70s sense, unless we’re talking electric Miles Davis, the more laid-back elements of early Return to Forever, Allan Holdsworth when he used to play a real guitar, or early 70s Soft Machine (the latter primarily on the final two tracks that feature a guest sax player). The front line prominently features keyboardist Adi Wijaya and guitarist Reza Ryan, both commanding players that trade off in the spotlight and deliver the bulk of the disc’s seven compositions; behind them plays the formidable rhythm section of bassist Enriko Gultom and drummer Alfiah Akbar, supporting the entire effort superbly. There’s plenty of improvisational space in these compositions, and it tends to wander in the noodly direction, which is just fine with me. There are a lot of great and purely magical moments throughout this, their debut effort (in case you didn’t guess by the title!) and hopefully we are hearing the first of many chapters to come.
Related artist(s): I Know You Well Miss Clara
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more